A Dusseldorf court found that Amazon ran ads with misspelled variations to the name Birkenstock through Google AdWords. Birkenstock has had a long time feud with Amazon over the sales of counterfeit versions of its trademark sandals. The company worried that the sales of counterfeit products could cause harm to their brand.
In July 2016, Birkenstock started pulling its products from the online retailer because of the problem of counterfeiting. Birkenstock claims Amazon is looking the other way and not taking the problem seriously. Starting in 2018, Birkenstock will also pull its footwear from Amazon's European division. Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert said, “For us, Amazon is complicit.”
The courts ruling isn't final and some are saying it won't have much impact in the fight against piracy. Typically counterfeiters copy designs of well known brands, selling knockoffs at a cheaper price rather than relying on misspelled versions of the brand name. Despite Birkenstock's decision to pull its products from Amazon, the footwear is still being sold through secondary re-sellers.
Most media stories focused that the ruling is only harming folks who misspell "Birkenstock."
Others saw it differently and sided with Birkenstock.
Is @amazon a classy company or what? This seems obvious enough - one of the richest companies in the galaxy deceiving their clientele for a few extra pennies. But what it's really about is Amazon punishing a company that stood up to its strong-arming https://t.co/M36INkcz5t— Dennis Johnson (@MobyLives) December 31, 2017