The Rise of On-Line Marketplaces
Online marketplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they now play a significant role in the global economy. Some of the factors that have contributed to the rise of global online marketplaces include:
The growth of e-commerce: The increasing use of the internet for shopping has led to a rise in the number of online marketplaces, as these platforms provide a convenient way for buyers and sellers to transact.
The proliferation of mobile devices: The widespread use of smartphones and other mobile devices has made it easier for people to access online marketplaces from anywhere, at any time.
The increasing convenience of online shopping: Online marketplaces offer a wide range of products and services, and make it easy for customers to compare prices and make purchases.
The availability of logistics and fulfillment services: Many online marketplaces offer fulfillment services, which means that they handle the storage, packaging, and delivery of products sold on their platform. This makes it easier for sellers to manage their operations and reach a wider audience.
Overall, the rise of global online marketplaces has been driven by a combination of technological, economic, and societal factors, and they are now an integral part of the global economy.
It is difficult to predict with certainty what economic conditions will be like in 2023, as a variety of factors can impact the economy and consumer behavior. However, it is possible that inflation and recession could have an impact on consumers in 2023, depending on the specific circumstances.
Inflation refers to a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When prices rise, the purchasing power of consumers’ money decreases, which can make it more difficult for them to afford the things they need.
A recession is a period of economic downturn, characterized by declining economic activity, high unemployment, and falling prices (deflation). During a recession, consumers may be more cautious with their spending, as they may be concerned about job security and their financial future.
If inflation and recession were to occur simultaneously, it could put additional pressure on consumers, as they would face rising prices at a time when their incomes and spending power may be declining. In such a scenario, consumers may need to find ways to stretch their budgets and make their money go further, such as by cutting back on non-essential expenses or finding ways to save money on everyday purchases. This is where on-line marketplaces that are off-ramps for cloners can affect your sales.
However, there are a number of tools to combat knock-offs of your products. Read on to find out how you can protect your products
The Temu Marketplace
As inflation and recession worries squeeze American consumers in late 2022, many Americans are turning to Temu, a new mobile app that has Chinese roots. According to Sensor Tower analytics firm, Temu has been downloaded 10.8 million times in less than four months. This makes it the most downloaded app in America in any category between Nov. 1, and Dec. 14, 2022.
While Temu recognizes the Shanghai parent site, it claims that it was founded in Boston and sources products worldwide and that U.S. operations are done through a Delaware-based business. A Singaporean company works with customers outside the U.S.
Temu’s popularity suggests that the business model of selling cheap, made-in China products to Americans has legs despite US concerns over China. The presence of another outlet provides another avenue for knock-off sellers in addition to Amazon. Currently, Amazon provides a path to resolve complaints on knock-offs, but you will need to secure your intellectual property by first securing your patent, trademark, and copyright registrations and then file a complaint with Amazon.
If you believe that a product being sold on Amazon’s marketplace infringes on your patent, you can file a claim of patent infringement with Amazon. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Review Amazon’s policies: Amazon has specific policies in place to deal with patent infringement claims. Make sure you understand these policies before proceeding.
- Gather evidence: To support your claim of patent infringement, you’ll need to provide evidence that the product in question infringes on your patent. This may include documents such as the patent itself, as well as other evidence such as photos or videos of the product in question.
- Submit a claim: You can submit a claim of patent infringement through Amazon’s intellectual property (IP) infringement reporting form. This form can be found on Amazon’s website.
- Amazon reviews the claim: Once you’ve submitted your claim, Amazon will review it to determine whether the product in question does indeed infringe on your patent. This review process can take some time, so be patient.
- Amazon takes action: If Amazon determines that the product in question does infringe on your patent, it may take a variety of actions, such as removing the product from the marketplace or requiring the seller to obtain a license from you to sell the product.
Like Amazon, Temu is not responsible for enforcing patents on its marketplace. Rather, it provides a platform for buyers and sellers to transact, and it is up to the parties involved to ensure that their activities do not infringe on the IP rights of others. However, like Amazon, Temu does have policies in place to deal with IP infringement claims, and it can take action to remove infringing products from its marketplace if necessary.
To address IP concerns, Temu has provided an IP Policy. In its October 17, 2022 version, Temu stated that it protects the following types of Intellectual Property:
(1) Copyright: Original works that are artistic, literary, or intellectually crafted, such music, movies and software, novels, music, and paintings.
(2) Trademark: A registered word, phrase or design that identifies your goods and services.
(3) Patent: A registered design from the US Patent Office.
(4) Right to Publicity: An individual’s name, likeness, or any other identifiable aspects of their persona.
To protect your IP, you’ll need to follow the process outlined in Temu’s IP infringement policies, which may involve gathering evidence to support your claim and submitting it through the appropriate channels. It’s important to note that Temu is not responsible for enforcing patents on its platform, but it may provide tools and resources to help users protect their IP assets and resolve disputes.
If you believe that your intellectual property rights are being violated, you can contact Temu by providing proof of rights, information of right holders and preliminary evidence of infringement by sending it to email@example.com. Any such report must be sworn under the penalty of perjury with proof that the material identified violates valid and subsisting intellectual property rights.
For Copyright Infringement Using Copyright Infringement Notice under DMCA, you can use the DMCA procedures and provide Temu with notice and the following information:
- A person authorized to act for the owner of an exclusive rights that is being allegedly infringed.
- It is important to clearly identify each copyrighted piece that has been claimed to be infringed. Multiple copyrighted work may be covered by a Notice.
- Clear and precise identification of all infringing materials that are to be removed or disabled access, as well as information sufficient to allow Temu to locate each such material.
- We need to have sufficient and clear contact information so we can get in touch with you. a phone number and an email address.
- A declaration that you believe that the use of the material in the way complained of is not permitted by the copyright owner, agent or law.
- You represent that: (i) the notice contains accurate information and (ii), under penalty of perjury you are the copyright owner, or authorized to act for the owner of the exclusive right allegedly infringed.
The Shein Marketplace
Like Temu, Shein, the Chinese apparel giant, has seized the market for bargain-seeking Gen Z shoppers in just a few short years by offering a wide range of affordable apparel every day. Shein has a great appeal due to its low prices, tie-ups with successful online influencers, and constantly changing wardrobe that includes up to 6,000 items per day.
The company’s rise has been accompanied by a rising number of lawsuits alleging it is profiting off from boutique designers and big brands’ designs. Shein and its Hong Kong-based parent company Zoetop Business Co. have been named as defendants in at least 50 U.S. federal lawsuits alleging trademark or copyright violation according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Court records reveal that plaintiffs include small-time designers who work out of their home studios, to large retail companies like Ralph Lauren Corporation and Oakley Inc. Independent designers often complain to their fans on social media and share stories about products or designs that Shein has made available for sale.
Shein also as an IP Policy, but since Shein focuses on clothing, patents are not addressed in the Shein IP Policy. Rather, in the Shein Copyright Notice, Shein states that if you believe that a product being sold on Shein’s marketplace infringes on your trademark or copyright, you can file a claim of trademark or copyright infringement with Shein. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Review Shein’s policies: Shein has specific policies in place to deal with intellectual property (IP) infringement claims. Make sure you understand these policies before proceeding.
- Gather evidence: To support your claim of trademark or copyright infringement, you’ll need to provide evidence that the product in question infringes on your IP rights. This may include documents such as your trademark or copyright registration, as well as other evidence such as photos or videos of the product in question.
- Submit a claim: You can submit a claim of trademark or copyright infringement through Shein’s IP infringement reporting form. This form can be found on Shein’s website.
Shein then reviews the claim: Once you’ve submitted your claim, Shein will review it to determine whether the product in question does indeed infringe on your IP rights. And if Shein determines that the product in question does infringe on your IP rights, it may take a variety of actions, such as removing the product from the marketplace or requiring the seller to obtain a license from you to sell the product.
Similar to Temu, Shein states that it is not responsible for enforcing IP rights on its marketplace. Rather, it provides a platform for buyers and sellers to transact, and it is up to the parties involved to ensure that their activities do not infringe on the IP rights of others. However, Shein does have policies in place to deal with IP infringement claims, and it can take action to remove infringing products from its marketplace if necessary.
If you are unable to resolve the issue through these on-line marketplaces’ IP infringement policies, you may need to consider other options, such as seeking legal remedies or filing a claim with the appropriate regulatory or government agency. It’s always a good idea to seek legal advice if you believe your IP rights have been infringed, as the process for enforcing patents can be complex and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.