Hastings Business Law Journal


Ashley Bumatay


This note addresses contributory counterfeiting within online marketplaces. Contributory counterfeiting arises when a party materially contributes to, facilitates, induces, or is otherwise responsible for the direct counterfeiting carried out by a third party. This note argues that online marketplaces should be required to take a more active role in combating counterfeiting through their platforms. This note proceeds in five parts. Part I serves as an introduction to the issue. Part II provides background information regarding trademark counterfeiting and gives an overview of the case law regarding contributory counterfeiting in online marketplaces. Part III looks at the implications of the TradeKey case for brands, online marketplaces, sellers, and consumers. Part IV proposes mechanisms that an online marketplace could enact to police trademark infringement effectively. Part V concludes that TradeKey decision has taken a step in the right direction as online marketplaces should take a more proactive role in policing their own websites.