Editor’s note: For more analysis on this matter, please read our SGB Executive report, Nite Ize, Amazon Join Forces To Sue Alleged Counterfeiters.
Nite Ize and Amazon. com, Inc. filed a joint lawsuit in U. S. District Court in Seattle against multiple counterfeit product importers and sellers spanning three countries, including the United States, Canada and China.
The suit was filed after it was determined that counterfeiters were specifically, and wantonly, targeting Nite Ize’s Steelie hands-free mobile mounting system. Launched in January 2013, Nite Ize’s Steelie system is recognized as the industry leader for hands-free mobile device mounting.
The joint Nite Ize-Amazon lawsuit marks the second high-profile legal engagement undertaken by Nite Ize against counterfeits and knockoffs of the Steelie product line, the first of which was a two-year battle (won) before the International Trade Commission (ITC). While Amazon and Nite Ize are partnering on the litigation, any proceeds from this suit will be awarded to Nite Ize. The lawsuit would not have reached fruition without the support of the US Customs and Border Protection, which seized a shipment of counterfeit products at its port of entry in Portland, Oregon. Statements from both companies are below.
Clint Todd, chief legal officer, Nite Ize, said in a statement, “Upholding the integrity of our products against copycats masquerading as Nite Ize is of paramount importance,” said Clint Todd, chief legal officer, Nite Ize. “We’ve been locked in an ongoing battle with counterfeiters for many years. When U.S. Customs and Border Patrol notified us of a counterfeit shipment of products it had seized, we weren’t surprised. However, the scope and complexity of the operation we uncovered was staggering. Throughout our history with Amazon, the company has consistently supported our efforts to remove counterfeit listings and sellers. When alerted to the magnitude of the issue impacting one of our best-selling products, Amazon decided to join our fight against counterfeiters to ensure that our mutual customers can confidently shop with the knowledge that they are purchasing, and ultimately receiving, genuine Nite Ize products.”
Amazon said in a statement, “Amazon continues to invest and fight counterfeiters on all fronts—from developing technology to proactively prevent counterfeits, to working with brands, leaders in the public sector and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. Counterfeit has no place in our store and we will leverage every tool available to protect brands like Nite Ize, our customers, and our store.”