Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LV bags US300K from eBay in suit

eBay Inc will pay about US$316,500 (RM1.08mil) to Louis Vuitton Malletier for legal costs and damages, as well as stop using Internet search terms the luxury goods maker protested, following a ruling on Thursday by the Paris District Court.

The online auction site was found liable for harming the reputation of Louis Vuitton trademarks, the company name and domain name — all held by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

eBay spokesman Alina Piacentino said the company will appeal the decision.

The auction site had been buying keywords such as “Viton,” “Vitton” and “Wuiton” so that online shoppers using these misspellings in a search engine — along with anyone using the brand’s correct spelling — would be directed to links promoting eBay, a Louis Vuitton spokesman said.

The court, which called eBay’s actions “parasitic,” ordered the company to stop using the keywords. The court said the practice harmed Louis Vuitton’s brand.

The online auction house must pay Louis Vuitton euro 200,000 (RM1mil) in damages plus euro 30,000 (RM150,000) in legal costs.

In a prepared statement, eBay said it was disappointed but noted that Louis Vuitton was awarded less than the euro 1.2mil (RM6mil) it sought.

In the case of any future violations, eBay must pay Louis Vuitton euro 1,000 (RM5,000) according to an LVMH spokesman.

eBay also said the ruling “flies in the face” of a legal victory against Ralph Lauren in an appeal of a similar case in Belgium.

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1 comment:

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