IP Law News

Amazon Says ‘Get Rich Quick’ Companies Misuse Trademarks

Oct. 21, 2019, 2:13 PM

Amazon.com Inc. says two companies misuse its trademarks to trick consumers into spending tens of thousands of dollars on programs that claim to teach “secrets” to selling on the site.

Prime Global Source LLC and Online Secrets Inc. both falsely suggest an association with the website through the use of confusingly similar trademarks, according to the complaints filed in the U.S. District for the District of Utah and the Western District of Washington.

Amazon says PGS “persuades unwitting entrepreneurs to spend thousands of dollars on seminars and training programs of little, if any, value.” PGS supposedly operates a scheme culminating in customers paying $30,000 for a year of coaching on how to use Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” service to make up to $10,000 in profits a month.

Amazon says the profits “do not materialize for the vast majority of PGS students,” and, “those students have then turned to Amazon for answers, mistakenly believing that Amazon is affiliated with Defendants.”

Online Secrets also operates a “widespread get-rich-quick scheme,” according to Amazon, that “ends with consumers spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on various programs that purportedly teach them the ‘secrets’ to selling on Amazon.”

But, “the ‘secrets’ imparted to students involve violating Amazon’s third-party seller agreements through the use of fake product reviews and manipulation of search results to artificially drive traffic to their products,” Amazon says.

Causes of Action: Lanham Act trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and false association; common law trademark infringement; state unfair competition, tortious interference.

Relief: Injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees.

Response: PGS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Online Secrets couldn’t be reached for comment.

Attorneys: Summit Law Group PLLC and Parsons Behle & Latimer represent Amazon.

The cases are Amazon.com Inc. v. Prime Global Source LLC, D. Utah, No. 2:19-cv-00785, complaint filed 10/18/19 and Amazon.com Inc. v. Online Secrets Inc., W.D. Wash., No. 2:19-cv-01688, complaint filed 10/18/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Brittain in Washington at bbrittain@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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