“Just taking orders” doesn’t cut it for eBay in Germany

eBay evidently got rocked by Rolex* in its German litigation this year, and we may never have heard about it if not for a securities filing by the online auctioneer. The claim, of course, was for contributory infringement.

“The court’s decision found that eBay must take reasonable measures to prevent recurrence once it is informed of clearly identified infringement,” eBay said in a quarterly regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“eBay may in certain circumstances be liable upon first notice of infringement,” the filing added.

The Europeans are a lot less the surrender-monkeys we make them out to be when it comes to this stuff — and a lot less the surrender monkeys than our own courts are.

* A LOC client, but I was not at all involved in this European litigation.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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  1. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » No one blinks - November 13, 2007

    [...] Old timers here will perhaps tire of my raising this again, but there are, I am thankful to say, a lot of new readers of this blog since the question of third-party liability for auction sites was last broached. Along with attorney Roberta Kraus I was the primary co-author of this report (PDF) several years ago that assessed whether or not such an action could lie. By the time it was passed up to the leadership of the “City Bar” here, it had been quite committee-fied — lots of hedging and “balance,” which is what committee reports have. But in fact the report was based on a much more forceful memorandum I had originally written for a client, urging that there definitely should in fact be third party liability here just as there is for brick and mortar landlords who knowingly permit markets in counterfeits , a conclusion European courts have had no difficulty reaching either. [...]

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