ICCE welcomes Amazon and Brother joining forces against counterfeiting ring

 ICCE welcomes Amazon and Brother joining forces against counterfeiting ring

Amazon and Brother join forces against a counterfeiting ring attempting to sell fake imaging consumables online (illustrative picture)

ICCE member Brother is teaming up with online marketplace Amazon in the fight against counterfeit imaging consumables. Together, the two companies have now taken legal action against a major counterfeiting organisation operating out of Germany. Protecting customers and honest vendors from counterfeiting is a key objective of ICCE and its members. Cooperating with online marketplaces and the authorities can be of great help for our fight against counterfeiting, to which ICCE is committed.

Amazon and Brother file joint lawsuit in Germany

E-commerce giant Amazon and the imaging supplies manufacturer Brother have taken legal action against a counterfeiting network in Germany. The joint lawsuit was filed at the Regional Court of Berlin against a total of eighteen suspected members of a counterfeiting ring. Information about the case, in which Brother is working closely with Amazon’s Counterfeit Crime Unit (CCU), was recently released in a statement in late February.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants colluded to sell counterfeit imaging supplies. They attempted to deceive customers, refilling empty Brother cartridges with inauthentic toner powder and marketing the counterfeit cartridges as ostensibly genuine Brother imaging consumables. To do so, they allegedly used counterfeit versions of Brother’s holographic security labels, which Brother applies to its cartridge packaging to help customers verify the authenticity of their products. In addition to taking legal action, Brother and Amazon have also referred the case to the German authorities.

Illicit items infringing the brand of Brother, found in other recent anti-counterfeiting activities (pictures courtesy of Brother)

Illicit items infringing the brand of Brother, found in other recent anti-counterfeiting activities (pictures courtesy of Brother)

Brother places its customers first everywhere, every time. We are committed in detecting counterfeits online and offline by working with our partners such as Amazon CCU and law enforcement authorities in order to protect our customers.
Isao Noji, Managing Director, Brother International Europe Ltd.

The lawsuit with Brother is the first legal action of its kind that Amazon has taken against counterfeiters in Europe, following on several notable actions, particularly in the US. ICCE applauds the joint action and hopes that it will be an important step in protecting online shoppers from counterfeit imaging supplies.

For Brother, as for the other ICCE members, it is important to protect customers and all honest businesses from counterfeiting. “It is not only about protecting our trademarks, copyrights, and patents; but also protecting our customers and the trust they have in our products and brand,” said Isao Noji, Managing Director of Brother International Europe Ltd. “It is of vital importance for Brother customers and partners to always buy from reliable channels, suppliers and retailers; to authenticate the product and verify it is genuine; and check the packaging and the printing quality.”

Case shows the impact of brands and marketplaces working together

The successful collaboration between Amazon and Brother demonstrates the benefits of brands and online marketplaces working together to combat counterfeiting. ICCE greatly appreciates Amazon’s support and commitment to protecting consumers and businesses alike from counterfeiting. The Coalition and its members look forward to more successful joint initiatives in the future.

Counterfeit printing supplies, such as toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and printer ribbons, can pose a real threat to consumers. They can cause poor-quality printouts and even damage a printing device. ICCE members regularly work with numerous online marketplaces in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to take down illegal online offers. In addition, ICCE members cooperate with law enforcement agencies to remove counterfeit imaging supplies before they can be sold to end users. These joint actions regularly result in massive enforcement actions and seizures of counterfeit imaging supplies by local authorities.

To steer clear of counterfeit imaging consumables, ICCE recommends buying only from trusted vendors and avoiding too-good-to-be-true offers. When shopping online, please be aware of additional tips and important red flags for suspicious online offers.

About ICCE

The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (ICCE) was formed in 1997 as a direct response to the increase in counterfeit imaging consumables across the regions of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Imaging consumables include such products as toners, ink cartridges and ribbons. Initially created as an industry association with a focus on education, lobbying, information exchange, and awareness, it has since developed to include coordinating the role of receiving and processing intelligence information on counterfeiters, initiating joint industry raids and enforcement activities, and helping its members to target counterfeiters through the criminal and civil courts.

Members of the organisation include some of the world’s leading imaging and printing companies: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP Inc, Kyocera, Lexmark, Ricoh, and Xerox.