Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit Reaches Settlement with Social Media Influencers
Amazon announced a settlement with Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci who used TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to promote and facilitate the sale of counterfeit luxury fashion goods in Amazon’s store, as well as on other online marketplaces.
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In the lawsuit, filed in November 2020 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Amazon showed that the individuals conspired to promote counterfeit luxury brand products on social media sites and directed customers to product listings in Amazon’s store that evaded counterfeit measures by appearing to be generic, non-infringing products, while the products shipped to customers would be the counterfeit items promoted on social media.
As part of the settlement, Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci will make settlement payments to Amazon, which will be donated to charities including the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Unreal Campaign, a consumer awareness initiative to educate 14 to 23 year olds about the importance of intellectual property rights.
Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci have also agreed to fully and unconditionally cooperate with Amazon’s investigation of, and legal action against, the remaining defendants, as well as suppliers and other bad actors who are involved with the promotion and sale of counterfeit products.
“We are pleased that this settlement has resulted in the individuals recognizing the harm they caused, assistance for our investigation moving forward, and that charities will benefit from the recovered funds,” said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “This settlement sends a strong message to would-be bad actors that Amazon will find you and hold you fully accountable.”
Pursuant to a consent decree, Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci are prohibited from directly or indirectly marketing, advertising, linking to, promoting, or selling any products of any kind on Amazon’s store in the future, without express written authorization from Amazon.
Additionally, the defendants apologized for their actions. Kelly-Krejci said, “I appreciate the opportunity to resolve this dispute and to assist Amazon.” And Fitzpatrick added, “I would warn others engaged in similar conduct on social media that there will be serious consequences for their actions.”
Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit
In June 2020, Amazon launched its Counterfeit Crimes Unit, a global team dedicated to pursuing counterfeiters and holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including by working through the court system and in partnership with law enforcement.
Amazon has filed a series of lawsuits against counterfeiters, including joint lawsuits with technology company GoPro, apparel manufacturer HanesBrands, and outdoor products manufacturer YETI.
Amazon strictly prohibits infringing and counterfeit products in its store, uses industry-leading tools to verify potential sellers’ identities and ensure product listings are authentic, and its proprietary systems analyze hundreds of unique data points to verify information provided by potential sellers.
In 2020, only 6% of attempted new seller account registrations passed Amazon’s robust verification processes and listed products for sale. In addition, fewer than 0.01% of all products sold on Amazon received a counterfeit complaint from customers.
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Editorial Note: This post is from a Company Press Release and may have been modified for clarity.