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E-commerce increasing risks of counterfeiting

by | Jun 7, 2021 | intellectual property & trade secrets

Business owners know the importance of monitoring the presence of their brand – and their trademarks – online. It is a critical issue we have covered before in previous blog posts.

Monitoring trademarks and brands may have become easier with the help of technology and social media, but it also became more essential. Many businesses take advantage of social media and the e-commerce market, but they must also be prepared to manage the risks. One of these risks includes counterfeit products.


Most counterfeit products target luxury goods, such as clothing brands, but many types of businesses could be a target. Counterfeit products pose serious threats, including:

  1. Loss of sales and profits
  2. Customer confusion
  3. Damage to the brand

Additionally, the risk of counterfeiting is increasing. This is due in part to the e-commerce boom. Online markets are useful for businesses and convenient for consumers, but it is also easier for parties to sell forged products.

Business owners can take legal action against counterfeiters. As long as they have the evidence necessary to prove infringement, they can pursue a claim to protect their business and mitigate the damages they face. In these situations, it is often beneficial to seek guidance from an experienced business and intellectual property attorney.


To counter this threat, many companies are teaming up. Most recently, fashion giant Gucci and social media giant Facebook filed a lawsuit in California against a counterfeiter. The individual used Facebook and Instagram to sell fake Gucci products. Combining forces could allow the businesses to stop the current counterfeiting, but it could also set a precedent to prevent it in the future.

Even so, companies should be mindful of these risks when they do business online. They should also make sure they monitor their trademark carefully. Whether they outsource this service or have a team in-house dedicated to tracking trademark use, this is a critical step to minimize the risks.