eBay, PayPal Face Class Action over Counterfeit Goods

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Los Angeles, CA: Claims of consumer fraud have been filed against eBay® and PayPal® and various eBay Sellers in Federal Court under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Lanham Act claiming the defendants knowingly and deliberately facilitate, proliferate and profit from the ongoing sale of counterfeit and fake products on ebay.com.

A two-year investigation by The Counterfeit Report®, a consumer anti-counterfeiting advocate, provided investigative detail and insight into eBay' ecosystem to advertise, list, manipulate, sell, finance, ship and encourage the sale counterfeit and fake products, attorneys for the plaintiffs stated. Most importantly, eBay' response to The Counterfeit Report® investigation confirms that eBay is "willfully blind"to the rampant trafficking in counterfeit and fake products on ebay.com". The lawsuit asserts that because eBay and PayPal cannot continue to enjoy the enormous profits derived from the proliferation of counterfeit and fake products sold on the eBay website if the intentional infringing sellers are excluded, eBay' policies and practices are designed to, among other things, (i) promote the unlawful activities of its unauthorized sellers by soliciting eBay buyers to purchase fake products knowingly using listings that infringe on registered trademarks, (ii) conceal and protect the identity of the sellers who are responsible for intentional trademark infringement on the eBay website, and (iii) ignore evidence of the unlawful activities by its unauthorized sellers.

According to the Complaint, to avoid liability, eBay' policies and practices are designed to manufacture the false optic that it does not know or suspect the rampant and on-going advertising on ebay.com of fake products that infringe on the trademarks' of legitimate rights holders, such as Plaintiff.

According to the complaint, "Plaintiffs are informed and believe that even more shocking is that consumers actually receive email notifications and eBay webpage from eBay encouraging the purchase of known counterfeit and fake products. When confronted on the counterfeit purchases, eBay directs consumers to mail counterfeits back to the seller as a mandatory condition for a refund. Returned counterfeits are easily recycled, re-listed and re-sold to unsuspecting consumers, and the buyer loses their only evidence of receiving a counterfeit."

The fundamental goal of the lawsuit is to bring attention and monetary consequence to eBay to divest itself of any interest or activity, direct or indirect in the distribution of counterfeit or potentially counterfeit products.

Plaintiffs are represented by the R. Rex Parris Law Firm.



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Reader Comments

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Guest Question
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How would eBay monitor and verify whether products are real or fake? Especially if listed by individuals or small biz vendors.

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