Caudalie wins lawsuit against online retailer 1001 Pharmacies

Latest judgement ruled in favour of the brand, after 1001 Pharmacies won a prior judgement on appeal

France’s highest court, the Cours de Cassation, has ruled in favour of vine-based skin care brand Caudalie in its dispute with online retailer 1001pharmacies.com.

The judgment means that 1001 Pharmacies will not be allowed to sell Caudalie products online.

The judgment overturns a verdict given in February 2016 by the Court of Appeal in Paris, which ruled in favour of 1001 Pharmacies on the grounds that Caudalie was attempting to restrict trade.

Ongoing dispute

The dispute has been going on since 2014 when the skin care brand took 1001 Pharmacies to the Tribunal of Commerce in Paris on the grounds that the sale of its products by 1001pharmacies constituted ”an unauthorised platform", which it saw as a violation of its selective distribution network.

In the original court case, the Tribunal ruled in favour of Caudalie, prompting 1001 Pharmacies to appeal.

The verdict from the Cours de Cassation should be the final say on the matter.


A question of distribution

”We are very satisfied with the decision [of the court],” said Bertrand Thomas, founder of Caudalie.

“Selectivity has always been at the heart of our distribution strategy. In this legal action, we wanted above all to defend the network of our accredited pharmacists, who supported us in this process.”

Internet distribution of Caudalie products is reserved for pharmacies with their own website, added a Caudalie representative.

Even these websites can only sell products that Caudalie has already approved for sale in their bricks and mortar outlets, which in France primarily means independent chemists and franchises.

The Cours de Cassation’s wording was that: “In the presence of a selective distribution network whose legality is established… there is no reason to challenge [Caudalie’s] right to prohibit the sale of its products on unlicensed online sales platforms”.

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