Skechers sues marketplace Flipkart and its sellers

flipcartpackagingCases against e-xcommerce marketplace Flipkart and four sellers on its platform have been filed by US lifestyle and footwear brand Skechers for allegedly selling its counterfeit products, an issue that has grown exponentially after the rise of online marketplaces in India.

In its petition submitted to the Delhi High Court, the company said that with the help of court-appointed local commissioners, Skechers raided seven warehouses in Delhi and Ahmedabad to recover fake merchandise from sellers Retail Net, Tech Connect, Unichem Logistics and Marco Wagon.

So far, it has found more than 15,000 pairs of fake shoes that were to be sold as Skechers. It has yet to raid more warehouses of these vendors to tally the final count; the American retailer said its petition.

A Skechers spokesperson the company will take appropriate action to protect its brand name and safeguard copyright and intellectual property.

"Flipkart is an online marketplace that helps sellers connect with customers across the country," said a company spokesperson. "We only act as an intermediary. We conduct our business with the highest standards of integrity and are fully compliant with all rules of the land. We cannot comment on the current issue as it is sub judice," the person said.

Through its 'Flipkart Assured' model, the company keeps a check on the genuineness of products sold on its platform by more than a lakh sellers and has blacklisted several sellers dealing in counterfeit merchandise. But it seems the problem prevails.

"All ecommerce companies, including Flipkart, need to have a tighter entry and control mechanism for their sellers that will help curb or minimise such issues similar to how it is dealt in developed countries," said Ruchi Sally, director at retail consulting firm Elargir Solutions.

While it is illegal to sell counterfeit and trademark infringing merchandise in the country except official import channels; most marketplaces have been able to skirt liability by claiming that they are not actual sellers but an online mall that facilitates sale of such products.


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