EBay may be liable on trademark infringements: EU court

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2011 4:18 AM
EBay may be liable on trademark infringements: EU court

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Internet auction marketplace eBay may be liable for trademark infringements committed by users on its site if it plays an active role in their use, Europe's highest court ruled on Tuesday.

The case relates to allegations of trademark infringement on eBay lodged by L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker.

"When the operator has played an 'active role'..., it cannot rely on the exemption from liability which EU law confers, under certain conditions, on online service providers such as operators of Internet marketplaces," the court said in a statement.

The court found that under EU law, member states had to ensure that national courts could order market operators to take measures that help to end trade mark infringements by users of a marketplace such as eBay, as well as preventing further infringements of that kind.

"Those injunctions must be effective, proportionate, and dissuasive and must not create barriers to legitimate trade," the court said.