Monday, May 25, 2009

Ebay proclaimed this the beginning of a new customer driven era?

L'Oreal has sued eBay in the courts of various European countries including Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain over the sale of bogus cosmetics and fragrances carrying the logo of the said brand on it's site. This move was said to be a necessary step to take as the sale of fake items was on the increase on eBay. Negotiations were underway between the two companies to come to a solution on this issue however, the online auctioneer said all talks were suspended as L'Oreal was being unreasonable in it's requests.

The first decision has been pronounced by the British court...Justice Richard David Arnold ruled out the claims of L'Oreal and said that that eBay Europe was not liable for trademark infringements committed by its users. Ebay said that this decision is a one which promotes free competition and will enable users to buy products a very competitive prices on its virtual marketplace.

A similar case in France was left in the hands of both companies to come up with an amicable resolution and gave then until the May 25 to come up with a mediated settlement. Other cases elsewhere in Europe are still pending.

While eBay claimed victory, L'Oreal said the court agreed that eBay could do more to stop trademark infringement. However of the 15 products hand-selected by L'Oreal as evidence against eBay UK, none was proven to be counterfeit. Could this be a strategy to try to safe guard L'Oreal premium pricing strategy and the protection from grey imports? We can just wait and see however it's very difficult to stop the online avalanche and anybody who does not embrace it risks getting overwhelmed.

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