Apple said in a lawsuit against a distributor that iPhone chargers and other products carrying its brand and sold directly by Amazon.com were counterfeits.
Apple has filed a lawsuit claiming that iPhone chargers and other accessory products carrying its brand and sold directly by Amazon.com were counterfeits.
The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is suing Mobile Star, a New Jersey company it says is the source of the products. The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.
Amazon has long struggled to contain counterfeiting in its freewheeling Marketplace, a platform for third-party merchants to sell on Amazon.com.
In the lawsuit, Apple says its investigators purchased 100 Apple-branded products “sold as genuine” by independent merchants on Amazon’s site, and almost 90 percent turned out to be fake.
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But the Mobile Star case is especially interesting because it indicates that Amazon’s own retail unit, which benefits from trust garnered by the Seattle company’s carefully protected brand, may have been hoodwinked into selling counterfeit chargers and other items.
Apple said in the suit that Amazon pointed the finger at Mobile Star as the source of the majority of the products identified as counterfeit. Amazon turned over to Apple additional inventory it had purchased from the New Jersey distributor, the lawsuit said.
Apple also alleges the counterfeits sourced from Mobile Star “pose a danger to consumer safety,” and risk overheating, creating fires or electrical shocks.
Amazon said in a statement it has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. We work closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”
Mobile Star didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Apple said it constantly monitors Amazon’s site to look for counterfeits, but despite its efforts, “fake Apple products continue to flood Amazon.com.”
Each month Apple reports “many thousands of listings for counterfeit and infringing Apple products to Amazon.com.”