How to stop an online shop from stealing your etsy gift ideas
Etsy retailing and etsy wholesalers are facing a new wave of legal threats from online shop sellers who are using counterfeit products, which can be as simple as a blank label or a poorly executed logo.
A recent ruling by a U.S. district judge in Chicago found that the U.K.-based company had violated several federal anti-trust laws and could face fines of up to $500,000.
The case began with a lawsuit filed in April by a company called the United States Postal Service (USPS) against Etsy, a popular marketplace for online sellers.
The USPS alleged that Etsy’s Marketplace, which sells goods online through an online store, was being used to facilitate online fraud and racketeering.
In June, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion of counterfeit goods, Stephen Verber, said he had received reports of more than 500,000 Etsy sellers using counterfeit labels, trademarks, and designs to illegally promote themselves.
Verber said he believes that the online marketplace had been “directly facilitating the illegal sale of counterfeit products.”
Etsy declined to comment.
An Etsy representative told Politico that Etsy was investigating the allegations and had “completed our investigation and we’re cooperating with the investigation.”
The company is also suing a second online retailer, Imprimis.
The company says Imprimizys website was used to create counterfeit products.
Ebay is the most popular etsy marketplace, with more than 4.2 million listings.
The site has a long history of protecting sellers from online thieves.
Last year, the company took the unusual step of shutting down a popular eBay seller who was using counterfeit goods to promote his store.
“We have received numerous reports that Imprimissys products are being used as marketing tools by counterfeiters,” the company said in a statement at the time.
The Imprimissees website is currently under investigation by the US Secret Service and has been removed from the marketplace.
A third online retailer was also sued by the USPS, but that case was dismissed by a federal judge in October. “
We are committed to maintaining a safe and secure marketplace for sellers and we have taken steps to ensure that sellers do not sell products they cannot legally use to advertise their business.”
A third online retailer was also sued by the USPS, but that case was dismissed by a federal judge in October.
Another etsy seller, Pajamas & Boots, has since shut down its site.
It has not responded to requests for comment.
“The threat of counterfeit product fraud is growing,” Etsy said in an emailed statement to Politico.
“In order to protect Etsy sellers from this type of abuse, Etsy has implemented a number of measures to protect its customers, including, but not limited to, using a software product called Secure ID, which is designed to prevent counterfeiting and fraud, and a number on-site monitoring systems to detect suspicious activity.”
While the USPS investigation is ongoing, Etsy is also under investigation for a similar scheme in Germany.
A German court on Thursday dismissed an application by a small-business owner named Andreas Einheit to sell a variety on-line items for more than $2,000 without having them properly licensed.
Einheits application, filed last week, asked the court to dismiss the case, saying the sale violated German copyright law and “a fundamental rule of commerce” because it was illegal.
German consumer rights group VfL said that while it was disappointed in the court’s decision, it was nonetheless pleased that the court agreed to review the case.
“This decision confirms that there is an urgent need to strengthen anti-fraud rules in the German consumer protection system,” VfB Germany said in the statement.
VfB added that it had contacted the U,S.
Commerce Department, U,K., and U.A.E. on Einheiks request.
According to VfD’s statement, Einhittets lawsuit against the USPS is part of an ongoing legal battle between Etsy and Germany’s largest online retailers.
The European Union launched an investigation into Etsy in March and announced in June that it would investigate Etsy’s handling of counterfeit items.
Follow Ryan Grim on Twitter at @ryangrimey and Gabriella Pina at @Pina_B.