14 December 2017Trademarks

Birkenstock ends Amazon relationship because of counterfeit goods

The creator of a German brand of sandals has issued a statement declaring it is terminating its business relations with Amazon because of counterfeit goods allegedly being sold on the platform.

Birkenstock, which sells a range of shoes and sandals, “will completely discontinue direct deliveries provided by the US online retailer’s Luxembourg-based European subsidiary”.

The statement outlined that Amazon had “failed to prevent of its own accord” various counterfeit products which Birkenstock claimed had misled customers and infringed its trademark rights.

“To this day, no binding statement has been made to the effect that no more counterfeit Birkenstock products would be offered for sale through the platform,” the statement explained.

It added: “Instead, there were further legal violations of a different nature in recent months which Amazon failed to proactively prevent.”

According to the ‘about us’ section on its website, Birkenstock is one of the top five footwear brands in the world with around 3,000 employees.

The decision by Birkenstock is yet another development in the relationship between brands and online marketplaces.

Last week , the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that brand owners can restrict sales on internet platforms by authorised distributors in order to protect their image, ruling in favour of beauty products manufacturer Coty.

When contacted by WIPR, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company "prohibits the sale of fraudulent products".

They added: "We remove items in violation of our policies as soon as we become aware of them and take appropriate action against the seller. We stand behind the products sold on our site with our A-to-z Guarantee, and we encourage rights owners who have a product authenticity concern to notify us, and we will investigate it thoroughly and take any appropriate actions."

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7 December 2017   The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that luxury brand owners can restrict their authorised distributors from selling their products on internet platforms to protect their image.