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Amy Goldsmith Quoted in Forbes on Counterfeit Goods in the Online Marketplace

May 15, 2019

Intellectual Property co-chair Amy Goldsmith is quoted in the Forbes article, “Counterfeits - Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Instagram and Others Duping Consumers and Damaging Innovation.” The article discusses counterfeits and knockoffs in the online e-commerce marketplace and how setting up online storefronts on Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Instagram, among others, gives counterfeiters access to millions of consumers. In turn, legitimate product vendors are finding it difficult to protect their IP rights and police against potential infringements by millions of online storefronts.

Amy explains, “It’s essential for business owners who are being damaged by counterfeits, infringements or false reviews to be able to notify an e-commerce platform of these facts easily. Today, the complaint reporting process on some of the e-commerce platforms is cumbersome, and not necessarily transparent. Does a human review the complaint or is it the purview of Artificial Intelligence? Most business owners also are unaware that the alleged counterfeiter can file a counter-notice against a DMCA [United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act] takedown request, and the content will go back up unless the owner files a lawsuit in a federal court.”

Further, Amy states that, first and foremost, one needs to acquire the IP rights; next, monitor for infringements/counterfeits and third, submit the takedown notice. She highlights the fact that without registered IP rights (copyright and trademark registrations and issued patents), most e-commerce platforms (Etsy, Instagram, Amazon, etc.) typically don't respond favorably to takedown requests. Even though the U.S. trademark law recognizes trade dress rights, e-commerce platforms most often act on registered rights, not common law rights.

Read the full article.

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