ECommerce platform  Amazon  and luxury goods maker  Cartier  have joined forces to sue a Chinese group for advertising, promoting and selling counterfeit jewellery that infringe on Cartier’s registered trademarks, and breach the US shopping site’s policies.

On 15 June 2022, two joint lawsuits were filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington against a Chinese  social media  influencer and eight Amazon sellers, accusing them of colluding with each other to sell fake Cartier bracelets, necklaces and rings, according to a statement from Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU).  

The two companies also alleged that to avoid Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting detection tools, the defendants promoted fake Cartier items on social media such as Instagram, Linktree and other websites, directing potential shoppers to an Amazon product page for a non-branded version of the same item.

Customers who placed orders would then receive the fake Cartier pieces originally advertised on social media, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

One of the items promoted by that group is a replica of Cartier’s Love bracelet, which was identified as a non-branded product on Amazon and described as “Women’s Fashion Classic Screw Love Titanium Steel Bracelet”, according to a statement from Amazon on Wednesday. It said the advertised product did not mention Cartier, but contained an exact image of the luxury firm’s original Love bracelet.

Amazon also said that the product was clearly advertised as a counterfeit with images bearing the Cartier name and screw motif on Instagram, according to a report by SCMP . When the generic product was bought from the Amazon site, the counterfeit Love bracelet bearing the Cartier trademarks was shipped to the buyer.

The Chinese social media influencer used the handle “Phmn9y3v” on Instagram, while the eight businesses were found to be registered and operating in various cities in China, including eCommerce hubs Shantou and  Shenzhen  in southern Guangdong province, and Jinhua in eastern Zhejiang province, which is known for its small commodities wholesale market.

However the defendants in the lawsuits vanished after the disclosure of the case. The social media and Amazon accounts mentioned in the lawsuits were found to have been deleted as of Wednesday.

Kebharu Smith, associate general counsel and director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) said in the statement: “By using social media to promote counterfeit products, bad actors undermine trust and mislead customers. Amazon will keep investing and innovating to stay ahead of counterfeiters, and working with brands and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. We don’t just want to chase them away from Amazon—we want to stop them for good.”


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