Online retailer Amazon may be liable if others sell counterfeit products in its online store, the European Court of Justice ruled. For example, when sellers sell counterfeit Louboutin shoes there.
The court had to rule on the issue following the conflict between the well-known French designer Christian Louboutin and Amazon. The man behind the shoe with the distinctive red sole had stepped to court because third parties sell shoes through Amazon’s shopping platform that must pass for Louboutins.
Amazon bears more responsibility for those practices than an online marketplace such as eBay, the Luxembourg court finds. Amazon not only places advertisements from others, but also offers its own products in the same way. In addition, it often takes care of marketing, storage and delivery. Therefore, customers can get the impression that their purchase, even if it is a fake, comes from Amazon.
Lower courts can now settle the dispute between Louboutin and Amazon with the ruling of the highest European judge in hand.