What is Amazon Doing [or Not Doing] About Counterfeits?

What do think?  Are counterfeits on Amazon a problem?  Is Amazon doing enough to prevent counterfeits?

Counterfeits are made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterfeit

Daimler say ‘yes’ and no Amazon is not doing enough to prevent counterfeits from being sold on Amazon.  In fact, Daimler has filed a court complaint against Amazon assuring just that.

Daimler argues that Amazon ‘facilitates the sale of an exorbitant number of counterfeit and infringing goods’ through its platform, counterfeit activity which has increased since 2015 when the company began inducing Chinese manufacturers to list on its U.S. and European e-commerce platforms. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/11/15/daimler-trademark-lawsuit-amazon-infringement-counterfeits/id=90101/

To exemplify this point in its complaint, Daimler republished in its compliant the finding of a consumer advocacy organization that sent over 32,000 notice of infringing item to Amazon. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CACD-2-17-cv-07674-1.pdf

Amazon has an anti-counterfeit policy.  It is a rather simple no tolerance policy.  Here it is:

Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy

Customers trust that they can always buy with confidence on Amazon.com. Products offered for sale on Amazon.com must be authentic. The sale of counterfeit products, including any products that have been illegally replicated, reproduced, or manufactured, is strictly prohibited.

We take product authenticity very seriously. It is each seller’s responsibility to source and sell only authentic products. If you sell counterfeit goods, we may immediately suspend or terminate your selling privileges and destroy inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement. In addition, we do not pay sellers until we are confident our customers have received the products they ordered, and if we determine that a seller account has been used to engage in fraud or other illegal activity, remittances and payments may be withheld or forfeited. The sale of counterfeit goods can also lead to legal action by rights holders and civil and criminal penalties.

We are constantly innovating on behalf of our customers and working with manufacturers, content owners, vendors, and sellers to improve the ways we detect and prevent counterfeit products from reaching our marketplace. We work hard on this issue every day because we know that our customers trust that they are buying authentic products when they shop on Amazon.com. This is why we stand behind the products sold on our site with our A-to-z Guarantee. We also encourage anyone who has a product authenticity concern to notify us, and we will investigate it thoroughly and take any appropriate actions.

Amazon has an online complain process for filing a complaint of trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and copyright infringement.  However, Daimler reports that in following Amazon’s online complaint process

Amazon has done little to address these issues, despite having the knowledge, opportunity, and means to do so.

Anecdotally, we concur we have followed the Amazon online process with no result but frustration without proper outcome.

Daimler is asserting claims of:

  • Trademark Infringement under Sections 32, 34, and 35 of the Lanham Act
  • Trademark Dilution under Section 43(c) of the Lanham Act
  • Unfair Competition under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act
  • Common Law Unfair Competition/Trademark Infringement
  • Trademark Infringement under California Trademark Law
  • Violation of California Consumer Protection Act

Daimler is seeking a judgment against Amazon for monetary statutory damages Amazon’s wrongful use of the Marks, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and treble [3 times] damages upon a finding of willfulness in Amazon’s unlawful acts.

Awesome case.  Surely import to all trademark owners of product markers and sellers.  We will keep you posted as this case progresses.

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