EBay, British luxury goods group to talk counterfeit sales

Meeting comes on heels of differing rulings on who bears responsibility for preventing sales of bogus goods

Intellectual property lawyers from eBay and Walpole British Luxury, a group that represents the British luxury goods industry, are meeting Monday in London to discuss ways they can work together to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods online.

The meeting comes after courts in the US and France gave contrasting rulings on the issue of who is responsible for averting the sale of counterfeit goods on Web sites.

"Basically these are exploratory talks because we have two different rulings in two different jurisdictions," said Gavin Davis, a Walpole spokesman in London. "And Walpole just wants to speak to eBay to see what both groups can do going forward."

Davis said the meeting was a first step to discuss ideas that could lead to an agreement between the two parties in collaborating to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods on eBay.

"As part of eBay's ongoing commitment to fighting the global issue of counterfeits and protecting our users when they shop online, we constantly collaborate with brands and rights owners as well as local and global organizations, governmental associations and law enforcement," said eBay spokeswoman Nichola Sharpe in an e-mail. "We feel that collaboration is key and this meeting is just an example of the ongoing relationship building we do."

Last week, federal Judge Richard Sullivan for the Southern District of New York, ruled in favor of eBay in concluding that Tiffany & Co. was responsible for monitoring the eBay Web site for counterfeit Tiffany goods and for bringing those counterfeit goods to eBay's attention.

In 2004, Tiffany sued eBay, claiming that the online auction site didn't do enough to keep counterfeit goods off its Web site. EBay disagreed, saying it already took steps to stop the sale of counterfeit goods through its Verified Rights Owners (VeRO) Program, which provides tools to help companies look for phony goods. Under the program, if a company determines that a user is selling counterfeit merchandise, it notifies eBay, which immediately takes down the auction.

However, in June, the Tribunal de Commerce in Paris fined eBay US$61 million for allowing the sale of Louis Vuitton Malletier and Christian Dior Couture counterfeit goods on its Web site. That decision came on the heels of a similar ruling by a separate French court that ordered eBay to pay US$31,000 to Hermes International for selling fake Hermes handbags.

"The court decisions on both sides of the Atlantic seek to place the full burden of policing online fakes on either the online auctioneers or the trademark owners," said Frederick Mostert, chairman of the Walpole IP & Brand Protection Working Group, in an op-ed piece in the Financial Times last week.

"Policing the World Wide Web for an exponentially growing giant wave of counterfeits is a Herculean burden. Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and other luxury good manufacturers chafe at having to commit unlimited time and resources to police auction sites and their growing number of counterfeit listings."

Mostert said more needs to be done and both sides need to work together to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods online.

"The answer for assessing responsibility lies in the middle - both sides should, in equal measure, diligently confront the online counterfeit problem together," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?