Amazon Files 2 Lawsuits Against Alleged Counterfeiters

TechnologyNov 18, 2016

Amazon Files 2 Lawsuits Against Alleged Counterfeiters

The e-commerce giant has filed suit over a product called the Forearm Forklift and another over exercise equipment.

Seattle--Just as the all-important holiday shopping season kicks off, Amazon has filed two lawsuits against vendors allegedly selling counterfeit goods on its marketplace.

One lawsuit has been filed against two companies, ToysNet and Disk Vision, and a number of individuals for allegedly selling reproductions of a product called the Forearm Forklift, a fabric strap that makes it easier to move heavy items.

Amazon said in the lawsuit that its fraud detection system found that the products were inauthentic and suspended the defendants and their listings, but that ToysNet furthered the fraudulent scheme by providing forged invoices to Amazon to show the items were real.

In the second lawsuit, Amazon partnered with Fitness Anywhere, the company that developed the TRX Suspension Trainers exercise system, to file suit against a number of individuals, alleging they have sold copies of the TRX on Amazon while claiming they were genuine.

Both lawsuits were filed Monday in the state of Washington, where Amazon is headquartered.

Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuits. ToysNet and Disk Vision couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.

Fortune reported, and National Jeweler confirmed, that this is the first time in Amazon’s history that it’s suing merchants for counterfeit goods.

The company has been under fire recently for the increasing amount of counterfeit goods that are being sold on its Marketplace. CNBC ran a feature this past summer about Amazon’s Marketplace being increasingly flooded with fake goods.

Apple has even said it believes as many as 90 percent of the chargers on Amazon listed as “genuine” are counterfeit. The company brought a lawsuit of its own against Mobile Star in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last month for selling fake chargers on the site.

In response to concerns, Amazon has started requiring third-party sellers to pay a one-time, nonrefundable fee of up to $1,500 per brand. And, now, it has filed lawsuits, right as the all-important holiday shopping season begins.

Amazon isn’t the only e-commerce company with a marketplace site to come under fire for counterfeit goods; Alibaba also has been scrutinized for having sellers who allegedly hawk fake goods.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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