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In the past few years, courts in the U.S. and Europe have handed down rulings on the issue of eBay’s liability for the sale of counterfeit goods via its online marketplace. The plaintiffs in those cases own some of the best-known luxury brands in the world—Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Rolex and Lancôme, to name a few. Interestingly, the lower court decisions in these cases have been widely varied, placing different obligations on trademark owners and online auction sites from country to country. Recent appellate decisions, however, have brought their outcomes closer together, though not completely in line.

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