Following Louboutin’s complaint against Amazon for promoting counterfeiting, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered his observations. The latter believes that as a marketplace and online sales site, Amazon cannot be held responsible for the origin of the items sold on its platform.
For the Advocate General, the e-commerce giant has adopted a transparent approach on its site by specifying, for each article, whether the products are sold by third-party sellers or directly by Amazon.
“Although integrating in its offer a set of services ranging from the publication of sales offers to the shipping of products, this Internet intermediary cannot be held directly responsible for infringements of the rights of trademark holders on its platform as a result of offers from third parties”, explains Advocate General Maciej Szpunar in his report.
In addition, the lawyer considers that it is necessary to make the difference between the products offered by the site as a distributor, therefore sold and shipped in its name, and the advertisements of independent sellers.
It is in 2019 that the battle between the two giants begins. Christian Louboutin brought two actions, in Luxembourg and Belgium against Amazon, accusing it of infringing his rights. Amazon is accused of displaying advertisements for shoes with red soles, directly inspired by the identity of the famous shoemaker. For Christian Louboutin, it is then a question of using his identity without his consent.
The conclusions of the Advocate General are intended to provide possible solutions and have only an advisory value. CJEU judges are now tasked with delivering their verdict in the coming months.