Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the owner of Marilyn’s estate, has won a court order freezing the assets of dozens of virtual storefronts selling counterfeit goods, Bloomberg reports. Personally, I would be happy if this brought to an end the merchandising featuring misattributed quotes, unauthorised photo-manipulations, and violent or pornographic imagery that has proliferated in recent years. However, it does concern me that genuine fan-made products may also be targeted.
“The company said in court documents that it works with marketplaces such as Amazon.com, Alibaba, EBay, Joom and Wish to shut down the sites, but it’s not enough. Court filings lay out an elaborate and often covert operation to identify the counterfeiters, file lawsuits under seal and seek judicial orders before the storefronts knew they were being targeted.
‘If it’s suspected that the defendant is operating offshore and you’re operating in the whac-a-mole territory, you have to get creative,’ said Anthony Dreyer, a trademark lawyer with the Skadden firm in Washington … ‘Within the last year, especially with Covid-19 and more consumers shopping online, counterfeiters have gotten really smart and taken advantage of that,’ said Tiffany Pho, manager of anti-counterfeiting at the International Trademark Association.”