Amazon got the green light from the European Court of Justice after a legal battle over the sale of unlicensed Davidoff perfume bottles.
The German arm of beauty company Coty – which owns the Davidoff brand – went to court to prevent Amazon from storing and delivering unlicensed products.
Coty said that Amazon, which sold the products on its Marketplace platform, violated its trademark rights.
The decision is expected to set a precedent for third-party online merchants.
Coty alleged that Amazon violated its trademark rights by storing its Davidoff perfume for third-party sellers and should be held responsible for these practices. Coty holds the trademark license in the EU.
But the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that “simple storage” of trademark infringing products is not the same thing as trademark infringement itself.
Amazon “did not offer the products for sale itself or put them on the market,” said the ECJ. “It follows that Amazonian companies have not themselves used the Davidoff brand.”
Following the preliminary ruling, the case will now be referred to the German federal courts.
Millions of independent sellers use the Amazon’s Marketplace – as part of the Fulfilled by Amazon program – with sellers who typically pay fees to use the giant’s online warehouses and logistics.
Customers are often unaware that they are not buying products directly from the American firm.
Amazon has previously stated that it sells more physical goods through Marketplace sellers than directly to customers itself. The growth of trade has made him face claims of allowing the sale of counterfeit and dangerous products in the past.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the American retailer also had to attack the profit of medical supplies and advertisements for false treatments on Marketplace.
Amazon says it strictly prohibits products that infringe intellectual property and has spent more than $ 500 million (£ 398 million) on counterfeit products and related issues.
“Amazon continues to invest heavily in the fight against bad actors in our store and is committed to reducing counterfeits to zero,” said a spokesperson.
“The German courts have ruled in our favor in the first two cases of this procedure, and on the basis of our initial understanding of the judgment, we welcome the decision of the ECJ. “