As part of the key initiatives included in the Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance, launched last year, Mercado Libre and one of its founding members, Tommy Hilfiger, jointly initiated actions to fight online trading of counterfeit and pirated products.
Carried out in Brazil with the support of local authorities, the operation culminated in the seizure of counterfeit products that will support ongoing investigations.
Brazil, August 2022 - To consolidate a reliable and counterfeit-free e-commerce, Mercado Libre has filed a first joint action against counterfeiters in Latin America. Together with Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., they launched an ongoing legal action before the 2nd Police Precinct of the Cyber Crimes Division (DCCIBER), in São Paulo (Brazil). Through this action, counterfeit products of the aforementioned brand were seized, leading to an investigation of 14 individuals allegedly involved in the selling of counterfeit products. This action is the result of teamwork involving the brand, the platform, and local authorities.
The legal action was carried out within the framework of the Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance, launched by Mercado Libre on November 30, 2021, with the aim of implementing a joint effort in the fight against online marketing of counterfeit and pirated products in Latin America. Currently, 11 brands are part of this 100% collaborative initiative, including Tommy Hilfiger, which has been part of the alliance since its inception.
Mercado Libre's Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance brings a new approach to Latin America: joint public-private efforts to combat the online supply and sale of counterfeit and pirated products. Key initiatives include: proactive removal of allegedly infringing listings based on semantic algorithms and logo detection to reinforce the activity of brands that submit reports through the platform's brand protection program; closer collaboration with public authorities and law enforcement agencies; joint actions against infringers who use the platform to offer counterfeit or pirated products; and guidance on best practices for users of the platform, allowing them to sell without infringing on third-party intellectual property rights and to purchase by making informed decisions.
“The Alliance is an unprecedented initiative in the region. With it, we underscore our commitment to combating the sale of counterfeit and pirated products, raising awareness about this problem in the digital ecosystem. This is possible thanks to the joint efforts of different stakeholders who want trustworthy e-commerce in Latin America,” explains Jacobo Cohen Imach, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the Legal Department and Government Relations at Mercado Libre. The brands that participate in Mercado Libre's Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance are also members of the Brand Protection Program (BPP), an initiative that for more than 20 years has made it possible for IP owners to report infringements of intellectual property rights on the platform, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs and utility models, and more recently, related rights.
The investigated users were reported for offering counterfeit products that infringed on both Tommy Hilfiger's trademarks and Mercado Libre's 'Terms and Conditions’. Mercado Libre shut down seller’s accounts involved in the criminal actions. The ongoing investigations are being conducted by Brazilian authorities, who are investigating three different groups that operate in the cities of São Paulo and Mogi das Cruzes.
“In this operation, 14 suspicious sellers were reported by the Tommy Hilfiger through Mercado Libre’s BPP for offering fake clothing. In addition to the good practices that we have adopted to identify and exclude this type of products and sellers, which contributes to keeping our marketplace safe, the alliance and the brand itself allowed us to go further and collaborate with the investigations of three groups suspected of being involved in the selling of counterfeit goods”, explained Igor Donato de Araujo, Brand Protection manager at Mercado Libre in Brazil.
As part of the evolution of Mercado Libre's brand protection initiatives in recent years, the Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance stems from lessons learned and own and shared experiences. The legal action jointly filed with Tommy Hilfiger as part of this initiative is an example of the importance of collaborative work and the creation of new forms of cooperation in the region. “This alliance combines the knowledge and experience of intellectual property rights holders from numerous industries with the efforts and technology of Mercado Libre to advance with one clear objective: to combat the trade of this sort of product in order to secure a reliable space and the best online shopping experience, which contributes to building a better society.” Jacobo concludes.
About Mercado Libre
Founded in 1999, Mercado Libre is a leader in e-commerce technology in Latin America. Through its platforms—Mercado Libre, Mercado Pago, and Mercado Envios—the company offers solutions for individuals and companies to buy, sell, advertise, send, and pay for goods and services online. Mercado Libre provides services to millions of users and creates an online marketplace to easily, securely and efficiently trade a wide variety of goods and services. The website is among the 50 most visited in the world in terms of page views and is the consumer platform with the highest number of unique visitors in the most important countries where it operates, according to metrics provided by comScore Networks. The Company has traded its shares on Nasdaq (NASDAQ: MELI) since its IPO in 2007.
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