Amazon have announced that they have reached a settlement with influencers who used TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to run a counterfeiting scheme where they would promote and facilitate the sale of counterfeit luxury fashion goods in Amazon’s store, as well as on other online marketplaces.
In the lawsuit, filed in November 2020 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Amazon showed that the individuals conspired to promote counterfeit luxury brand products on social media sites and directed customers to product listings in Amazon’s store that evaded counterfeit measures by appearing to be generic, non-infringing products, while the products shipped to customers would be the counterfeit items promoted on social media.
As part of the settlement, those who carried out the counterfeiting scheme will make settlement payments to Amazon, which will be donated to charities including the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Unreal Campaign, a consumer awareness initiative to educate 14 to 23 year olds about the importance of intellectual property rights. They have also agreed to fully and unconditionally cooperate with Amazon’s investigation of, and legal action against, the remaining defendants, as well as suppliers and other bad actors who are involved with the promotion and sale of counterfeit products.
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“We are pleased that this settlement has resulted in the individuals recognizing the harm they caused, assistance for our investigation moving forward, and that charities will benefit from the recovered funds, This settlement sends a strong message to would-be bad actors that Amazon will find you and hold you fully accountable.”
– Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit