Amazon, the first joint lawsuit in Europe against 18 counterfeiters

In collaboration with the Brother brand. The online giant targeted 18 people who sold fake toner cartridges from Germany advertised as original products

Amazon And Brother have filed a lawsuit against 18 alleged members of a counterfeiting organization based in Germany, who tried to deceive customers by selling fake toner cartridges advertised as genuine products. This action represents the first civil lawsuit filed by Amazon in Europe in cooperation with a brand against counterfeiters.

The lawsuit, the e-commerce giant explains, was filed in the Berlin Regional Court and alleges that the counterfeiters “conspired to sell fake products and circumvent Amazon and Brother’s systems”. The lawsuit was led by the Counterfeit Crimes Unit (Ccu) by Amazon, a global team with specialized expertise in investigating and prosecuting bad actors to protect customers, selling partners and brands. In addition to filing the lawsuit, the companies cooperated with the local police by providing information on the counterfeiting organization itself.

“We have zero tolerance for counterfeit products offered for sale in our stores. This is the first lawsuit of its kind we have filed in Europe, and it clearly demonstrates the determination in our actions to prosecute counterfeiters wherever they operate,” he said Kebharu Smith, Director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU). “We will continue to fight with businesses of all sizes to protect customers from fake products and protect brands from infringement of their intellectual property rights,” concluded Smith. “The customer always comes first for Brother. We are committed to online and offline counterfeit detection by working with our partners such as Amazon’s CCU and relevant authorities to protect our customers,” he added. Isao Nojigeneral manager of Brother International Europe.

As Amazon explains in detail, “counterfeiters are suspected of purchasing empty genuine Brother toner cartridges and filled them with non-authentic tonersas well as selling fake cartridges designed to look like genuine products. Counterfeiters have engaged in behavior aimed at deceiving consumers, for example by adding fake holographic security stickerswhich are on the Brother cartridge box.

Counterfeit products, the company recalls, “can damage printers, but also the environment. Amazon is deeply committed to protecting the intellectual property of brands and strictly prohibits the sale of 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, sales and store partners from counterfeits, fraud and other forms of abuse.Amazon’s proactive investments in counterfeit prevention include solid vendor and product audits, advanced machine learning technologies, and automated brand protection tools such as Project Zero, Brand Registry, and Transparency.” The CCU works closely with law enforcement and brands to investigate illicit trade activities. He filed in the US a series of lawsuits against counterfeiters in collaboration with brands such as GoPro, Cartier, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo and many others.

Noji concluded: “Protecting intellectual property has become one of the most important actions for Brother. It is not only about protecting our trademarks, copyrights and patents, but also about protecting our customers and the trust they have in our products and our brand. It is vitally important for Brother’s customers and partners to always purchase from reputable channels, suppliers and resellers; authenticate the product and verify its authenticity and quality of packaging and printing.”