ARTICLE: GUCCI V. ALIBABA: A BALANCED APPROACH TO SECONDARY LIABILITY FOR E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2016 North Caolina Journal of Law & Technology, Online Edition. All Rights Reserved.
North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Online Edition

ARTICLE: GUCCI V. ALIBABA: A BALANCED APPROACH TO SECONDARY LIABILITY FOR E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

January, 2016

North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Online Edition

17 N.C. J.L. & Tech. On. 144

Author

Esther A. Zuccaro *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

What qualifies an item as "luxury"? The concept of luxury "can be as subjective and elusive as it is obvious." 1 High price, non-essential nature, indulgence, provenance, craftsmanship, exclusivity, and experience can all be indicators of luxury. 2 This allure attracts consumers to pay top dollar for extravagant and often unnecessary items. 3 Indeed, reputation is a critical component of luxury; one that is not easily created. 4

Trademarks are powerful tools for luxury brands, as they denote the "status, quality, and price of the brand's goods." 5 Accordingly, trademarks convey a notion of the brand's reputation, undoubtedly a product of the goodwill and quality of the brand's goods or services. 6 To protect such reputation, luxury brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars to combat counterfeiting. 7 At first glance, counterfeits or knockoffs may resemble luxury goods; however they are often made of poor quality materials, lacking the attention to detail and high standard of craftsmanship for which luxury brands are known. 8 Counterfeiting threatens a brand's very livelihood in that consumers may confuse knockoff products with the genuine articles and conclude that the brand's luxury items are of inferior quality and not worth the high price. 9

The scope of global counterfeiting efforts is vast and often considered the "single greatest threat to brand owners." 10 In 2014, the U.S. Border Patrol confiscated knockoff goods at the border that would have been valued at $ 1.2 billion dollars, had they ...
 
 
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