How Nite Ize is working with Amazon to fight counterfeit

The online marketplace—where third-party abuse thrives—has added more tools to help brands stop intellectual property violations.
Author:
Publish date:
Nite Ize Steelie

The Steelie is made of a steel ball and magnetic ring that props up a phone in a car, on a desk, and other places.

In October 2018, Nite Ize was tipped off about a shipment at the port of entry in Portland, Oregon. U.S. Customs and Border Protection had seized the import of 300 counterfeit Steelie car-phone mounts, one of Nite Ize's most popular products.

After investigation, Nite Ize learned that the products were being sent to Amazon distribution centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, according to Clint Todd, the Boulder-based brand's chief legal officer. He reached out to Amazon for support.

"The third-party marketplaces lend themselves to this kind of abuse because the whole experience is supposed to be frictionless for sellers and buyers," Todd said. "The whole idea is anybody can sell something to anyone else."

But Amazon agreed to help Nite Ize fight back. Last Wednesday, the two companies filed a joint lawsuit in federal court in Seattle, going after multiple importers and sellers in three countries under store names like Snakey, Discount Always, and Zacksales.

Definitions: Counterfeits are imitation products using a brand's logos and packaging. Knockoffs are copies of a product under a different name.

In a statement, Amazon said that it "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."

This is the second high-profile legal engagement by Nite Ize against counterfeits and knockoffs of the Steelie product line. The brand in April 2018 won a two-year battle before the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Chinese manufacturers.

In this most recent case, Nite Ize's legal team test-bought products to track down the violators. Customers had posted reviews and Nite Ize had received returns of malfunctioning products.

Nite Ize also uses software to track when products are drastically underpriced. And on top of that, Amazon in 2017 introduced tools for brands to detect fakers and intellectual property violators. Its most recent tool is called Project Zero, which ultimately helps brands remove counterfeiters.

"These new tools that Amazon and other companies are implementing are going to be so critical moving forward," Todd said. "Hopefully, they'll really allow companies to control their brand and product presence in away that hasn't been possible up until now...At a certain point, brands will be able to spot and stop counterfeits in real time."

Tags
terms:
Nite IzeAmazon

Related

Nite Ize Steelie

Nite Ize wins knockoff case

An arm of the U.S. government is now barring replica Nite Ize products from entering the country. On Tuesday, the Boulder-based company announced that it has won a two-year battle before the International Trade Commission (ITC) in protecting one of its patented products against ...read more

Nite Ize travel bags

Nite Ize re-engineered the zipper

For the past four years, the innovators at Nite Ize have been working on a special zipper for a new category of products that was introduced on Tuesday. The brand says their RunOff waterproof dry bags in various sizes feature the first-ever toothless, waterproof zipper. Field ...read more

SOG Knives display

SOG Knives and Tools is shutting down unauthorized online sellers

SOG (Studies and Observations Group) is in the midst of legal action against unauthorized online sellers, who are damaging the brand's reputation. The Lynnwood, Washington-based knife and tool brand has already issued cease and desist letters to the most nefarious offenders and ...read more

Illustration of people kayaking boat resembling Amazon arrow

The Amazon Survival Guide

When Jeff Bezos first launched Amazon way back in 1994, his original vision was to create an online store that offered a wide selection of books at affordable prices. What he actually created: a retail revolution that would fundamentally change the way consumers shop in the 21st ...read more

Amazon logo on a smartphone screen

Amazon myths: Busted

It can feel like more rumors than facts swarm around Amazon, in part because the retailer is notoriously secretive—and that makes it hard to separate truth from speculation. In most news articles that discuss the world’s largest retailer, experts point out, you won’t find any ...read more

ROW-09-R3_F_3559_SQRGB

Retailer Review: Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Bags and Cubes

Nothing ruins a backpacking or hiking trip faster than wet gear. But having everything in your pack organized and easily accessible in durable, waterproof bags makes that freak rainstorm way more manageable. That’s why the Nite Ize RunOff waterproof cubes, pouches, and bags ...read more

Walmart everyday low price sign in toy aisle

Why brands quickly changed their minds about selling on Walmart.com

It’s safe to say American shoppers don’t go to Walmart looking for top-of-the line backpacks, winter expedition apparel, and mountaineering gear. But the big box discounter challenged that assumption with the launch of a premium outdoor store last week. “When’s the last time you ...read more

blonde woman shopping on amazon on her laptop, which shows a backpack

What's your Amazon strategy?

Successfully producing outdoor gear used to be such a simple endeavor: Make great product, then sell it through retail partners, or directly through a catalog or your own store. These days, the formula has become a lot more complicated. With the option to distribute through a ...read more

050_4U0A0365_cover_bags_2000px

Industry Buzz: OIA's new policy director, plus news about Tepui, Rossignol, REI, Nite Ize, and SIA

Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at snewsedit@aimmedia.com Can you imagine outdoor brands setting fires to unsold inventory? Here's some news we hope we never have to report on. Reports surfaced last week (and in some ...read more