Today, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. (SFER:IM), jointly filed two lawsuits against four individuals (the “defendants”) and three entities for counterfeiting Ferragamo’s products. The defendants attempted to offer the infringing products in Amazon’s store, violating Amazon’s policies, Ferragamo’s intellectual property rights, and the law.
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The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and alleges the defendants conspired to use Ferragamo’s registered trademarks, without authorization, to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of the products and the affiliation with Ferragamo.
Amazon strictly prohibits counterfeit products in its stores, and in 2019 alone, invested more than $500 million to protect customers and brands from fraud and abuse, including counterfeit. Amazon’s proactive investments in preventing counterfeit include robust seller vetting, advanced machine-learning based technologies, and industry-leading brand protection tools like Project Zero, Brand Registry, and Transparency. As a result of Amazon’s efforts, 99.9% of all products viewed by customers on Amazon have not received a valid counterfeit complaint.
In June 2020, Amazon launched its Counterfeit Crimes Unit, a global team dedicated to pursuing bad actors and holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including working with law enforcement. Amazon has filed a series of lawsuits against counterfeiters, including a suit against individuals using social media to promote and facilitate the sale of counterfeits, as well as joint lawsuits with Italian luxury brand Valentino, cosmetics brand KF Beauty, family travel accessory brand JL Childress, and YETI.
Over the years, Ferragamo has implemented a series of offline and online anti-counterfeiting measures to protect its customers and the value of its brand, achieving significant results. In 2020, its online monitoring activities enabled the brand to intercept, block, and remove 3 million illicit profiles from the main social media platforms worldwide and approximately 94,000 counterfeit products were blocked and removed from online auction sites. Ferragamo has also filed actions against hundreds of illegal websites through civil proceedings in New York federal court, and was recently awarded $2.8 million in damages.
As a part of its policy to fight counterfeiting, Ferragamo also carries out numerous offline investigations and pursues infringers through civil litigation and out-of-court proceedings. In 2020, 240,000 products bearing Ferragamo’s counterfeit trademarks were seized worldwide thanks to joint efforts with law enforcement authorities.
“We do not allow counterfeit products in our store, and we have made it crystal clear that we take aggressive action to hold accountable bad actors who attempt to evade our proactive protections,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon. “Through our Counterfeit Crimes Unit, we are working closely with luxury and cosmetics brands, small businesses, and brands with global name recognition. We will continue to fight to protect intellectual property from small family-owned businesses through Fortune 500 companies.”
“The actions we implemented with great determination in recent years in the fight against counterfeiting have allowed us to achieve good results in protecting the brand. Made in Italy, our brand’s quality is based on values such as research, innovation, sustainability and craftsmanship are fundamental for us and for this reason our commitment to safeguarding the brand and our community of consumers is at its highest,” added Micaela le Divelec Lemmi, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo. “The joint action with Amazon underlines how the protection of intellectual property is a priority for Ferragamo and how the company is pursuing the fight against counterfeiting with full awareness and resolution.”
View the court filings here:
- Case: 2:21-cv-00170, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
- Case: 2:21-cv-00171, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Amazon has an extensive history protecting brands and taking action to hold bad actors accountable:
- Amazon Project Zero launches in 7 new countries
- Amazon Transparency protects more than 10,000 brands
- Amazon Establishes Counterfeit Crimes Unit to Bring Counterfeits to Justice
- Amazon Launches IP Accelerator in Europe to Help Small Businesses Protect Their Brands and Tackle Counterfeit
- IPR Center, Amazon Launch ‘Operation Fulfilled Action’ to Stop Counterfeiters
- Amazon Files Lawsuit Against Counterfeiters Using Social Media to Promote Sales
- Amazon Supports Resolution of 3M Case Against Fraudsters
- Amazon Supports Investigation, Prosecution of New York Defendants Charged in Fraud Scheme
- Amazon and KF Beauty File Joint Lawsuit Against Counterfeiters
- Amazon and Valentino File Joint Lawsuit Against New York-Based Counterfeit
- Amazon and YETI File Joint Lawsuit against Counterfeiters
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. is the parent Company of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, one of the world’s leaders in the luxury industry and whose origins date back to 1927. The Group is active in the creation, production and sale of shoes, leather goods, apparel, silk products and other accessories, along with women’s and men’s fragrances. The Group’s product offer also includes eyewear and watches, manufactured by licensees. The uniqueness and exclusivity of our creations, along with the perfect blend of style, creativity and innovation enriched by the quality and superior craftsmanship of the ‘Made in Italy’ tradition, have always been the hallmarks of the Group’s products. With approximately 4,000 employees and a network of 656 mono-brand stores as of 30 September 2020, the Ferragamo Group operates in Italy and worldwide through companies that allow it to be a leader in the European, American and Asian markets.