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Mostert and Schwimmer Vol101_no1_a14

Mostert and Schwimmer Vol101_no1_a14

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Published by mschwimmer
mostert schwimmer, notice and takedown for trademarks.
mostert schwimmer, notice and takedown for trademarks.

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Published by: mschwimmer on Apr 05, 2011
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The Law Journal of the International Trademark Association
January–February, 2011 Vol. 101 No. 1
Vol. 101 TMR 249
By Frederick W. Mostert
and Martin B. Schwimmer 
The Problem
Trademark fraud on the Internet is rife. Online customers areexposed to a plethora of deceptive and misleading practices thathave become endemic on the World Wide Web. Intellectualproperty (IP) abuse ranges from sales of hardcore counterfeit goodsdirectly drop-shipped from Chinese factories via sophisticatedwebsites, to tampered goods sold under the false pretense of aproper warranty, to fraudulent advertising scams.
Customers whoput their faith and trust in Internet transactions are being connedand deceived at an exponentially increasing rate in virtually everyjurisdiction of the globe.
Worse yet, customers face increasingchallenges relating to both online identity theft and financial theftat the hands of fraudsters posing as legitimate and trustedcompanies.
Chief Legal Counsel, Richemont, London, Regular Member, InternationalTrademark Association; Past President, International Trademark Association; GuestProfessor, Peking University; Visiting Professor, University College, London; Fellow,London School of Economics; principal author of Famous and Well-Known Marks: AnInternational Analysis.
Partner, Leason Ellis LLP, White Plains, New York, Associate Member,International Trademark Association; publisher of The Trademark Blog; coauthor of Famous and Well-Known Marks: An International Analysis.The authors would like to express their gratitude to the following individuals for theirthoughtful insights: Tom McCarthy, Graeme Dinwoodie, Charles Gielen, Jay Monahan,Sarah Deutsch, Ilanah Simon, Dev Gangjee, Chen Xuemin, Dan Bereskin, Miles Alexander,Christopher Bellamy, Helen Newman, Anne Gundelfinger, Susan Scafidi, Stacey King,Elizabeth May, and Matthew Moore.1. Cartier International AG v. HauteLook, Inc., No. 1:2010cv05845 (S.D.N.Y. filedAug. 3, 2010).2. U.K. Intellectual Property Office, IPO Crime Group,
IP Crime: Annual Report 2009-2010 
, http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipcreport09.pdf; Press Release, Trading Standards Inst.,
DoYou Know the Shock Cost of Fakes?
, http://www.tradingstandards. gov.uk/policy/policy-pressitem.cfm/newsid/248; SpotCounterfeits,
Which Countries Produce the MostCounterfeits?
, http://www.spotcounterfeits.co.uk/which-countries-produce-counterfeits.html.
250 Vol. 101 TMR
Also of serious concern is the ready availability of fakemedicines that are easily sourced over the Internet but that canhave dangerous or potentially deadly ingredients.
 In keeping with the normal cycle of life, the law lags yet againbehind the progress of science and commerce. No clear and certainlegal principles or international rules have been developed tocombat the rapid growth of trademark abuse on the Web. The needfor urgent legal development to maintain pace with the businessworld is even more pronounced in this age of binary code. With thetouch of a button, fake trademark products can be sold on theInternet in the four corners of the world. Moreover, as the Internetis truly global, fragmented attempts made in some localjurisdictions to tackle the problem have met with only a limitedmeasure of success.
In some other areas of IP law, such ascopyright and domain name disputes, quite successful strides havebeen made in developing clear guidelines and remedies with whichto tackle online deception. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act(DMCA)
and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names andNumbers’ (ICANN’s) Uniform Domain Name Dispute ResolutionPolicy (UDRP)
are good examples. Woefully left behind in the frayare measures to combat deceptive trademark abuse online.
Intermediary Liability—Opposing Views
What follows is a clear example of the current uncertainty andlack of consistency on the legal treatment of trademarks andintermediary liability on an international basis. By “intermediaryliability” we mean the liability that Internet middlemen, such asInternet service providers (ISPs) and auction sites,
have inrespect of the content of their users. (By way of clarification, in thisarticle, both counterfeits and trademark infringements areincluded within the ambit of the discussion of intermediary
4 J. Thomas McCarthy, McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition§ 25:10 n.16.50 (4th ed., Thomson Reuters/West 2010). For example, an official of Johnson &Johnson testified before Congress that “the biggest threat to safety is the sale of counterfeitpharmaceutical products from a wide variety of unregulated Internet pharmacies.”4.
Digital Economy Act, 2010, c. 24 (Eng.); Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement(ACTA); Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, S. 3804, 111th Cong. (2010).5. Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 § 202, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) (1998).6. Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (Oct. 24, 1999), discussed
 Part II.C.7. By “auction site” we mean a virtual auction on the Internet, organized and hostedby a third party, where a seller sells a product or service to the person who bids the highestprice, usually within a certain time frame. Auction sites typically make money by charginga small fee for listing a product for sale and/or for advertising hosted on the site.

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