Friday, September 11, 2009

Jane Coleman's Treatise on Secondary Liability for Trademark Infringement

Jane Coleman provides a useful treatise on the increasingly important issues of contributory and vicarious liability for trademark infringement at her new website (here). Apparently good writing runs in the Coleman family. We know that her husband Ron is an amazing writer (witness his Likelihood of Confusion blog here). But enough about Ron, and more about this new website:

This website is dedicated to an examination of the law of secondary liability for trademark infringement – the idea that someone other than a direct infringer can be liable for infringing another's trademark. Secondary liability for trademark infringement is a relatively recent development in the law, and it has evolved entirely in the courts. . . .

Of all the contexts in which secondary liability has been raised, whether contributory or vicarious, the Internet has by far generated the most interest and attention. The advent of Internet commerce has created new problems for the law to address. On the Internet, buying and selling take place among a seemingly infinite number of parties at lightning speed, making it difficult both to police and remediate infringement. These issues came to light in Tiffany v. eBay, where the court observed that "more than six million new listings are posted on eBay daily, and at any given time, some 100 million listings appear on the website."


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