eBay has won a court battle initiated by cosmetics giant L'Oreal over the sale of counterfeit goods on its web site.
L'Oreal argued that the online auctioneer could prevent the listing of fake products on its site, but the UK High Court ruled eBay could not be held reponsible for some of its sellers engaged in such activities.
"There is nothing in eBay's systems and policies which favours or encourages the listing or sale of counterfeit goods," said judge Justice Arnold.
"On the contrary, eBay Europe take active steps to prevent or at least minimise such activities. The fact that eBay could take further steps does not affect this."
However, eBay's use of advertising keywords was referred to the European Court of Justice for clarification - a positive outcome for the cosmetics group.
Judge Arnold also offered suggestions of actions eBay could take to tackle the sale of counterfeit products, such as requiring sellers to disclose their names and addresses when listing items and looking closely at negative feedback left by site users, but none of the measures is compulsory.
"The fact that it would be possible for eBay Europe to do more does not necessarily mean that it is legally obliged to do more," he said.
In 2008, eBay hosted 2.7 billion listings globally, with 0.15 per cent identified as potentially counterfeit.
"When companies try to prevent genuine items being sold through the internet, they demonstrate that they are out of step with consumers, how they use the internet to shop and, at this time when every penny counts, the importance of shopping around to get the best price," said eBay's head of trust and safety Richard Ambrose.
"Following legal victories for eBay in the UK, US, France and Belgium, we reiterate again that cooperation and dialogue is what is needed, not litigation. Only by working together can we collectively address the issues that concern eBay, rights owners and consumers."