Posts Tagged: "e-commerce"

Amazon Brand Protection Report Details Major Anticounterfeiting Investments But Small Businesses Want Stronger Policing Against Knock-Offs

Earlier this month, e-commerce giant Amazon.com issued its latest Brand Protection Report detailing steps taken by the tech titan to reduce the tide of counterfeit products being sold to consumers around the globe. While the report identifies several concrete steps taken by Amazon to prevent knock-offs from being listed for sale, there are plenty of questions that yet remain as to whether Amazon is genuinely committed to eliminating sales of fake branded products that the company has been known to ignore.

OECD/EUIPO Report: China and Hong Kong Account for 75% of Dangerous Counterfeits

A new study on trade in counterfeit goods that pose health, safety and environmental threats has found that China and Hong Kong account for some three-quarters of exports of dangerous counterfeits. It also found that online sales represent 60% of seizures of dangerous products destined for the EU. The 90-page study was published on March 17 and jointly conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It is based on customs seizure data and other enforcement data from 2017 to 2019, as well as interviews with enforcement experts.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: E-Commerce Platforms Have Curbed Infringement, But Counterfeits and Safety Problems Persist

The full Senate Judiciary Committee convened today for a hearing titled, “Cleaning Up Online Marketplaces: Protecting Against Stolen, Counterfeit, and Unsafe Goods,” in which witnesses explained the continuing challenges of policing stolen and counterfeit products in online marketplaces. The panelists included small business owners, internet platform advocates, academics and retail store representatives.

EUIPO Report Reveals More Than 90% of Online Counterfeit Sales are Sent to EU Through Postal Services

On October 25, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issued a study exploring the growing misuse of e-commerce channels for trade in counterfeits. The report provides a quantitative review of both the expansion of Internet commerce as well as a growing number of counterfeit seizures by border officials in recent years. The EUIPO’s report also profiles common aspects of counterfeit supply chains, as well as regulatory frameworks established to reduce the spread of counterfeits online.

IPWatchdog LIVE Panelists Weigh-In on Best Practices for a Global Trademark Presence

On the Monday of IPWatchdog LIVE, a panel of trademark experts discussed “International Trademark Rights: Best Practices for a Trademark Global Presence,” moderated by vice president of law firm strategy for Anaqua, Jayne Durden. The speakers included Mark Leonard, general counsel for the Jelly Belly Candy Company, and Heather Antoine, partner at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and chair of the California Lawyers Association IP Section. Kicking off the discussion, Jayne Durden informed the audience that the value of brands has massively skyrocketed in recent years. For instance, the top ten brands over the last ten years, most of which include tech brands such as Apple, have grown on average four times in value, thus leading to a greater need for trademark protection. In the last quarter alone, said Durden, the filing of trademark applications has increased a whopping 49%.

USPTO Says Trademark Filings are Up More Than 60% Through First Six Months of 2021 Due to E-Commerce Growth

On June 23, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) blog post published a piece authored by Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder discussing a massive surge in trademark application filings at the agency this year. Through June 17, the USPTO had received 63% more trademark applications (211,000 additional filings) when compared to the same period in 2020. Spurred on by the growth of the internet economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge has created a backlog of trademark applications that has extended the wait times for first office actions to an average of 5.2 months and final disposals of applications to an average of 10.5 months.

Stopping Cyber-Fakes: A Guide to the SHOP SAFE Act 2020

Online shopping has become a huge part of our everyday lives. In fact, 15% of all 2020 retail sales are projected to take place online. Unfortunately, despite their convenience, e-commerce retail platforms also provide fertile ground for counterfeiters because shoppers cannot physically examine the products being sold and shoppers often cannot identify the ultimate seller.  Worse yet, online counterfeiting is not limited to fake fashion and luxury goods, but more often involves poor quality or tainted products that endanger the health and safety of the purchaser. Reported incidents of dangerous online counterfeit purchases have included children’s car seats that disintegrate in crashes, engine oils that contain dirt and water, cold medications that are simply sugar pills, and cell phone adapters that can shock or electrocute consumers. Counterfeiting is no longer a sort of comic fakery that only dupes designer bargain hunters. Rather, it has become a real problem for everyday consumers.

Brand Enforcement in the Amazon Age: What You Need to Know About Project Zero

As online marketplaces have been created and subsequently evolved over time, there always seems to be a point where counterfeits and diverted gray-market goods make their way onto those marketplaces. eBay was one of the first e-commerce sites that gave brand owners and trademark owners the ability to review, monitor and take down infringing goods. This program was called VERO (Verified Rights Owner Program). Alibaba and Amazon are now making their own similar efforts to rid their platforms of counterfeit and infringing goods in an effort to keep the big brands interested in selling on their sites.

House Hearing Highlights China, E-Commerce Contributions to Cluttering of U.S. Trademark Register

At a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet this morning, titled Counterfeits and Cluttering: Emerging Threats to the Integrity of the Trademark System and the Impact on American Consumers and Businesses, members of Congress expressed concern over the steep rise in trademark applications by Chinese filers, many of which have been found to be fraudulent. The problem has been exacerbated by poor enforcement on the part of platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart; by the limited authority of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to revoke registrations once issued; and by incentives offered by the Chinese government in the form of subsidies to Chinese applicants for U.S. trademarks, said panelists.

IP and Innovation on Capitol Hill: Week of March 18

This week in Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill is silent due to district work periods for the House of Representatives and state work periods for the Senate. However, the nation’s capital is still very busy with a collection of think tank events related to innovation and technology. A pair of events at New America looks at how technology and social media can stem the tide of extremist ideologies or how advances in DNA testing can help solve cold cases. Cybersecurity challenges at the next Summer Olympic Games are the topic of discussion at the Wilson Center. The Heritage Foundation also hosts a pair of events looking at how the Constitutional Framers viewed property and issues with China-based Huawei’s dominance in 5G. Closing out the week is a Friday event at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation exploring challenges to the U.S. Postal Service in the e-commerce era.

Amazon’s Counterfeit Problem is a Big One—for Shareholders, Brand Owners and Consumers Alike

On February 1, Amazon.com, Inc. filed a Form 10-K annual report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Along with reporting its year-end earnings for the 2018 fiscal year, this particular SEC filing was notable because Amazon officially acknowledged to shareholders that the company’s online sales platforms face the risk of being found liable for fraudulent or unlawful activities of sellers on those platforms. This includes the company’s first-ever concession that Amazon may be unable to prevent sellers trafficking counterfeit and pirated goods. “The law relating to the liability of online service providers is currently unsettled,” Amazon’s Form 10-K filing reads. Along with the specter of counterfeit sales, Amazon noted that its seller programs may render the company unable to stop sellers from collecting payments when buyers never receive products they ordered or when products received by buyers are materially different than the sellers’ description of those products at the point of purchase. While information regarding a corporation’s potential risk of liability is a regular feature of SEC filings, news reports indicate that this is the first time that Amazon used the word “counterfeit” in an annual report.