Amazon and Nite Ize file lawsuit claiming counterfeit sales

Amazon has teamed up with US phone accessory company Nite Ize to file a lawsuit against parties accused of selling counterfeits on its platform.

The suit – which cites 11 individuals and businesses operating in the US, Canada and China – was filed in a Seattle federal court last week and alleges that the defendants manufactured, imported and sold counterfeit versions of Nite Ize’s Steelie magnetic smartphone mounts.

Amazon and Nite Ize became aware of the problem last October after US customs seized a shipment of 300 suspect mounts that on investigation turned out to be inferior-quality, Chinese-made counterfeits of the Boulder, Colorado, company’s products, which are based on a patented magnetic ball and socket system.

The design – which was first introduced in 2013 and makes it easy for smartphones to be attached to the mount and repositioned – have made Nite Ize very popular and inevitably attracted the attention of counterfeiters.

Last year, the company won a general exclusion order before the International Trade Commission (ITC) after a two-year battle, directing US customs to bar infringing products from entry into the US.

The latest lawsuit, which names various individual sellers as well as Chinese companies, is seeking actual and statutory damages from the defendants and will also attempt to recover profits made on the counterfeit sales.

Amazon has previously collaborated with other brand owners including smartphone case maker OtterBox and designer bag company Vera Bradley on lawsuits against counterfeiters, and acknowledged for the first time in its 2018 that it could be liable for fraudulent or unlawful activities of sellers on its platform.

So far it has successfully argued that it should not be held liable for counterfeit products sold by third-party vendors that it handles via its ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ service, although litigation on that issue is still ongoing.

Amazon also recently introduced a new anti-counterfeit toolbox – called Project Zero – aimed at using artificial intelligence and machine learning to seek out and delete suspected counterfeit listings.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top