Last June, Amazon set up a counterfeit crime unit fight the knockoffs that plague its giant store, and today it is announce its first action against suppliers of counterfeit equipment.
Amazon and GoPro have sued seven Chinese citizens and a couple of companies for spreading noticeable knocks on behalf of their floating “Handler” handle and “3-way” tripod handle, which blatantly use GoPro’s own logo in April. The complaint reveals that the 2021 lawsuit has just opened – because there is a parallel criminal investigation underway against the same vendors in China.
While the lawsuit doesn’t tell you how many people actually bought these counterfeit GoPro accessories, it does suggest that at least some buyers are cheating on counterfeit products. One wrote that he was “very disappointed with the service provided by GOPRO. From now on, I will no longer buy products of this brand. “Others were more skeptical:”[It] can’t be the right GoPro stick because it rusted after two days, ”another customer wrote according to the complaint.
The differences seem to be quite small: for example, fake tripods can weigh a little less, have a rougher surface, a smaller button, and a different number of dots at different locations on the arm. The foam may also be slightly darker. It is not clear why Chinese companies would see the need to counterfeit these products, as the GoPro camera mount is exceptionally easy to find third-party attachments, but perhaps they thought the official logo would help them stand out.
Amazon says it blocked these defendants ’entire Amazon sales account after the counterfeits came to the company’s attention and sent samples of their products to GoPro to facilitate the investigation. Referral of these cases to law enforcement is part of the standard procedure, Kebharu Smith, Head of the Amazon Counterfeiting Crime Unit said earlier this year.
While this is Amazon’s Counterfeit Crime Unit’s first gadget suit, it’s not the first application they’ve submitted. We dealt with the previous suit against sellers of counterfeit luxury goods, and the company says it has filed lawsuits like this GoPro with other companies, including “clothing manufacturer HanesBrands, Italian luxury brands Valentino and Ferragamo, cosmetics brand KF Beauty, family travel brand JL Childress, cooler manufacturer YETI, a family business and family business Blitz and global board game publisher Asmodee. “
Amazon has a long-standing problem with counterfeit goods, and other companies have filed a lawsuit in the past: Apple claimed in 2016 that 90 percent of Amazon’s Apple chargers were counterfeit, and reporters found quite a few fakes even after the subsequent repression of the Amazon. We wrote in 2019 about how Amazon’s own AmazonBasics products got away. I remember buying a fake SanDisk SD card from Amazon some time ago. “Welcome to the era of counterfeit products” wrote Wire cutter last February, which provides various Amazon examples.
Amazon suggests that because of their efforts, the problem may not be as big as you suspect: it released a brand protection report in May that the company seized and destroyed more than 2 million counterfeits before they were sent to customers, that it blocked 10 billion “suspected bad listings” before they appeared on the market, and that “less than 0.01% of all Amazon products received a counterfeit complaint from customers.”
However, Amazon doesn’t publicly say how many products it has in its store, so it’s impossible to say how big “0.01%” might be and how many items it could actually have gotten through. It is also not clear how many customers know that counterfeit products have been sold to them and think they will choose.
GoPro declined to comment on this story.