EBay has been hit with a €20,000 fine after being found liable for counterfeit goods sold on its site.
The landmark ruling, which is the first in a long line of such lawsuits, may set a precedent that puts liability on eBay for all counterfeit goods sold on its site in the future.
In the latest case a French court found in favour of French luxury group Hermes.
While eBay has consistently honoured takedown requests on counterfeit items, the ruling does not bode well for future lawsuits. EBay is also known to be in the crosshairs of Tiffany and Louis Vuitton, among others.
Portero.com, an online auction marketplace that authenticates branded luxury products, estimates that as much as $15bn, or 10 per cent of the branded luxury goods sold globally, are counterfeit.
"Every luxury brand has an obligation to protect consumers against counterfeits, and consumers should make every effort to ensure that the branded luxury goods they purchase online or through any other distribution channel are legitimate," said Milton Pedraza of the Luxury Institute.
"Portero's authentication model is a necessity in order to protect consumers and manufacturers from being victimised by counterfeit merchandise."
Michael Sheldon, founder and chief executive at Portero, added: "Since I founded Portero in 2004, we have implemented the most stringent authentication standards in the online marketplace.
"I believe that the tremendous success we have achieved to date, and the fact that we have tripled our sales in the past 12 months, result from our unwavering commitment to these standards and the trust consumers place in Portero."
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