Online Sites Awash with Counterfeits Despite Crackdown

The rise of e-commerce become a major challenge in the fight against counterfeited goods. More so, the sophistication of counterfeiting companies makes it harder to distinguish fake products from authentic ones.
The quality of counterfeit products appears to be improving that consumers may have difficulty spotting a fake because the counterfeits appear more original, are nearly the same price as genuine goods, and can be purchased from third-party sellers on reputable online retail websites like the Amazon.com, Walmart.com, eBay.com, among others.
In order to lure people to their sites, counterfeiters are also employing marketing techniques such as paid search results ads and search engine optimization, and they also use images from a brand’s most recent advertising campaign to boost their credibility. Millions of people may have purchased counterfeit products online without ever realizing they bought a fake.
In February 2018, US Federal investigators bought 47 items from third-party sellers on popular consumer websites and 20 of them were counterfeit. The items purchased were Nike Air Jordan shoes, Yeti travel mugs, Urban Decay cosmetics and UL–certified phone chargers. All 13 of the Urban Decay cosmetics, six Yeti travel mugs and one UL-certified phone charger were found to be counterfeit. However, all of the Nike Air Jordan shoes were authentic.
The ungoverned system of internet grants easy access to a huge number of eager and vulnerable consumers. Online shopping shops like eBay specify that counterfeit products are not to be sold through them but that it has not stopped the counterfeiters either. The use of social media to sell products has likewise exacerbated the issue. Indeed, the technology has provided a conduit for fraud.
Experts say that even main legal responses to fraud adopted by regional institutions and countries, as well as search and seizure orders under civil law, cannot combat the problem of counterfeiting effectively and efficiently. As Oliver Smith, intellectual property specialist at Keystone Law, puts it, “The problem with these laws is the time and money it takes to deal with each infringer and the ‘whack a mole’ effect where as soon as you stop one seller they start up again under a different name or other sellers take their place.”
Clearly, proactive measures protecting brands and consumers are required. These can only come from a collaborative effort of IP Right Owners (or brand), marketplaces, regulators, and consumers. The consumers can play a major part by reporting counterfeiting cases. As such, they should be given access to platforms that could help them protect themselves against counterfeit goods. Platforms, such that of ipdel.com, could empower both the consumers and the IP Right Owners to counter fake goods in the market in the most practical, efficient and effective way.