Liability of Internet intermediaries for the sale of counterfeit products in Peru

Mercadodepulgas.com is a successful Spanish start-up that runs an online platform where users can buy and sell second-hand products. Sofas, bikes, electronic devices and the like are exchanged in the platform. The website and app have become very popular due to the ease of its use and its effectiveness in allowing users to get in touch.

The start-up has had great success in the Spanish market. Because of this, the company decided to expand its business to Peru. To this end, the company created a new, similar platform for the Peruvian market, with a slight adaptation of the language used in the website.

Mercadodepulgas did not have to wait long to find out that while Peruvian users also sell bikes and sofas, the platform is also used to offer pirated or counterfeit products. This was something the start-up was not prepared for, since Spanish users only used the platform to exchange old items they had at home and that did not want anymore. The partners of the start-up started to doubt the viability of the expansion: what would happen if IP owners decided to sue the start-up for the sale of counterfeited products carried out by their users on the company’s platforms? Could the start-up be held responsible for such activities?

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