23 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Cooperation needed to combat counterfeits

Brand owners, ecommerce platforms and authorities must work together to achieve significant improvements in anti-counterfeiting, according to Louise Delcroix, head of intellectual property in the Asia Pacific at eBay.

Speaking at the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting, Delcroix said that cooperating on education, detection and enforcement is the only way to see a return on investment when committing to anti-counterfeiting operations.

Delcroix said that eBay is already working towards this to some extent with its education programmes and sponsorships, such as the INTA Unreal campaign, which aims to educate young people about intellectual property.

She said: “IP is not a well known or easy thing to understand when you are not a lawyer. We have a lot of sellers and buyers who are not aware of IP infringement.”

As well as this, Delcroix pointed to eBay’s VeRO notice and takedown programme and its regional frontline contacts for brands as evidence of its continuing pledge to cooperate with rights owners.

“Who is doing the detection? Is it the rights owner? Is it the platform? We’ve had this discussion for many years. Our response to that is 50/50. We definitely need to work together,” she said.

Delcroix admitted that more needed to be done in terms of takedowns, specifically to make the system fairer for both rights owners and sellers on its platforms.

According to Delcroix, eBay is already working towards this end, and is careful to impose proper incremental sanctions on sellers before directly suspending them.

She said, again, this comes down to education, as “some sellers don’t know they are infringing IP”.

Sanctions are imposed to help sellers understand the ramifications of their actions, and above all “to ensure they do not become repeat offenders”.

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