12 December 2018

Counterfeit goods – E-commerce website when not merely an intermediary

Observing that the website guaranteed that ‘all products are 100% genuine’ and that it was not taking precautions to stop sale of counterfeits, while having a separate category for ‘replicas’, Delhi High Court has held that Shopclues.com is not merely an intermediary.

Benefit of Section 79 of the Information Technology Act was hence denied holding that the role of the website was more than that of an intermediary.

The website had claimed that it acts only as an intermediary since grievances raised by users were redirected to the seller, though the logistical services were provided by the website.

The Court further in the case L’oreal vs Brandworld & Anr, was of the view that feature of a separate category window for ‘replicas’ on the website constitutes aiding and abetment in violation of the intellectual property, which is definitely not condonable. It noted that use of the term ‘replica’ denotes copy of the original.

Court decision in the case of Christian Louboutin SAS v. Nakul Bajaj was relied for this purpose.


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