The lawsuit takes aim at companies that pay Amazon customers to write and post reviews.
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Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and representatives from Tre Milano could not be reached Friday afternoon. Tre Milano can appeal the decision to the California Supreme Court, Goldman says.
He says one interesting part of the case involves the volume of notices sent by Tre Milano to Amazon—a point that marketplace operators may want to note. “It's unusual to see a situation where an online intermediary doesn't respond to takedown notices and yet still wins in court. Usually, if a web site ignores a takedown notice, the judges are not very sympathetic,” he says. “For marketplace operators [selling third-party goods], this case reinforces that it's OK to stand up to overreaching policing requests by brand owners—when the requests are, in fact, overreaching.”
Manufacturers and brand owners will continue to monitor web marketplaces, Goldman says, but he doubts many will go to court over counterfeits. “The war against counterfeit online sales is ramping up, but I don't think it's likely that many brand owners will choose to sue the online marketplaces as part of that war,” he says. “Instead, the brand owners will continue to send lots of takedown notices and try to get the marketplaces to voluntarily do more policing work for them.”