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L'Oreal appeals eBay ruling

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French slap and shampoo concern L'Oreal is to appeal a recent ruling that eBay is not responsible for counterfeit or grey import goods which are available on its site.

L'Oreal sued eBay both in France and the UK and lost both cases. It is the French ruling that L'Oreal is appealing today, although presumably we can expect a British appeal too.

eBay celebrated its court win in May and said it was a victory for its VeRO programme - an automated way for companies to complain about items advertised on the online tat bazaar. eBay has always said it will respond to requests from copyright holders but will not take an active policing role.

eBay's official line today was: "As previously stated, eBay believes that mediation, dialogue and collaboration is essential in resolving these issues."

Some of the disputed items are, to coin a phrase, genuine fakes. But more controversially some are grey imports - items which are meant to be sold in a specific territory or country at a specific price. That's why my local shop used to sell mainly Polish cans of Coca-Cola - they're cheaper than UK equivalents even if there is no difference except the labelling. ®

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