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News article3 November 2020Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

eBay launches a sneaker identification service to fight against counterfeits + UK announces post-Brexit GI protection rules

Good morning everyone. Halloween is now over and we hope you are having a good start into November. For this week’s news:


eBay launches a sneaker identification service to fight against counterfeits

eBay launched an “authentication service” that seeks to ensure that the claims in the item description actually match the item in the photo.  Although the services will start covering shoes with a selling price of $200 and above, it is intended that by early 2021 it will expand to cover all sneakers sold for over $100 on eBay in the US.

In order to do that, eBay has partnered with a third-party company, Sneaker Con, which will be in charge of authenticating the items. When a sale is made, the seller ships the sneakers to an “authentication facility” where they will be inspected, to make sure that they match the listing’s title, description, and images. If they pass the inspection, an eBay tag is attached to them, and they’re sent on to the buyer. The same process applies to returns, to stop sneaky buyers from trying to return fake sneakers to legitimate sellers.


UK announces post-Brexit GI protection rules

Last week, the UK’s government announced a new set of rules and logos to protect British food and drink.

At the end of the transition period, three UK GI logos will come into force. Each of them marks a designation of geographical indication:

  • Protected designation of origin (PDO)
  • Protected geographical indication (PGI)
  • Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)

The UK GI schemes will replace the EU’s schemes on 1 January 2021 and this legislation will cover:

  • The legal framework in England, Scotland and Wales to administer and enforce the GI schemes.
  • Continued protection of existing UK-origin GIs and non-UK GIs agreed through trade agreements.
  • Establish the new UK logo in law and ensure EU GI logos are no longer required on GB products.
  • Simplify the application process.

Registered producers of British food, drink and agricultural GI products that are required to use the logos will have until 1 January 2024 to change the packaging to display the new UK GI logos. 

All UK products currently protected under the EU’s GI schemes will continue to be protected in the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period.


Playboy sues Fashion Nova over the bunny costume

Playboy is suing Fashion Nova over a certain bunny costume. Indeed, the company considers that not only does Fashion Nova sell similar costumes, but it also attempts to confuse and mislead consumers into believing that there is an association between the two companies, and to benefit from such a presumed affiliation. Fashion Nova also advertises some of its costumes using the description “Bunny of the Month” which is considered by Playboy as a clear and unauthorised reference to Playboy’s famous PLAYMATE OF THE MONTH trademark.

The bunny costume has become a staple and an identifier of Playboy, according to the company. Indeed, when consumers see the bunny costume, they link it to a single source, thereby, enabling the costume to serve as an indicator of the source (trademark) of the Playboy brand, which Fashion Nova has infringed. These actions have also tarnished the reputation of Playboy, since, according to said company, the quality of the bunny costumes sold by Fashion Nova leaves much to be desired.

As a consequence of this trademark infringement, Playboy is seeking monetary damages, as well as injunctive relief.


This is all for this week’s news. See you next week!


Publication date
3 November 2020
Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises