Issuing a strict order against the sale of fake goods on ecommerce platforms, the Delhi High Court has ordered Amazon Seller Services to delist some sellers on its platform after Beverly Hills Polo Club said they were selling fake products on Amazon.
In a ruling on July 16, the court said, “The defendant shall remove forthwith from its platform any URLs which are pointed out by the plaintiff which are selling products in violation of the plaintiff’s right.”
Mumbai-based Major Brands operates franchisee outlets of Beverly Hills Polo Club in Indian cities including New Delhi and Mumbai. But the case was filed by Lifestyle Equities CV, the company that owns the brand.
Notably, Beverly Hills Polo has an agreement with Cloudtail, one of the leading retailers on Amazon, to sell online perfumes and fragrances. The company does not sell any other products online in India, its lawyers told the court, according to the ruling.
What Beverly Hills Said?
Beverly Hills Polo dragged Amazon to court last month, claiming that some of its sellers were indulging in “widespread sale of counterfeit products” including apparel, accessories, and fragrances.
Beverly Hills Polo Lawyers said that Amazon took off some URLs after they had sent legal notices but subsequently fresh links had sprung up on the Amazon site.
What Amazon Said?
However, Amazon said it has “zero tolerance for counterfeit.”
“We remove suspected counterfeit items as soon as we become aware of them, and we suspend or block bad actors suspected of engaging in illegal behaviour or infringing others’ intellectual property rights,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
“Branded and trademark products of Beverly Hills Polo are sold and fulfilled by Amazon and when you ask them who your suppliers are they won’t tell you,” said Mohit Goel, a lawyer for Beverly Hill Polo.
Fake Products On Ecommerce Sites
This is not the first time that fake and counterfeit products have caused troubles for ecommerce companies.
Over the past few years, several petitions have been filed by consumers and companies against online sellers for selling fake products.
Through this, companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, and Calvin Klein have helped confiscate thousands of fake products, mostly apparel, through court-aided raids on warehouses, owned by either sellers or small, niche fashion platforms.
Some of the reported cases include:
- In December 2017, Skechers had filed a case against Flipkart after 15,000 pairs of fake ‘Skechers’ shoes were found during the raids. Recently, Flipkart offered some cash payment and a commitment to do a certain amount of business for Skechers as an offer to settle out of court.
- In July 2017, Paytm Mall delisted more than 85K online sellers and suppliers in an effort to block fraudulent merchants from signing up on the ecommerce platform.
- In October 2015, Flipkart had blacklisted about 40 sellers through its mystery shopping network of 60 employees which was initiated that very month.
- In March 2016, Flipkart once again blacklisted 250 of fraud sellers from its platform.
With ecommerce set to become a $200 Bn industry by 2026, the upcoming national ecommerce policy is one of the most essential steps forward to curb fake products on such platforms.
[The development was reported by ET.]