Makers Of ‘As Seen On TV’ Products Sue Amazon Over “Rampant” Counterfeiting

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Companies like Allstar Marketing, Ideavillage Products, and Ontel Products aren’t household names, but you probably recognize the names of their signature products: they’re the companies behind the Snuggie, Copper Fit compression apparel, and Veggetti spiral slicers. These three makers of as-seen-on-TV doodads have sued Amazon, claiming the e-commerce giant allows vendors to sell counterfeit versions of their products — and that those counterfeit items can be found in Amazon’s own warehouses.

“An astronomical number of counterfeit and infringing products are offered for sale and sold on the Amazon Website at a rampant rate,” the companies note in their initial complaint [PDF]

Counterfeit products on Amazon have been in the news lately, including Amazon’s own lawsuit against some third-party sellers, and Apple’s research showing that 90% of what claim to be Apple-branded power products are actually knockoffs. The “As Seen on TV” product manufacturers claim that Amazon’s welcoming of products direct from factories in China, Japan, Thailand, and other countries and shipping them from U.S. warehouses legitimizes the knockoffs.

The companies allege that counterfeit versions have “hijacked” their official product pages, and customer confusion means that bad user reviews for those products are affecting the reputation and sales of genuine items.

Their attorneys also note that the burden of reporting infringing products falls on them, since Amazon isn’t about to solve the problem.

“Plaintiffs have collectively submitted thousands of listings for Counterfeit Products being imported, exported, advertised, marketed, promoted, distributed, displayed, offered for sale, and/or sold through the Amazon Website and/or using FBA to Amazon using the Amazon Reporting System,” their attorneys grumble on their behalf. “For instance, [Snuggie-maker] Allstar has reported approximately 2,114 since July 2016.”

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