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Epson to sue 26 Amazon sellers

September 24, 2018

The OEM’s American division has launched a fleet of twenty-six lawsuits for trademark infringement against various Amazon Marketplace sellers.

Epson America, and Seiko Epson Corp., alleged that the defendants are selling “numerous models” of counterfeit Epson-branded ink cartridges, and accordingly filed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order and Seizure against the 26 companies.

The Temporary Restraining Order was granted by Judge Andre Birotte Jr. in the US District Court in Los Angeles at the end of August, which prohibits further sales of the counterfeit products, and orders Amazon itself to freeze the defendants’ accounts and inventories held in the e-commerce giant’s fulfilment centres.

Last week, Birotte further granted Epson’s request for a Preliminary Injunction, which continues the prohibitions against the 26 companies, as well as ordering Amazon to turn over any proceeds of the counterfeiting, and the inventory of cartridges, to Epson’s attorney, so that they may be held in trust until the resolution of the lawsuit.

Jilana Miller, Epson America’s Assistant General Counsel, said: “Epson has a long history of vigorous and swift legal action when necessary to protect the company, consumers and legitimate resellers from unfair competition. We are pleased that the Court recognised the need for immediate and decisive action to stop these defendants from defrauding customers and appreciate Amazon’s quick action in response to the Court order. These illegal sales violate Amazon’s policies for resellers that sell on the Amazon marketplace and use its sales fulfilment services. We will continue to work closely with Amazon and other marketplace providers to take whatever actions are necessary to detect and stop fraudulent sales.”

The lawsuit has echoes of a previous one filed by the OEM in 2016, that also stopped the sales of counterfeit cartridges on Amazon Marketplace by a company trading as Inksystem LLC. That case ended in Epson’s favour, over 16 other companies and 8 individuals, who are now trying to appeal the ruling.

Epson said its actions were part of its “worldwide efforts to protect the company from unfair competition of all types and assure that its customers receive the high quality products they expect.”

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