Amazon and Weber have jointly filed a lawsuit against companies selling products bearing the Weber trademark. The lawsuit mentions 12 defendants who tried to sell counterfeit variants of Weber’s grill covers.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington will hear the case. It further alleges that the companies intentionally tried to deceive customers about the origin and authenticity of their products. Amazon said it closed all the defendants’ seller accounts on its platform while also refunding customers who received counterfeit goods.
“If counterfeiters attempt to sell in our store, they don’t just break the law and violate the rights of companies like Weber, they mislead consumers,” Director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, Kebharu Smith said.
“In the rare instances when counterfeiters are able to bypass our enforcement tools and teams, we will find them and hold them fully accountable.”
Amazon also offered some information on how it handles counterfeit products selling on its platform. In 2020, the company reportedly hired over 10,000 people and spent more than $700 million to protect its store from counterfeit products, fraud, and abuse.
Amazon said it has implemented robust seller verification tools to avoid the sale of counterfeit products
The retail giant said it utilizes “industry-leading tools” to verify the sellers’ identities while ensuring product listings on Amazon are genuine. Only 6% of new seller account registrations in 2020 received the approval, the company said. Additionally, less than 0.01% of products across Amazon were marked as counterfeit by the customers.
“As the world’s leading company in outdoor cooking, we take tremendous pride in developing, manufacturing, and offering high-quality, durable, innovative products that meet or exceed our strict standards. And when that premise is jeopardized with counterfeit goods, we take action,” said Phil Zadeik, General Counsel of Weber.
The sale of counterfeit products has long been a concern on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. The retailer is now taking new measures to curb this menace, including the addition of an enhanced seller registration process.
In 2019, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 4,000 counterfeit smartphones in Philadelphia. Officials said that the shipments originated in China and reached the U.S. through the Dominican Republic. A bulk of these counterfeit phones mimicked LG and ASUS smartphones with the cargo labeled as “cell phones used.”