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Seller Sues Amazon over Takedowns and Account Suspension

It’s a fact of life that marketplace sellers receive takedown notices accusing them of violating a brand’s intellectual property (read: selling counterfeits). Some sellers claim that manufacturers and brands conduct their war against counterfeiters indiscriminately, catching good sellers along with the bad, and one seller is fighting back in the courts after being unable to get Amazon.com to reinstate his account.

Hard 2 Find Accessories Inc. filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com and Apple on June 27 over their handling of intellectual property matters leading to the seller’s suspension. The seller claims that Apple relied on customer reviews of a product it sold that were general reviews unrelated to its own specific sales of the items.

“Had Apple, or Apple’s agents, communicated with H2F then Apple would have discovered that the Items sold by H2F were not counterfeit.”

The seller says it cleared up the matter with Apple, which then contacted Amazon on its behalf, but by then the seller was suspended and says it could not get Amazon to reinstate its account.

The complaint details a tale of woe that will be familiar to sellers who fight suspensions unsuccessfully.

Hard 2 Find Accessories says it’s losing a total of $180,112.61 per month “as a result of Amazon and Apple’s acts and omissions.” In the 18-month period preceding the account suspension, the seller claims to have generated over $3.2 million in sales on Amazon. It also noted that Amazon had offered to extend it up to $76,000 in unsecured funds as part of its Amazon Lending beta program.

Among the allegations contained in the filing, the seller accuses the companies of violating Federal and state anti-trust statues and accuses Amazon of violating Washington State’s Uniform Money Services Act, and it accuses Apple of committing defamation.

Cnet spotted the case and has reproduced the full complaint in its coverage.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.