On April 24, 2020, Marci Ballard was quoted in Bloomberg Law on combating counterfeits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to catch consumers at their least cautious has created a huge window of opportunity for savvy counterfeiters as shutdowns halt swaths of the economy and limit enforcement avenues.
According to the article, a March 18 order by an Illinois judge dressing down an art agency for twice seeking a quick injunction hearing to halt knockoffs of unicorn-decorated phone cases got wide attention among trademark attorneys. He declared that “the world is facing a real emergency. The plaintiff is not.”
The tone of the order glossed over the fact that stopping fakes often is an emergency for brand owners, Ballard said. “It’s easy for a judge to make fun of a product,” Ballard said. “If you have a business and that’s your product, you’re suffering—whatever the product is.”
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