An article by Keith Slenkovich, published by Law360, discusses steps that brand owners should take to protect their companies and products from meaningful harm caused by unauthorized resale activity.
The internet has become a dominant marketplace for consumer products and services. Historically, high capital costs of warehouse and storefront facilities tended to discourage unauthorized resellers from becoming a significant factor in the market. Now, with little upfront capital, online resellers have direct access to consumers through online marketplaces established by companies such as Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Newegg Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and/or through the resellers' own websites. While the resulting explosion of internet sales has generally benefited most brand owners, it has created an increased potential for intellectual property violations by unauthorized resellers seeking to profit from product sales without paying for intellectual property associated with those products. Read the full article