Gucci v. Alibaba: A Balanced Approach to Secondary Liability for E-Commerce Platforms

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Volume 17, Online Edition (Jan 2016)

This Recent Development discusses the future of secondary liability for e-commerce platforms whose users sell counterfeit goods in the wake of the ongoing Gucci v. Alibaba litigation. Should the plaintiffs prevail, e-commerce platforms will be held accountable to cooperate with brand owners by removing infringing listings in a timely fashion and sanctioning users who sell counterfeits in an effective manner, resulting in a more brand-protective environment than that under the current Tiffany v. eBay standard. Such a result will compel e-commerce platforms to share the burden of policing counterfeiters with trademark owners, working together to combat trademark infringement. Not only will this be a more effective means of discouraging appropriation, but it will also reinforce public policy goals and ultimately benefit trademark owners, e-commerce platforms, and consumers.

Esther A. Zuccaro, Gucci v. Alibaba: A Balanced Approach to Secondary Liability for E-Commerce Platforms, 17 N.C.J.L. & Tech. On. 144 (2016), available at http://ncjolt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Zuccaro_Final.pdf.

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