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Old 07-02-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
fjtorres
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Lawsuit alleges Apple collusion with Amazon

http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-sell...eted-listings/

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The company, called Hard 2 Find Accessories, alleges that Amazon wrongly took down its product listings at Apple's behest and suspended the seller's account, effectively shutting down its business, according to court documents (See PDF below). The company, which filed the suit last week, said it's losing more than $180,000 a month due to Amazon's actions and it wants Amazon and Apple to pay up.

According to the lawsuit, Apple initially requested that Amazon take the listings down because it believed the products were counterfeit, which Hard 2 Find contests. The company's complaint called the alleged action "anti-competitive" and "conspiratory."

An Amazon spokesman said the company does not publicly discuss active litigation or individual seller accounts. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
I don't know what to think other than...

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Old 07-02-2014, 02:39 PM   #2
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Someone is trying to cash in on the recent hullabaloo about "conspiracy".

Sounds like they were illegally representing themselves as official Apple accessories (or at least it looked that way), and Apple had them shut down.

Amazon doesn't care enough to reinstate them, or don't want to give second chances to people practicing illegal business, and is probably upset at being sued.

The biggest thing this case is missing is any reason for thinking that this constitutes a conspiracy rather than an aboveboard trademark complaint.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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They might be gray marketting genuine products, in which case they might conceivably have a restraint of trade complaint against Apple for claiming they were selling counterfeits. Longshot but possible in theory.

But suing Amazon just means the suit gets tossed out in, like, ten seconds flat because amazon affiliate contracts clearly indicate Amazon can terminate anybody anytime for any reason or none.

Don't even need to get into ludicrous conspiracy scenarios.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
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Probably just another "sue with the hopes that they will pay me some money to get me to go away" law suits that most big companies have to deal with. I looked at their web site. Among the various accessories they have a "Apple 5w Power Adapter" with Genuine Apple Quality that looks just like a regular Apple wall wart. They have a number of similar product, things that look like regular Apple products and have wording that implies that they are Apple products, without explicitly saying they are Apple products.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:54 PM   #5
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Just looked at whois for hard2findaccessories.com. Registration information private. Any *business* that uses a private registration is a business I'm not going to do business with.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Probably just another "sue with the hopes that they will pay me some money to get me to go away" law suits that most big companies have to deal with. I looked at their web site. Among the various accessories they have a "Apple 5w Power Adapter" with Genuine Apple Quality that looks just like a regular Apple wall wart. They have a number of similar product, things that look like regular Apple products and have wording that implies that they are Apple products, without explicitly saying they are Apple products.
They might be components sourced from the same factory or even assembly line that makes them for Apple. (Which would mean they technically aren't counterfeits.) I've seen XBOX power bricks on Amazon and ebay that are identical to the official product, from the same oem, just without the MS brand stenciling.

There is also the 2013 incident where Klipsch sued Monoprice for selling a set of chinese-sourced speaker sets that were too close to their design. Even more annoying, some of the non-cosmetic changes actually improved the clone product slightly.

http://www.cnet.com/news/are-the-ene...9774-the-same/

Sourcing from China leads to...interesting...things.
(Twin factories, clone products...)

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-02-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
They might be components sourced from the same factory or even assembly line that makes them for Apple. (Which would mean they technically aren't counterfeits.) I've seen XBOX power bricks on Amazon and ebay that are identical to the official product, from the same oem, just without the MS brand stenciling.

There is also the 2013 incident where Klipsch sued Monoprice for selling a set of chinese-sourced speaker sets that were too close to their design. Even more annoying, some of the non-cosmetic changes actually improved the clone product slightly.

http://www.cnet.com/news/are-the-ene...9774-the-same/

Sourcing from China leads to...interesting...things.
(Twin factories, clone products...)
Given that Apple had issues with cloned power supplies causing burns, I think I can understand why they are sensitive about it. A lot of people think that if it looks like the Apple product, it must be the Apple product.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
They might be gray marketting genuine products, in which case they might conceivably have a restraint of trade complaint against Apple for claiming they were selling counterfeits. Longshot but possible in theory.
According to the complaint that you can see in the link that you provided, Apple did retract the complaint made to Amazon. The products are genuine. The shot that they have with Apple relies on the fact that the investigator that Apple hired is not licensed to investigate.

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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
But suing Amazon just means the suit gets tossed out in, like, ten seconds flat because amazon affiliate contracts clearly indicate Amazon can terminate anybody anytime for any reason or none.
While Amazon can do that they still have to give any money that they owe to the seller within a fixed time frame and they didn't.

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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Don't even need to get into ludicrous conspiracy scenarios.
The conspiracy part is weird, but according to the complaint both Amazon and Apple sent replies to H2F in which they were blaming the company for the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) match even though it is Amazon that assigns the numbers, and Amazon also told that Apple complained about their listing after the contract was terminated and there was no listing to complain about.
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