Apple Uncovers Counterfeiting On Amazon

Apple sued online retailers after discovering that 90% of Amazon-purchased Apple power accessories were fakes.

The Amazon Apple Counterfeit Sting: Summary

Sting Operation: Apple employees hopped on Amazon and anonymously bought a bunch of product accessories (chargers, cables, etc.) bearing the “genuine Apple” label.

Sting Operation Findings: According to Apple, 90% of the purchased products were revealed as counterfeits.

Amazon’s Reaction: Apple informed Amazon of the situation, at which point Amazon speedily suspended associated seller accounts.

Apple’s Counterfeit Lawsuit: Apple filed a lawsuit against the counterfeit peddlers. MacRumors quotes:

“Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on Amazon.com and delivered through Amazon’s ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90 percent of these products are counterfeit.”

The Amazon Apple Counterfeit Sting: Legal Analysis

The Apple counterfeit incident has industry pundits chattering about two things:

  • Is Amazon’s product vetting process any good? And,
  • What are the dangers of counterfeit products?

What do we think?

Well, for starters, we’re not surprised. Last year, Chinese officials reported that a whopping two-thirds of Alibaba-bought goods are counterfeits. http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/28/technology/alibaba-china-counterfeit-crackdown/?iid=EL

Secondly, Amazon’s e-commerce operation is colossal. Of course ne’er-do-wells have crashed — and will continue to crash — the party. Besides, the second Amazon upgrades the locks, indefatigable malefactors burrow through tunnels. So, it’s probably fairer to examine the efficacy of Amazon’s response when alerted of wrongdoing, rather than cast aspersions about recidivism.

In this case, in keeping with the company’s “zero tolerance” counterfeit policy, Amazon seems to have quickly shuttered the fraudsters.

To answer the second question: “What are the dangers of counterfeit products?” It’s not just about profit concerns, it’s about consumer safety. As an Apple spokesperson explained, due to a dearth of testing on bogus products, they “pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock.”

Now ask yourself: Pay a few bucks more for the genuine article, or risk burning down the (literal) house?

Consult With An E-Commerce Attorney

As we all well know: “$#!+ happens.” So, when the proverbial poo plops on your e-commerce business, get in touch — we’ll help clean up the mess. Our team [LINK] swiftly and successfully guides entrepreneurs through all manners of online business mazes.

Related Reading:

Amazon Hijacking: 5 Legal Tips To Shake Counterfeiters

Dietary Supplement Law: Court Rules That Re-seller Is Counterfeiter

Luxury Counterfeit Law: Kering v. Alibaba

Article Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/20/apple-many-genuine-apple-products-on-amazon-are-fake.html

http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-90-percent-of-genuine-apple-items-on-amazon-are-fake/