Modified SHOP SAFE Act Introduced to Combat Anticounterfeiting
On September 28, 2023, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-Commerce (SHOP SAFE) Act. This bill is being introduced in modified form for the third time—it was introduced first in 2020, and again in 2021.
The bill, if passed, would: (1) modify the Trademark Act of 1946 to establish contributory liability for e-commerce platforms when a third party lists counterfeit goods; (2) require brand owners to provide platforms with advance notice of their trademarks so that they can proactively prevent sales; and (3) provide safe harbor for platforms that vet sellers to ensure legitimate and proactively take down counterfeit listings.
The SHOP SAFE Act would transform the current landscape of contributory liability claims against e-commerce platforms, and would undermine the landmark case Tiffany v. eBay, which established that, under certain circumstances, online marketplaces cannot be held liable for third-party listings offering counterfeit goods.
Gibney will continue to monitor developments. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.