Shop Safe Act 2020 cracks down on counterfeits on ecommerce platforms

A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled legislation Monday that would maintain e-commerce organizations like Amazon or eBay liable for counterfeit goods bought on their platforms as U.S companies battle to beat the sale of bogus merchandise on the web. 

The Shop Risk-free Act of 2020, co-sponsored by 4 Residence members, outlines a sequence of measures that e-commerce platforms will have to just take to stop the sale of knockoffs by 3rd-bash sellers on their platforms. E-commerce businesses that fall short to consider these steps can be held liable for the sale of counterfeits, a go that would change burden onto the world wide web marketplaces, according to a textual content of the bill obtained by CNBC.

“Purchaser lives are at threat due to the fact of risky counterfeit merchandise that are flooding the on the net market,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) stated in a statement. “Congress will have to develop accountability to prevent these dangerous items from infiltrating the houses of hundreds of thousands of People.”

The increase of e-commerce has contributed to a growth in shipments of counterfeit goods offered on the web. Phony products accounted for 3.3% of world wide trade in 2016, in accordance to the OECD. The Section of Homeland Safety (DHS) reported seizures of counterfeit goods at U.S. borders have elevated 10-fold about the past two many years.

In January, the DHS unveiled a report stating e-commerce companies will need to do more to fight pretend goods on their sites in get to shield American buyers and enterprises.

“Counterfeiters have followed people, and it is very clear a lot more ought to be finished to beat the increasing pattern in on the internet product sales of counterfeit solutions,” reported Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) in a assertion.

Court docket selections have formerly found e-commerce providers like Amazon are not liable for counterfeits offered by 3rd-events on their platforms. In Amazon’s situation, a lot more than 50 percent of gross goods profits arrive from 3rd bash-sellers.

Josh Gerben, a trademark law firm, said this invoice would keep e-commerce companies far more accountable for the merchandise bought on their web-sites.

“Rather frankly it is about time that Congress did anything about it since the on-line marketplaces that exist now have not put buyer basic safety 1st,” he instructed CNBC.

The Property Energy and Commerce Committee is established to maintain a hearing Wednesday early morning about the sale of counterfeit solutions on the web. Witnesses include executives from Amazon, eBay and Apple.

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