Monday, 6 September 2010

eBay Counterfeiting Conviction... Too Soft? 6/9/10

We have been very vocal about our objection to counterfeiting lately, here at the MO Down. This week, a Paris court has drastically reduced damages demanded from eBay, following a suit from LVMH for selling fake goods. The original conviction of €38m ($53.4m AUD) was reduced to €5.7m (approx $8m AUD), and we aren't really sure what to make of this. Both sides have claimed victory. Excuse us?

The real issue here cannot be expressed in dollars or euro. eBay have had its wrist slapped, and LVMH is pleased to have a precedent. But will this stop counterfeit products being sold online in the future? Is it enough? We worry that the crime of counterfeiting is not being taken seriously. Sure, fashion knock-offs might not be a crime priority in the realm of drug trafficking and credit card fraud, but they are a breach of intellectual property in the same league as plagiarism and film piracy. The future of the innovation and investment in quality that these brands represent is contingent on their ability to uphold their high standards. These standards falter in the hands of counterfeiters who peddle mediocre products under their names.

LVMH contended that it was hurt by the sale of fake products on its site. Lost revenue is only the half of it. The real damage is to brand identity. No matter what, there is always someone who argues for fakes, claiming they raise brand awareness. We beg to differ– see Fake Goods Are Fine...Not from last week! Luxury companies spend millions of dollars each year to provide an exclusive service to a specific market. Anything less is directly opposed to the interests of their brand awareness. Fakes are not fine!

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Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,