The vast online marketplace at Amazon creates opportunities for scammers to take advantage of consumers. For years, people have noted the presence of counterfeit products there, and Amazon has devoted substantial resources to addressing this problem. It has used automated technology to detect counterfeits and help protect the intellectual property of major brands. Amazon operates a Counterfeit Crimes Unit that has taken legal action against well over 1,000 criminals around the world over the last year. During this time, Amazon also seized over six million counterfeit products, preventing them from reaching consumers through its marketplace or any other means.
Likewise, Canon has fought back vigorously against people who market counterfeits as Canon products. For example, it received a judgment in 2020 against two eBay users selling counterfeit Canon batteries. Canon also warns consumers about counterfeit products through videos and website pages, telling people how to identify these items.
Now, Amazon and Canon have joined forces against certain sellers on the Amazon marketplace. They claim that these sellers sold counterfeit camera batteries and chargers. After detecting the potential issue, Amazon checked with Canon to make sure that the products were counterfeits. Then, Amazon shut down the 29 accounts operated by the sellers.
The two companies have gone further, though, jointly suing the sellers in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. This is the federal trial court for the Seattle area. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the sellers infringed Canon trademarks and breached their contracts with Amazon. In addition to monetary damages and attorney fees, Amazon and Canon are asking the court for equitable relief. This is an order telling someone to do or not do something. In this case, Amazon and Canon want the court to order the defendants to refrain from doing things like selling products in Amazon’s stores, opening Amazon selling accounts, and imitating, copying, or counterfeiting the Canon trademarks. They also want the court to issue an order for the seizure and destruction of the counterfeit and infringing products.
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