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 on Amazon, as well as on other online marketplaces.
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 video sites and directed customers to product listings on Amazon that evaded counterfeit measures by appearing to be generic, non-infringing products, while the products actually shipped to customers would be the counterfeit items promoted on social media.
As part of the settlement, Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci will make undisclosed settlement payments to Amazon, which will be donated to charities, including the International Trademark Association’s Unreal Campaign, a consumer awareness initiative to educate minor and young adults about the importance of intellectual property rights.
“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,” Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, said in a statement. “This settlement sends a strong message to would-be bad actors that Amazon will find you and hold you fully accountable.”
In June 2020, Amazon launched its Counterfeit Crimes Unit, and has filed a series of lawsuits against counterfeiters, including joint lawsuits with GoPro, apparel manufacturer HanesBrands, and outdoor products manufacturer YETI.
E-commerce scams remain on the ride. In 2020, only 6% of attempted new seller account registrations passed Amazon’s verification processes and listed products for sale, according to the company. In addition, fewer than 0.01% of all products sold on Amazon received a counterfeit complaint from customers.