Lawsuit is a First for Both Brands: Amazon’s First Joint Litigation with a Luxury Fashion Brand and Valentino’s First Joint Litigation with an Online Retailer
SEATTLE & MILAN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 18, 2020– Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Maison Valentino Italian luxury brand, today announced a joint lawsuit against Buffalo, New York-based Kaitlyn Pan Group, LLC and New York resident Hao Pan for counterfeiting Valentino’s iconic Valentino Garavani Rockstud shoes, and offering the infringing products for sale on https://kaitlynpanshoes.com/ and Amazon.com, in violation of Amazon’s policies and Valentino’s intellectual property rights.
Amazon Company Statement:
“The vast majority of sellers in our store are honest entrepreneurs but we do not hesitate to take aggressive action to protect customers, brands, and our store from counterfeiters. Amazon and Valentino are holding this company accountable in a court of law and we appreciate Valentino’s collaboration throughout this investigation,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, Customer Trust and Partner Support.
Valentino Company Statement:
“The Maison Valentino is one of the main protagonists of International fashion and plays a major role in the luxury division by sustaining Made in Italy. The brand represents in the global market, one of the Italian excellences in the execution of the industrial process in Italy and of the artisanal and handmade workmanship that are entirely produced in the historic Atelier of Piazza Mignanelli in Rome. We consider Made in Italy to be a fundamental value to be fully endorsed, respected and at the forefront of our business and creations. Valentino is an Italian brand operating globally and is a mirror of society. One of our core missions is to safeguard our brand and protect the Valentino Community by celebrating inclusivity and with creativity at the heart of everything we do. We feel this connection with Amazon will highlight the importance also in fashion for greater awareness, knowledge and understanding by shielding the brand online and its resources.”
Amazon shut down Kaitlyn Pan’s seller account in September 2019. Despite multiple notices of infringement and a cease and desist order, Kaitlyn Pan continues to import, distribute, sell, and offer infringing products on https://kaitlynpanshoes.com/. Kaitlyn Pan further attempted to apply for a US trademark for its infringing Valentino Garavani Rockstud shoes, flagrantly and willfully disregarding Valentino’s intellectual property.
Valentino implemented a Customs Surveillance System and enforced its Intellectual Property Rights specifically in the US. Thanks to the ongoing cooperation with US custom authorities, Valentino – in the past 3 years – seized more than 2,000 counterfeit products. Alongside with Customs enforcement, Valentino implemented a surveillance system aimed to detect counterfeit products on sale in the US market. With the help of US based local agents, Valentino has taken legal action against several companies selling both online and offline products bearing without authorization trademarks and industrial designs owned by Valentino. Valentino also carried out Online Brand Protection activity on online platforms, which led the company to remove more than 7,000 listings on several marketplaces, more than 360 websites and over 1,000 social media accounts selling counterfeit products bearing without authorization trademarks and industrial designs owned by Valentino.
This joint lawsuit builds on Amazon’s history of collaborating with brands to hold counterfeiters accountable. In line with Amazon’s past joint litigation, Valentino will receive any proceeds from this suit. Amazon strictly prohibits counterfeit products and, in 2019 alone, invested more than $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees protecting its store from fraud and abuse, including counterfeiting and IP infringing products. As a result of its efforts, 99.9% of all products viewed by customers on Amazon have not received a valid counterfeit complaint. Amazon also works closely with law enforcement agencies and reports all confirmed counterfeiters to US and European authorities to help them build stronger criminal cases.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
The House of Valentino based in Italy expresses a point of view on the contemporary world using history as a playground and the Atelier in the heart of Rome, the Eternal City, as a place that produces both beauty and thought. The story began in 1959. The year 2016 marks a new beginning, under the Creative Direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli. A new set of values, that are both of the moment and faithful to its heritage, are created: grace and delicacy, both as an attitude and as a silhouette; a celebration of individuality; emotional beauty; the blending and merging of different languages. Style is essential and impalpable. The idea of contemporary humanism leads a creative quest that revolves around the personality of the wearer. Vision, products, retail spaces share the same traits: from the one-of-a-kind Haute Couture creations to Women’s and Men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, from eyewear to fragrances to the boutiques, Valentino is synonymous of elegance, pureness, craftsmanship, uniqueness.