It’s possible to find red-soled high heels quite similar to those seen in an ad
without Louboutin’s knowledge or permission on Amazon by unauthorised sellers.
According to the CJEU, Amazon might be held liable for trademark violations.
The business strategy used by the platform, according to Louboutin, is “misleading the public.” Amazon claims it will give the verdict some thought.
A Luxembourg court has ruled in favour of the plaintiff in a case involving allegations that Amazon allowed advertisements for fake goods to appear on its site.
Louboutin’s high heels normally retail for at least £600, and Amazon has been in a battle with the company for quite some time.
Throughout 2019, Louboutin took Amazon to court twice, in Belgium and Luxembourg, over claims that the online retailer habitually promoted red-soled shoes on its marketplace without obtaining the designer’s permission.
The two tribunals looked to the European Union’s highest court for clarification (CJEU).
The CJEU ruled on Thursday that Amazon might be held liable for suspected intellectual property infringement discovered in the ads of counterfeit sneakers sporting the renowned red sole.
According to the CJEU press office, as reported by the BBC, users may mistakenly believe that Amazon, and not the third-party seller, is marketing the product “in its name and on its behalf.”
The European Union’s highest court has referred the question to national courts in Belgium and Luxembourg for a ruling.
The CJEU pointed out that the site provides “added services to these third-party merchants,” such as “the storage and transportation of their merchandise.”
Definitions that are “Crystal Clear”
Louboutin believes that the contested advertisements are essential to Amazon’s commercial message and that the company has used the distinctive red sole “for items identical” to its own.
Louboutin’s attorney, Thierry Van Innis, said that the CJEU had “followed in every detail” the designer’s claims.
After the court verdict, Mr Van Innis told Reuters: “Amazon may be held liable for the breaches as if the platform was itself the vendor.”
If they continue to confuse their own and third-party offers, Amazon will be compelled to alter their business strategy.
Mr. Van Innis stated that at this time, Louboutin is not seeking monetary compensation “At this point, financial details are off the table. We need the break-ins to end, “His words.
This case contributes to the ongoing conversation about trademark infringement in online marketplaces and the challenges customers have when trying to determine who the legitimate vendor is.
Fabian Klein, an intellectual property lawyer at Pinsent Masons, told the BBC that platform providers should change their websites so that it was obvious to users where the offers came from.
When asked what would change, Mr Klein stated, “If a platform is merely a marketplace, without its own offerings – like eBay – nothing would change.”
But platforms that provide both their own and third-party products and services should think about whether, from a trademark law standpoint, they wish to distinguish themselves visually or in any other way.