eBay EU petition annoys the living daylights out of brand owners
Recently, the EU has been considering a ruling that will allow brand owners to prohibit sales of their products on eBay. The question that has been raised is: are such sales in a global economy a threat to 21st century commerce, or is it simply a protection of trademarks?
If the EU rules in favor of the brands, they will be able to make a rule prohibiting their sale on eBay including brand new with tag (BNWT) items as well as second hand goods.
The root question that has been "answered" with numerous statistics on both sides is whether eBay is a worldwide marketplace for counterfeit goods, as we discussed back in May.
According to brand owners whose products have been widely counterfeited, the answer is yes, and the only way to stop counterfeit goods from making their way onto eBay is to prohibit sales of their brands on the auction site altogether.
eBay believes that they have a handle on counterfeiters under their Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program and that such a ruling would throw the baby out with the bathwater and infringe on individuals' rights to engage in free trade using their selling platform.
They are circulating a petition against the possible EU ruling in brand owners' favour, and to amend the EU Vertical Restraints Regulation (2790/1999). So go sign it if you think disallowing brands on eBay is an infringement on free trade, before getting back to unknowingly buying more fakes on eBay. On the other hand, if you think it is the only way to protect brand owners against sales of counterfeits, let us know.