Buckle Up: Amazon, Ferragamo Sue Over Counterfeit Belts

The $26 “Ferragamo” belt you found on Amazon may be counterfeit, according to Amazon.com, Inc. and Salvatore Ferragamo S.P.A. (Ferragamo), who jointly filed two lawsuits on Thursday in the Western District of Washington against four individuals and three entities, primarily based in China, for allegedly selling counterfeit Ferragamo belts on Amazon.com.

Amazon noted that many items listed on its platform are sold by third-party vendors and it has invested a significant amount of time and resources to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods on its platform. Meanwhile, Ferragamo “is one of the main players in the (fashion) luxury industry.” Specifically, “Ferragamo is mainly active in the creation, production and sale of footwear, leather goods, apparel, silk products, and other accessories, as well as fragrances for men and women.” Ferragamo claimed that it owns various trademarks, including SALVATORE FERRAGAMO and FERRAGAMO, as well as the stylized versions of these marks in addition to various trademarked designs.

While Amazon and Ferragamo filed two separate lawsuits against the purported counterfeiters, the activities described are very similar. Amazon and Ferragamo asserted that the defendants “advertised, marketed, offered, and sold counterfeit Ferragamo products in the Amazon store, using Ferragamo’s registered trademarks, without authorization, to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of the products and the products’ affiliation with Ferragamo.” Additionally, the defendants violated Amazon’s Anti-Counterfeiting Policy, which they agreed to upon making an account, according to Amazon.

Amazon and Ferragamo averred that they confirmed the items were counterfeit by purchasing a series of the belts. Amazon and Ferragamo noted that oftentimes the product photo on the listing page “advertised a product bearing Ferragamo figurative trademarks, but omitted the Ferragamo word mark from the product photo in an apparent effort to evade Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting detection tools.” Moreover, when the items arrived, they had the trademarked Ferragamo branding, marks, and design elements, the plaintiffs stated. There were also noticeable differences with the packaging and construction. Amazon claimed it shut down the accounts after discovering the defendants were selling counterfeit goods.

An image from the complain, showing four photographs taken of genuine and allegedly counterfeit products side-by-side.
A screenshot from the complaint, showing a belt with the Ferragamo word mark omitted.
A screenshot from the complaint, showing how a product with no Ferragamo word mark in the product page actually has thee word on the product once delivered.

Consequently, Amazon and Ferragamo contended that the defendants have “infringed and misused Ferragamo’s intellectual property (‘IP’), willfully deceived and harmed amazon, Ferragamo, and their customers, compromised the integrity of the Amazon store, and undermined the trust that customers place in Amazon and Ferragamo.”

The defendants are accused of trademark infringement, false designation of origin and false advertising, and violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Amazon and Ferragamo have sought to permanently prevent and enjoin the defendants from further infringement and from causing future harm, an award for damages, costs and fees, and other relief. Amazon and Ferragamo are represented by Davis Wright Tremaine.

Amazon has previously taken action to remove counterfeit goods on its platform, including its suit against influencers promoting and selling counterfeit goods on Amazon, and another joint suit with luxury fashion brand Valentino about counterfeit shoes on the online retail platform.