Online giant Amazon and Italian luxury goods brand Salvatore Ferragamo have today jointly filed two lawsuits against four individuals and three entities – for counterfeiting Ferragamo’s products and attempting to sell them on Amazon.
The defendants attempting to offer the infringing products were violating Amazon’s policies, Ferragamo’s intellectual property rights and the law.
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 authorisation, to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of the products and the affiliation with Ferragamo.
Amazon strictly prohibits counterfeit products, and in 2019 alone invested more than $500m 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.
Amazon also launched a Counterfeit Crimes Unit in June 2020, and 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.
Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support at Amazon, said: “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.
“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 to Fortune 500 companies.”
Salvatore Ferragamo CEO, Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, added: “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 which are fundamental for us, and for this reason our commitment to safeguarding the brand and our community of consumers is at its highest.
“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.”
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 three 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 $2.8m 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.