Amazon defends itself over claims of being ‘complicit’ with counterfeiters
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Online retailer Amazon.com has been wrapped up in a trademark infringement claim brought by a textbook reseller.
Peter King filed the lawsuit at the US District Court for the Central District of California yesterday, March 20.
According to the claim, in February 2015 King bought 141 copies of “Principles of Macroeconomics” for $100 each ($14,100 in total) on the Amazon.com marketplace.
The textbooks were sold on behalf of a third party under the “fulfilled by Amazon” programme and all of King’s payments were made to Amazon, said the lawsuit.
Items "fulfilled by Amazon" are sold by a third-party seller, but dispatched from an Amazon fulfilment centre.
King then resold the textbooks to third parties and subsequently received a “threatening letter” from lawyers representing the publishers of the book claiming that the books were counterfeit.
“Immediately after receiving this threatening letter from the publishers, King sought to obtain a refund from Amazon for the amount spent on purchasing the counterfeit material from Amazon,” alleged the claim.
According to the suit, Amazon initially agreed to refund King, but later took the position, “without any apparent factual support”, that the textbooks were not counterfeit.
Amazon then rescinded its offer to refund King, he said, so he incurred “substantial costs and expenses” in addressing and defending against the claims brought by the publishers.
“King’s injuries flow directly from the deception wrought by Amazon’s representations and advertising,” added the claim.
King is seeking damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and other relief that the court deems just and proper.
Amazon.com, counterfeits, trademark, trademark infringement, misrepresentation, textbooks, online seller