Amazon is not responsible for third-party trademark violations

Can Amazon be held responsible if a third party violates trademark rights? No, the judge now European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The Internet retail giant Amazon is not liable for trademark infringements by third parties on the Amazon Marketplace platform. This applies even if Amazon stores and sends the goods, as the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in Luxembourg on Thursday. After that, however, the brand owners can request that Amazon no longer store and send such goods. (Az: C-567/18)

In the specific case, it is about the coty perfume “Davidoff Hot Water”. An independent dealer had offered this for sale on the Amazon Marketplace internet platform, although the bottles in question had no right to sell in the EU. The retailer used an Amazon service to store and ship the goods.

Coty Germany demands compensation from Amazon. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) asked the CJEU whether Amazon had to be liable because the company operates the trading platform and also stored and shipped the goods here.

Amazon “did not use the brand itself”

The ECJ has now denied this. Amazon “did not use the Davidoff brand itself”. Possession and storage are not yet a violation of EU trademark law, as long as Amazon does not offer the goods for sale itself.

Liability by Amazon due to a trademark violation is excluded. However, the Luxembourg judges pointed out that Coty Germany may require further EU regulations that Amazon no longer store and ship this goods. Finally, the BGH must now decide on the dispute again.

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