L’Oreal Loses Belgian Case Against eBay

    August 13, 2008

Belgium belongs on everybody’s "good" list thanks to its contributions to the development of waffles and beer.  Now, eBay execs are further indebted to the country due to a ruling on a suit filed by L’Oreal.

L’Oreal, like many companies, blames eBay for not doing enough to prevent the spread of counterfeit merchandise.  eBay isn’t proactive, and instead tends to remove problem auctions one by one as it’s notified about them.

Yet, as reported by the AFP, a Belgian court found this practice acceptable and dismissed L’Oreal’s complaints.  An eBay spokesperson "added that the cosmetics firm had also been told to pay 15,000 euros (22,400 dollars) in court costs," making its victory even more complete.

Before anyone at eBay goes mentally allotting $22,400 to servings of batter, powdered sugar, and syrup, though, there’s one more thing to consider: L’Oreal intends to appeal the decision.  So it could be quite a while yet before eBay enjoys anything resembling legal safety.

eBay’s stuck in an almost identical situation with Tiffany & Co. in the U.S.