Counterfeits and infringements online – a global overview of liability

Most of the growth of the $1 trillion-plus in annual global sales of counterfeit goods is the result of counterfeiters’ and intermediaries’ use of the Internet to extend their reach to consumers all over the world. In addition to traditional counterfeiting, there has been an explosion in trademark infringement which does not rise to the level of counterfeiting (eg, use of a similar mark or use of an identical mark on different goods). Further, registration and use of fraudulent domain names and websites and use of online auctions to distribute stolen and misdirected merchandise can cause other headaches for brand owners.

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