In its first legal action against merchants selling counterfeit products on its online marketplace, Amazon filed two lawsuits In the US last week. The suit states: "When customers purchase counterfeit goods, it undermines the trust that customers, sellers, and manufacturers place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon's brand and causing irreparable reputational harm."
One lawsuit was filed against a company called ToysNet, which reproduces a product known as the Forearm Forklift that allows users to move furniture and other heavy items. Amazon’s fraud detection system detected ToysNet sale of counterfeits for selling fake items. The second lawsuit was against Joana Ferreira, who sold copies of Fitness Anywhere’s TRX workout strap system claiming they were authentic. Fitness Anywhere joined Amazon as a plaintiff in the suit.
The number of companies selling counterfeit products on Amazon — including many from China — has increased dramatically in recent years. Late this summer, in an attempt to strengthen its existing anti-counterfeiting program, Amazon initiated larger fees and additional paperwork from sellers suspected of selling counterfeits.
Amazon’s not the only online marketplace facing the struggle against counterfeit product sales. As we wrote earlier this year, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has announced a $160 million investment in anti-counterfeit efforts for its online marketplace Taobao.
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