Google & eBay – is Facebook Next? Failure to Police Counterfeit Sellers
Sites claiming to have “genuine” designer goods, including Christian Louboutin shoes, Louis Vuitton hand bags, and Nike Jordan sneakers create profiles on Facebook to push counterfeit goods. These advertisements on a social networking site are not only annoying, but could potentially cause confusion– it’s easy to think something is legitimate when it uses a high-end brand’s name, logo, and shows up in a search.
If its illegal, WHY is Facebook allowing it?
Although Facebook may not be liable for infringing upon trademarks, they may be obligated to remove such profiles once brand owners complain that their rights have been violated. According to Facebook’s statement of rights and responsibilities, the onus is on the trademark owner to report violators and provides no direct recourse through Facebook for its harmed users: “If you are not the IP owner (or the authorized representative of the owner) you cannot report a suspected infringement to us.”
My advice to Facebook would be to toughen its stance on counterfeits by, at the very least, shutting down accounts displaying obvious advertisements for counterfeit goods and creating a method of reporting fakes when users find them. Additionally, Facebook can improve their efforts by working more closely with brand owners to identify infringers and expel them from the site. Working together will allow Facebook to respond quickly when a brand owner files a complaint over counterfeit goods advertised.
Fashion Law Contributor,