There is a rampant sale of duplicate products of leading foreign brands on online marketplaces. Recently, online retailer Stylemyway.com found itself in a soup when foreign brands came together to sue the company. The court ordered a raid on the etailer’s warehouse at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, where lawyers of companies like Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s and Superdry confiscated the fake products.
Trademark attorney lawyer SK Bansal, who fought the case on behalf of the brands, said of the raid, “It was a joint effort by the brands and by conducting such joint action, companies were sharing the costs associated.”
History repeating itself
In the past, Skullcandy earphones had sued Paytm, and popular sunglasses brand Ray-Ban had enforced a court injunction on Shopclues, preventing the etailer from selling its products. Ray- Ban contented that Shopclues was selling counterfeit Ray-Bans at a discounted rate to hoodwink its buyers.
Likewise, it is extremely difficult to promise authenticity while selling products of leading luxury brands, like Nalli silks and Nikon.
Stringent policies to prevent fake products
Leading brands like Flipkart and Amazon have very strict policies in place regarding selling only authentic products. They take strict action against sellers, including delisting and black marking repeat offenders. However, these measures appear to be insufficient, as cases of counterfeits keep popping up.
Amit Bagara, assistant VP of Paytm said, “We have a very stringent policy when it comes to sellers who are found selling counterfeits. The action includes immediate delisting of the seller from the marketplace and levy of a penalty of up to even ten times the value of the product.” Bagara was referring to the Skullcandy incident.
Marketplaces and sellers have equal responsibility to avoid the circulation of fake brands. Marketplaces should undertake periodic checks to ensure that undesirable situations are avoided.