Louis Vuitton parent, eBay settle 8-year old fight over knock-offs
French luxury conglomerate LVMH and eBay (EBAY) have kissed and made up, settling an 8-year legal battle over knock-offs sold on the U.S. auctioneer’s website.
In ending the litigation, the companies announced a joint effort to protect intellectual property rights and combat counterfeits in e-commerce. They provided no details on their new co-operation or on the terms of their settlement.
“Thanks to our joint efforts, consumers will enjoy a safer digital environment globally,” executives from both companies said in a joint statement.
LVMH, which owns high-end brands like Louis Vuitton handbags, Tag Heuer watches and Dior perfumes, sued eBay in France in 2008, arguing that it allowed a vast trade in counterfeit goods. To hammer the point home, it said that the majority of its branded products listed on the online marketplace were, in fact fakes. Later that year, a French court ordered eBay to pay 38.6 million euros, saying the company hadn’t done enough to prevent knock-offs from being sold on its site. That was followed by years of appeals and fines and other related suits.
Other luxury brands to have sued eBay in recent years are L’Oreal and U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co (TIF). EBay has consistently argued that it expends great effort, time and money to crack down on counterfeit items on its marketplaces.