Magazine article Risk Management

Counter-Fights on Counterfeits

Magazine article Risk Management

Counter-Fights on Counterfeits

Article excerpt

eBay is under attack. Last September the online auctioneer was hit with a lawsuit by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), asking over $50 million in damages for counterfeit goods sold through the site. LVMH alleges that eBay does not do enough to restrict the sale of counterfeit goods on its site. LVMH conducted research, wherein they funded the purchase of goods sold under its label through eBay, and found that 90% of the items branded as LVMH products are actually fakes.

The suit is centered on the issue of responsibility; who should actually be policing the website and making sure counterfeit goods are not being traded? LVMH maintains that this job needs to be part of eBay's repertoire, while eBay feels differently. "This is nothing more than an attempt by these companies to skirt their own responsibilities to police their brands," says eBay's spokesperson Hani Durzi. "What we do is already above and beyond what we're required by law."

Durzi refers to eBay's creation and use of the VeRO program, in which copyright and trademark owners can report listings that infringe on their rights. Any person or company who holds intellectual property rights (such as a copyright, trademark or patent) that may be infringed by listings or items sold on eBay is encouraged to participate in the program. …

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