Amazon and Cartier file two joint lawsuits against social media forgers
Amazon and Cartier announced two joint lawsuits against a social media influencer and eight companies (collectively, the “defendants”) for advertising, promoting and facilitating the sale of counterfeit luxury goods through Instagram and other websites, infringing to Cartier’s trademarks and violating Amazon’s policies.
The lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and allege the defendants conspired to sell counterfeit products and engage in false advertising.
“By using social media to promote counterfeit products, malicious actors undermine trust and mislead customers,”
“Amazon will continue to invest and innovate to stay ahead of counterfeiters, and work with brands and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. We don’t just want to kick them out of Amazon, we want to shut them down for good.
Kebharu Smith, Associate General Counsel and Director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU).
Among the nine defendants, the lawsuits allege a social media influencer conspired with bad actors to attempt to circumvent anti-counterfeit detection tools by promoting counterfeit luxury goods, including fake bracelets, necklaces and Cartier rings, on Instagram as well as their own. websites.
Amazon helps protect brands with its internal CCU team
The criminals openly posted photos of counterfeit Cartier jewelry, along with a description of the counterfeit product on Instagram, but on Amazon and other websites they created generic product detail pages with no indication of counterfeit. Defendants then provided customers on Instagram with a link to the generic product on Amazon or other websites, and told customers that if they purchased the generic item, they would receive a counterfeit Cartier product.
One such product attempted to replicate Cartier’s iconic LOVE bracelet, which was first introduced as part of Cartier’s LOVE collection in 1969. This product was listed on Amazon disguised as an unbranded product with the description “Women’s Classic Screw-in Titanium Steel Bracelet”. without any mention of Cartier and an image carefully concealing the screw pattern of Cartier’s authentic LOVE bracelet. On Instagram, the product was clearly presented as a counterfeit with images bearing the Cartier name and a screw pattern. When the generic product was purchased on Amazon, the counterfeit Cartier LOVE bracelet bearing the Cartier marks was shipped to the customer.
The criminals repeatedly directed and instructed their social media followers on how to try to buy counterfeit products on the market, directing them to links or sending direct messages from Instagram, how to buy “high quality copies” of luxury brands such as Cartier on the Amazon store and other online marketplaces.
Amazon is deeply committed to protecting the intellectual property of brands and strictly prohibits counterfeit products in its stores. In 2021, Amazon has invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people dedicated to protecting customers, brands, business partners, and the store from counterfeiting, fraud, and other forms of abuse. These proactive investments in counterfeit prevention include rigorous seller verification, advanced machine learning technologies, and industry-leading brand protection tools such as Project Zero, Brand Registry, and Transparency.
The Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a global team with specialized experience investigating and prosecuting malicious actors to protect consumers and brands. CCU works closely with law enforcement and brand partners to investigate and prosecute, including filing criminal and civil lawsuits. He has filed a series of lawsuits against infringers in partnership with brands such as YETI, GoPro, Hanes, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more. More information about Amazon’s efforts to protect brands and hold bad actors accountable can be found in the latest Brand Protection Report.
Court records are available here:
- Case: 2:22-cv-00840, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
- Case: 2:22-cv-00841, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
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