Due to the proliferation of counterfeit goods offered for sale within internet commerce websites, Miller Kaplan Arase LLP (“MKA”) has enhanced its trademark enforcement services that it can offer to its’ clients. MKA has now registered to participate on behalf of IP Rights Owners in eBay’s Verified Rights Owner (“VeRO”) Program. eBay implemented the VeRO program to allow rights owners and/or their representatives to digitally file a trademark infringement claim to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods.
As a representative of rights owners, we monitor seller’s listings worldwide on eBay to determine whether or not goods offered sale, bearing our client’s registered trademark(s), are considered genuine or counterfeit. Based on our intimate knowledge of our client’s products and trademark usage guidelines, we assess the images of the products offered for sale, along with product descriptions, and perform an analysis and comparison of our client’s trademark(s) and the trademark(s) displayed in the eBay seller’s listing. If visible anomalies and non-compliance issues are detected, we report the applicable trademark infringement violation through eBay’s VeRO program. In certain instances, however, we may opt to purchase a product sample for physical inspection prior to filing an infringement claim. It is not unusual for a seller to upload photos of genuine product and then send the buyer a different product, which typically turns out to be counterfeit. We perform our due diligence to ensure infringement claims are reported as accurately as possible.
Alibaba also has a similar counterfeit identification system called AliProtect that allows rights owners to identify potentially counterfeit products being offered for sale on the global wholesale marketplace, Alibaba.com. In addition to covering Alibaba.com, AliProtect also covers the global shopping website AliExpress and China wholesale marketplace 1688.com. Alibaba China-based sites Taobao.com and Tmall.com also offer similar services via TaoProtect. Through TaoProtect, rights owners can file complaints for other intellectual property violations including copyright and patent infringement and trademark violations.
As internet commerce websites have opened up opportunities for patent and trademark rights owners to enforce their property rights by having counterfeit goods removed from these websites, companies possessing such rights should explore registering their property and searching internet commerce websites for counterfeit merchandise. At Miller Kaplan Arase LLP we can help companies take advantage of these measures offered by internet commerce websites to help reduce the sale of counterfeit merchandise.
We highly recommend you confer with your Miller Kaplan advisor to understand your specific situation and how this impacts you.