Etsy, an e-commerce site focused on handmade and vintage goods, caught my eye recently as an increasingly worrisome culprit in the world of trademark infringing and counterfeit goods. It seems LVMH brands are being hit the hardest. Case in point: Celine's namesake t-shirts, "Givenchy" iPhone cases, shark t-shirts, and a highly suspect "Givenchy Nightingale" bag for $600. The popularity of these goods has spawned counterfeits and/or trademark infringements passed off as parodies alike. A quick Google search for a Celine tee leads you to many "Celine" t-shirts on Etsy (see one below), which sell for anywhere from $15 to $50. While no one in their right mind could possibly be confused about the authenticity of such wares (due to the price point difference alone), what about down the road? What about post-sale confusion?
Due to the sheer volume of goods on the site (many of which are not infringing), it is likely time consuming and expensive for Etsy employees to monitor and remove counterfeits. However, it looks like we may have the new eBay on our hands with the sheer number of counterfeit and infringing goods available for sale on the site. This is a dangerous position for Etsy to be in, especially because the company very likely has far more resources than its sellers if these design houses decide to bring suit.