eBay Hit With Another Legal Action For Facilitating A Counterfeit Market
UPDATE 09/14/2007: Recording artist Prince joins the revolution.
As reported by E-Commerce Times:
“L’Oreal reportedly estimates that counterfeit sales of its products on eBay have resulted in its loss of several million dollars. The cosmetics giant’s legal action against eBay echoes similar moves by the jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. in 2004 and by French luxury goods firm LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton a year ago.”
“We are disappointed L’Oreal has filed a lawsuit against eBay, given that we have been actively supporting their brand protection efforts, eBay said. As a responsible company that works with more than 18,000 rights owners, we will continue to act on their reports.
Lawsuits against marketplaces are not the solution to the counterfeit problem. The only ones benefiting from litigation are counterfeiters, because valuable time and money is being spent in courtrooms rather than stopping counterfeiters from producing the goods.”
Any brand marketing/compliance/legal practitioner who has ever worked with eBay and their VeRO program knows that eBay usually does everything they can to protect their listings (revenue) rather than protect brands, regardless of what they say. Yes, they do take down instances of copyright violations, but it’s funny how the same violators tend to pop up over and over and over again.
This is a particularly troubling issue for premium brands trying to protect consumers as well as their own IP assets, reputation, and bottom line.
In terms of counterfeiting, who’s at risk on eBay?
The most vulnerable brands are clearly those that feature high end consumer and multimedia products:
jewelry = Tiffany & Co.
watches = Rolex
sunglasses = Giorgio Armani
perfume = Calvin Klein
make-up = L’Oreal
skin care = Lancome
hand bags = Louis Vuitton
accessories = Prada
music = Prince (Universal, Arista, Paisley Park, NPG, Warner Bros., Columbia)
movies = Something About Mary (Twentieth Century Fox)
games = Final Fantasy VIII (Square Enix)
software = Turbo Tax (Intuit)
Technorati Tags: brand protection online, counterfeiting, eBay lawsuit