Are e-Commerce Sites Protecting Innovators & IP Owners?
Mark Lopreiato, the inventor of the Forearm Forklift, recorded sales of $4 million in 2008 but since then has seen a 30% drop, which he attributes to cheap replicas available on eBay and Amazon. In point of fact, there have been a number of examples of innovative companies suffering from the sale of replicas on Amazon and other e-commerce sites. In extreme cases, global brands like Birkenstock have stopped business with Amazon and other e-commerce retailers altogether. Sustained pressure on e-commerce sites from both professional and governmental bodies have yielded some results in recent years, with almost every major site now offering some level of IP protection tool or process. This also serves the interest of bigger sites as Amazon, eBay and their Chinese counterpart Alibaba are shielded from legal liability, provided they can offer a timely takedown service for IP owners.