Tuesday, 12 June 2012

eBay: The French Courts Do Not Have Jurisdiction If a Website Is Not In French

Court of Appeal of Paris, 22 May 2012, Würburg Holding / eBay, www.legalis.net 

Following a ruling of 20 September 2011 of the French Supreme Court annulling a previous judgement, the Court of Appeal of Paris had to decide whether the French courts have jurisdiction for trademark infringement cases when a website is not in French.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court had ruled that the fact that a website can be accessed from France is not sufficient to consider that the French Courts have jurisdiction in a case of trademark infringement, the case in question concerning the trademark "Marithé et François Girbaud". One of the criteria is the place where the prejudice is suffered, but it is necessary to verify whether the adverts are actually aimed at the French public.

The Court of Appeal of Paris, in its judgement of 22 May 2012 ruled that the adverts on the site ebay.com are not aimed at the French public, and that the French courts therefore do not have jurisdiction, since:

- access to the website ebay.com was through Google, because the site that is proposed to the French public is ebay.fr;
- the adverts were in English, as was the procedure for ordering the products.

Read the judgement: Judgement of 22 May 2012