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Amazon Can’t Duck Williams-Sonoma Trademark Claims (1)

May 3, 2019, 11:31 AM

Amazon.com Inc. failed to escape a federal lawsuit alleging that it deceived customers into thinking that Williams-Sonoma Inc. supported the sale of its merchandise on Amazon.com.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said Williams-Sonoma plausibly accused Amazon of improperly using its marks and damaging its brand, in rejecting Amazon’s motion to dismiss the complaint. The kitchenware and home furnishings company alleged that Amazon’s marketing and website created the impression of an affiliation between the companies.

The May 2 opinion illustrates limitations of the first-sale doctrine, which extinguishes a trademark or copyright holder’s rights on an item...

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