Tag Archives: e-commerce

ASICS’ ONLINE SALES RESTRICTIONS CONFIRMED AS ILLEGAL BY DUESSELDORF HIGHER REGIONAL COURT

On 5 April 2017, the Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the August 2015 decision of the Federal Cartel Office finding that it is anti-competitive and therefore illegal to impose on distributors a general prohibition on the use of online price comparison portals. The Cartel Office had faulted Asics over imposing the following restrictions on its … Continue Reading

ISPs ordered to block websites infringing trademarks and must pay for implementation

On 6 July 2016, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales upheld the validity of injunctions requiring the five leading Internet service providers (“ISPs”) in the UK to block consumer access to websites marketing counterfeit goods and infringing trademarks.  Significantly, the ISPs, as intermediaries for the infringement, were burdened with the costs of implementing … Continue Reading

UK CMA launches Article 101 investigation into fashion markets

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements in UK fashion markets.  Little information has been released, but the case was opened on 24 March 2015 into anticompetitive agreements and concerted practices under Chapter I of the UK Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on … Continue Reading

French Competition Authority adopts broad view on online sales market

On 28 November 2014, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) dismissed an action against Vente-privee.com (“Vente-Privee”), a French “online sales” (or “online private sales”) site, opened following a complaint from competing e-commerce company, BrandAlley, regarding the alleged imposition of abusive exclusivity clauses in its contracts with its suppliers. Vente-privee.com offers products from multiple  brands to a … Continue Reading

ISPs ordered to block websites infringing trademarks

The English High Court ordered recently ordered several internet service providers (ISPs) to block access by their subscribers to certain websites that advertised and sold goods infringing certain registered trademarks. The claimants (owners of a large number of UK-registered trademarks for Cartier, Montblanc, IWC and other luxury brands) sought orders requiring the ISPs to block, … Continue Reading

Blomqvist v. Rolex: EU Court of Justice says a foreign online sale is enough to stop counterfeits at the EU border; No need to show further evidence of ‘targeting’ EU consumers

A fake ‘Rolex’ sold from a website in China is delivered to Denmark  The case began in January 2010 when Danish resident Mr. Blomqvist purchased a ‘Rolex’ watch from a Chinese online shopping site.  The order and payment were made through an English version of the website.  The seller dispatched the watch from Hong Kong.  … Continue Reading

Italian competition watchdog flexes its muscles against RPM and parallel trade

The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) may be ramping up its enforcement activities regarding branded goods distribution.  On November 26, 2013, it announced that it was launching an investigation into sport nutrition company Enervit’s distribution network.  The ICA alleges that certain arrangements between Enervit and its distributors may be anti-competitive, in particular: Resale Price Maintenance (RPM).  … Continue Reading

No general luxury exemption for internet restraints in selective distribution

Brand owners’ policies on internet distribution continue to sit squarely in the sights of competition authorities in the European Union.  Brand owners’ selective distribution policies that in effect prevent authorized retailers from selling via the internet are of particular interest. The French Supreme Court’s hard line approach in its September 2013 Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique ruling … Continue Reading

Germany: No dual pricing between online and off-line dealers

On 28 November 2013, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) announced that Gardena, a German-based manufacturer of gardening tools, had made a commitment to not discriminate between online and off-line dealers in its rebate policy. The FCO opened a case against Gardena after receiving complaints from Gardena’s online dealers alleging that its new rebate system … Continue Reading

Adidas v. Christian Faith Fellowship Church: an object lesson in the pitfalls of aggressive trademark enforcement

A David and Goliath matchup currently before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeals Board shows that aggressive, adversarial trademark enforcement may not always be the best approach. The dispute pits global sportswear powerhouse Adidas AG against the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, a small-town congregation located outside of Chicago, Illinois. Adidas applied in 2009 to … Continue Reading

The Rise of E-Commerce in China: What Does it Mean for Premium Brands?

The CovBrands team in Beijing relies on e-commerce for day-to-day shopping.  With clothes, office supplies, electronics, and even groceries only a click away and often delivered the same day, we almost never need to set foot in a physical store.   And we are not alone.  In China, e-commerce is growing quickly, generating $190 billion in … Continue Reading

European Commission to crack down on e-commerce scams

The European Commission is to crack down on aggressive commercial practices which are discouraging consumers from shopping at online stores in other EU member states. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (the Directive) introduced a standardized set of rules across the EU, including a general prohibition on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices.  Among the Directive’s provisions are … Continue Reading
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