Ordered to pay $30,000
eBay has been ordered by a French court to pay $30,000 to luxury goods designer Hermes for the company's role in the sale of three counterfeit handbags.
The courts ruling was the first time a French judge found eBay directly accountable for the sale of counterfeit items by one of its customers. eBay maintains that it removes listings found to be fraudulent and argues that the liability for those listings is on the seller.
"By selling Hermes bags and branded accessories on the eBay.fr site, and by failing to act within their powers to prevent reprehensible use of the site," the seller and eBay "committed acts of counterfeiting and imitation of French brand names ... to the detriment of Hermes international," the ruling said.
eBay said its Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO) is in place to make it easy for intellectual property owners to report abuse. The company said the "court ruling relates to past issues of seller verification."
"The court acknowledged that eBay has closed these loopholes referencing the anti-counterfeiting measures spearheaded by the VeRO scheme which brings rights owners and eBay together to tackle the menace of counterfeit goods."
eBay was ordered to pay the fine jointly with the seller who put the bags up for sale. The company was also ordered to post the ruling on its French homepage for three months.
Other designer brands have cases pending against eBay for its role in selling counterfeit goods including Louis Vuitton, Dior Couture, and cosmetics company L'Oreal.