Louboutin/Amazon dispute: Why the European justice opens the way to a responsibility of marketplaces in ads for counterfeit products?

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has been asked to rule on a dispute between U.S. online retailer Amazon and French shoe giant Louboutin. On Thursday, the court paved the way for platforms to be held liable for the sale of counterfeits, ruling that Amazon could be considered to be advertising fake Louboutin products sold on its site by third parties.

 

On Amazon, one can find models almost identical to the shoes with the red sole at prices ten times lower. Faced with these practices deemed unfair by the French brand, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), seized of this case between the French company and the American giant, has opened the way to a responsibility of Amazon in advertising and selling counterfeit products.

 

Today, the CJEU considers that Amazon could be considered as promoting counterfeit Louboutin products sold on its website by a third party seller. Indeed, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which expressed itself in a press release: “the user of its site has the impression that it is Amazon which markets, in its name and on its behalf, pumps of the brand“.

 

Hoffman, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, explains that until now, the case law considered that Amazon had only a role of host, and as such, was not responsible for the products that were put on sale on its platform: “the marketplace was therefore responsible for its own products branded Amazon, but not for the products put on sale on its platform by third parties. Until now, it was therefore up to the brands themselves to be vigilant“.

 

The CJEU does not decide anything for the moment

 

The House of Louboutin, created by Christian Louboutin, known for its red-soled pumps, had filed two appeals against Amazon, in Luxembourg and Belgium. However, the CJEU does not decide the dispute. Indeed, it is up to the national court to resolve the case in accordance with the court’s decision.

 

The present issues in the Amazon/Louboutin case were discussed in the context of a preliminary question. That is, one party requested that the litigation be temporarily suspended so that the CJEU could answer new and unresolved questions. From now on, the courts that were already seized of the case will be able to examine the merits of the dispute, making use of these new elements specified by the CJEU“, according to Emmanuelle Hoffman. according to Emmanuelle Hoffman.

 

Louboutin claims that Amazon has illegally used the sign of the red sole for products identical to its own and insists “on the fact that the disputed ads are an integral part of Amazon’s commercial communication“.

 

For its part, the American marketplace displays its own ads and those of its sellers, affixing its logo on all of them. The platform also offers “additional services to these third-party sellers in the context of the marketing of their products, consisting in particular in the storage and shipment of their products” underlines the court.

 

According to Ms. Hoffman, interviewed by our editorial staff, Amazon “risks being considered responsible for the facts of counterfeiting present on its platform, mainly because of the confusion maintained between its own ads and those of third parties. Consumers are thus led to believe that the products in question are really offered by Amazon, and the latter can therefore be held responsible for these facts“.

 

In this dispute, there is a lot of confusion and it is therefore difficult for the Court of Justice of the European Union to distinguish between Amazon and third party sellers.

 

The outcome of this case could well mark a real turning point for the online luxury counterfeit market. It is important to remember that to purchase luxury goods such as Louboutin pumps, a minimum of 600 euros is required. However, for those who can not afford it, it is easier to buy online counterfeit products, almost identical to the originals, for a lower price. Consequently, “We find counterfeiting on all the marketplaces since the jurisprudence exonerated until now the hosters of any responsibility“, explains Emmanuelle Hoffman, lawyer at the bar of Paris, specialist in intellectual property law.

 

 

Read also >Joint action for Amazon and Cartier in counterfeiting case

 

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has been asked to rule on a dispute between U.S. online retailer Amazon and French shoe giant Louboutin. On Thursday, the court paved the way for platforms to be held liable for the sale of counterfeits, ruling that Amazon could be considered to be advertising fake Louboutin products sold on its site by third parties.

 

On Amazon, one can find models almost identical to the shoes with the red sole at prices ten times lower. Faced with these practices deemed unfair by the French brand, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), seized of this case between the French company and the American giant, has opened the way to a responsibility of Amazon in advertising and selling counterfeit products.

 

Today, the CJEU considers that Amazon could be considered as promoting counterfeit Louboutin products sold on its website by a third party seller. Indeed, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which expressed itself in a press release: “the user of its site has the impression that it is Amazon which markets, in its name and on its behalf, pumps of the brand“.

 

Hoffman, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, explains that until now, the case law considered that Amazon had only a role of host, and as such, was not responsible for the products that were put on sale on its platform: “the marketplace was therefore responsible for its own products branded Amazon, but not for the products put on sale on its platform by third parties. Until now, it was therefore up to the brands themselves to be vigilant“.

 

The CJEU does not decide anything for the moment

 

The House of Louboutin, created by Christian Louboutin, known for its red-soled pumps, had filed two appeals against Amazon, in Luxembourg and Belgium. However, the CJEU does not decide the dispute. Indeed, it is up to the national court to resolve the case in accordance with the court’s decision.

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has been asked to rule on a dispute between U.S. online retailer Amazon and French shoe giant Louboutin. On Thursday, the court paved the way for platforms to be held liable for the sale of counterfeits, ruling that Amazon could be considered to be advertising fake Louboutin products sold on its site by third parties.

 

On Amazon, one can find models almost identical to the shoes with the red sole at prices ten times lower. Faced with these practices deemed unfair by the French brand, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), seized of this case between the French company and the American giant, has opened the way to a responsibility of Amazon in advertising and selling counterfeit products.

 

Today, the CJEU considers that Amazon could be considered as promoting counterfeit Louboutin products sold on its website by a third party seller. Indeed, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which expressed itself in a press release: “the user of its site has the impression that it is Amazon which markets, in its name and on its behalf, pumps of the brand“.

 

Hoffman, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, explains that until now, the case law considered that Amazon had only a role of host, and as such, was not responsible for the products that were put on sale on its platform: “the marketplace was therefore responsible for its own products branded Amazon, but not for the products put on sale on its platform by third parties. Until now, it was therefore up to the brands themselves to be vigilant“.

 

The CJEU does not decide anything for the moment

 

The House of Louboutin, created by Christian Louboutin, known for its red-soled pumps, had filed two appeals against Amazon, in Luxembourg and Belgium. However, the CJEU does not decide the dispute. Indeed, it is up to the national court to resolve the case in accordance with the court’s decision.

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Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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