L'Oreal takes legal action against eBay

A metrosexual man who won an £17.94 bid for a tube of L'Oreal Hydra Energetic Turbo has made just one of the purchases that has led the cosmetics brand to take legal action against eBay, claiming it is aiding counterfeiting.

L'Oreal has launched a trademark infringement case in London's High Court claiming the site was selling goods that were either fake or sourced from outside the European Union.

The French manufacturer is arguing that eBay is failing to police what products are for sale on the site and is therefore aiding the counterfeiters.

The high court is the latest battleground for the dispute between the two brands.

Today the French courts are due to make on a decision on the same case while challenges are also being made in Germany and Spain.

In August L'Oreal lost a similar case against eBay in Belgium when a Brussels court said the site was not obliged to take action against counterfeiting despite "doing enough" to halt it.

However French courts have previously sided with luxury brand owners Hermes and LVMH aginst eBay.

Behind all of this is the question of whether brands exercise too much control over how their brands are sold or whether there is not enough. Unsurprisingly eBay and many online retailers would like to see less.

But for many manufacturers having control over the price of a product and where it is sold is as essential to brand image as a brand advertising or PR campaign.

The import of goods from outside the EU where they are sold at lower prices is a big problem for brands looking to control prices in western Europe.

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