eBay Inc., the world’s largest online auctioneer, has been reported to have won a German court ruling in a case brought by Rolex Group over sales of fake watches. Rolex had sued EBay in 2001. Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest tribunal in civil matters, who had partially overturned that original ruling in Dusseldorf in 2007 stated, although EBay couldn’t be held liable for damages, it had to prevent fake items from being sold once it became aware of it.
Ulrich Egger, spokesman for the court, reported that the court ruled to the favor of EBay once Rolex couldn’t show any similar fake goods being offered on EBay after the latter was alerted. He also noted “EBay doesn’t have to review each item before it gets posted on its site, because that would jeopardize the whole business model.”
Anette Haertling, a spokeswoman for Rolex in Frankfurt, did not wish to comment.
EBay will be going through another hearing next month in London on similar claims brought by L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics producer. Before, EBay has already gone trough similar cases with winning over Tiffany & Co. in New York and L’Oreal in Brussels, and losing to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Hermes International in France.