Amazon not liable for online Louboutin knock-offs, EU court adviser says

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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. online retailer Amazon is not liable for the sale of counterfeit Louboutin shoes on its platform, an adviser to Europe's top court said on Thursday, a potential setback for the shoemaker known for its red sole shoes popular with celebrities.

The case dated from 2019 when Louboutin sought an injunction against Amazon in a Belgian and a Luxembourg court, saying the company regularly displays on its websites advertisements for red-soled shoes put on the market without its consent.

Both courts had sought the guidance of the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU.)

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar at the CJEU backed the world's largest online retailer.

He said Amazon "cannot be held directly liable for infringements of the rights of trade mark owners taking place on its platform as a result of commercial offerings by third parties".

"It is always specified, in the advertisements, whether the goods are sold by third-party sellers or sold directly by Amazon," Szpunar said.

The CJEU, which will rule in the coming months, usually follows the majority of such non-binding opinions.

Louboutin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The cases are C-148/21 and C-184/21.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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