Combating Trademark Infringement Online: Secondary Liability v. Partnering Facility

Lev-Aretz, Yafit

Although trademark infringement is not a recent phenomenon, it was not until the inception and explosive growth of the Internet marketplace that brand owners had to face new, titanic and virtually inexorable infringement challenges. Trademark infringement online takes place in various forms—from cybersquatting and typosquatting that capitalizes on the goodwill surrounding an existing trademark to the rampant sale of counterfeit goods in online stores and auction houses. Trademark holders filed 2884 cybersquatting cases in 2012, covering 5084 domain names, with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)— an increase of 4.5% more than cases filed in the previous year. The sale of counterfeit goods online is constantly rising, and the value of those goods is expected to top $1.7 trillion by 2015. The lack of a physical sales venue, the anonymizing blanket offered to counterfeiters online, the increased international supply chains and the production of goods in countries with poor intellectual property protection, together with the low-cost communication and worldwide reach of the Internet, have made counterfeiting a thriving undertaking and put trademark owners’ businesses and reputations at risk.


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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July 24, 2015