Amazon sues third-party Sellers for fake goods
Amazon has joined forces with leading fashion label Salvatore Ferragamo to sue four third-party Sellers that were offering counterfeit goods on the site.
It is the latest move by Amazon to clamp down on the practise, and goes beyond the suspension and termination of accounts and into the courts.
The lawsuits, which have been filed in US District Court for the Western District of Washington accuse four sellers and three businesses of using Amazon to sell fake belts that featured Ferragamo’s branding and design elements. The Sellers have been publicly named in the lawsuits - Zhao Hao Jun of China; Zhang Lianfa of China; Li Yong; and Wu Pianpian.
In many cases, the listing pages for the counterfeit products left out “any mention of the Ferragamo word mark in the product descriptions”, the lawsuits allege, which is an attempt to avoid Amazon’s automated systems.
Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey says this should act as the latest clear warning of how serious Amazon is taking the practise of selling fake and counterfeited goods.
Gedey said: “The third-party marketplace now accounts for more than half of Amazon’s e-commerce sales and has been a major part in the constant rising sales figures. But they are fully aware that fake and counterfeit goods will undermine that, which is why they are taking this issue so seriously.
“Already they are investing significant sums into ensuring goods are safe and compliant, including the launch of their Counterfeit Crimes Unit in June. That includes former federal prosecutors, investigators and data analysts, underlining just how much importance they are giving to this.
“Having also launch a dedicated luxury section to the site in September, their protection of leading brands has become crucial. If fake goods become common, those brands will quickly turn away from the site.
“In moving into the courts again this month, Amazon have illustrated the extent to which they will go to clamp down on the practise, which should sound a clear deterrent to anyone even considering it. For the cases in question, Amazon and Ferragamo both purchased the fake goods themselves to establish exactly what the situation was.
“What’s more, it appears that some of the defendants took extensive steps to hide their identities and locations through the use of fake names and contact details, yet still have been caught. They have tried a series of so-called tricks to avoid detection, including using unregistered businesses. Yet still they are now facing a law suit for unspecified damages, as well as possible injunctions that will bar them from selling on Amazon again.
“At Thompson and Holt we could not stress strongly enough that you should have nothing to do with any kind of counterfeit goods on Amazon. As we’re clearly seeing, the net is closing in on those people and the consequences could be significant.”
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