Online Brand Piracy – is the shop legit?

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The most common form of counterfeiting in national and international trade is brand piracy. This sub-category is limited to the imitation of trademarks. It is a billion dollar business for organized crime and business is booming. Especially as the internet has low administrative cost, is a quick, cheap and offers a worldwide reach without much risk to forgers. This doesnt just mean revenue losses for producers, but also a damage to their image, as the brand is used to distinguis their products and services. It embodies the image a company has build over years through costly investments and marketing.

In Germany the trademark rights are only violated if used commercially. This means that everyone can buy and own a few counterfeit products (e.g. sunglasses), without the risk of prosecution. Using the brand commercially only applies if the brand is used economical gain. In case of online shops, this is always the case.

The rightsholder have the following options:

Right of omission, compensation, disclosure of information, desctruction of all counterfeit products and legal prosecution

Product- and Brand Pircay are no trivial offence. It does not only destroy the good standing of a brand, but also destroys jobs, as the economical damage of a manufacturer can be up to 10% of revenue.

A positive development is that the demand for conterfeit products has decreased over the past few years. A negative development ist he fact that criminals have therefore started to be more professional. Many consumers cannot distinguish if a shop is selling real or fake products. Therefore, one of the biggest concerns of online shoppers is: Is this shop really genuine?