eBay and designers hold talks over counterfeits

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The Telegraph reports that eBay are holding talks with representatives of some of the UK’s biggest luxury brands next week, in an attempt to find a way to cut down on sales of fake merchandise via the site.

The Walpole Group comprises some of Britain’s best known brands, from designers Jimmy Choo and Thomas Pink, to Wedgwood, Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Discussions are expected to focus on who bears the responsibility for tracking down fakes sold via the internet: a French court recently fined eBay for not doing enough to stop the sales of counterfeit and unauthorised merchandise, whereas an American court absolved eBay from responsiblity for sales of fake Tiffany jewellery.

Frederick Mostert, chair of the Walpole IP and Brand Protection Working Group, said that the way forward lies in the two sides working together. “The answer lies in constructive co-operation. Brand owners and auction sites need to work together and share the responsibility to stop fakes to avoid a restraint on the progress of society. The answer for assessing responsibility lies in the middle – both sides should in equal measure diligently confront the online counterfeit problem together.”

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