Louis Vuitton may have lost the four-year trademark battle against Dooney & Bourke, but that’s peanuts compared to the recently announced LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton victory in France which has eBay, ordered by a French court, paying over 60 million dollars to LVMH, the highest fine ever that eBay has been ordered to pay in Europe for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods and for the unlawful sale of authentic fragrances.
While the ruling was immediately appealed by eBay, LVMH chief Bernard Arnault’s adviser, Pierre Gode, said that it’s a fundamental decision for LVMH and that it will help the luxury goods group preserve their name, and that of their brands. LVMH has claimed that they have lost about $100 million, because eBay’s French office has not done enough to prevent sales of counterfeit items.
eBay was ordered to stop selling Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Guerlain, and Parfums Givenchy or face a fine of $79,000 a day. The online retailer is sticking to their guns however and has no intention of stopping the sales, claiming that if counterfeit goods are put up for sale on the site, they are scrapped as soon as possible. In a press release, eBay added that LVMH has a hidden agenda and that they are not fighting counterfeiting, but trying to protect commercial practices that exclude all competition.
The fight against knock-offs from New York street corners to the virtual universe of eBay is not limited to LVMH. In fact just last month, eBay was ordered to pay $30,000-plus to Hermès International for failing to monitor the authenticity of goods being sold on the eBay site. eBay is also entangled in a legal battle with both L’Oréal and Tiffany & Co.