Homework – Week 1
Pirates of Globalization
1. Companies and governments can use copyrights, Patents, Trademarks to ensure that products cannot be easily pirated.
2. I do think there are more steps that could be taken to alleviate the abuse of intellectual-property rights a bit. It would make sense that international companies are afraid to speak out because it is hard to say what could become of it and what doors may be closed as a result.
3. I think the internet might affect intellectual-property laws in that it must be decided who will be held liable should infringement occur, and simply because the internet makes it easier for pirates to sell counterfeit items.
4. The Tiffany vs. eBay case established that trademark owners re responsible for policing for counterfeit items when their products are sold in an online marketplace. Tiffany conducted studies finding that a large percentage of ‘Tiffany’ items sold on eBay were counterfeit. In an attempt to stop this, Tiffany made several demands to eBay. One of which, eBay refused, resulting in Tiffany filing a lawsuit. Tiffany argued that eBay was responsible for contributory infringement, false advertising and trademark dilution. eBay won on all counts, arguing that eBay did not have specific knowledge of counterfeit items being sold, that there was nothing actually false about the items being sold, and that eBay was not liable because they did not try to confuse Tiffany’s trademark with its own. The implications of this case could have greatly decreased eBays sales and hit small businesses very hard. If the burden of policing for counterfeits were to fall on the online intermediaries, a lot of business would be lost.
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