Lush sues Amazon over trademark infringement

By Chris BARKER

- Last updated on GMT

Lush sues Amazon over trademark infringement

Related tags: Lush, Trademark

UK cosmetics company Lush is taking Amazon to court over reported trademark infringement of its name and beauty products.

The British beauty firm is alleging that the online retailer allowed consumers to search for their items on in its website, with customer searches for Lush returning results for “similar products.”

Lush does not allow Amazon to retail their products on its site, but this kind of search often returns results for cosmetics produced by the UK company’s competitors, causing Lush to allege that Amazon are infringing on their trademarks.

Lush has also stated that Amazon is practicing “piracy capitalism” ​and exploiting companies and countries with its business model.

In a statement, a spokesperson from Lush commented to CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com:"We have trademarks that we have built a reputation on over many years around the world. Amazon has been buying Google and other search engine ad words for Lush and other Lush related terms. This is done to drive traffic to Amazon’s website which does not sell Lush products."

"When people get to Amazon’s site and search for Lush, they are shown a competitor’s product. This, on a website designed for speedy transactions, can lead to customers mistaking other company’s products as being from Lush... This is not a theoretical risk as actual real customers have said they have been misled."

Piracy capitalism​ 

Lush co-founder and co-majority owner Mark Constantine called Amazon's practices "piracy capitalism,"​ telling the International Business Times in an interview: “They keep on forcing your hand and yet they don’t have a viable business model. The only way they can afford to run it is by not paying tax. If they had to behave in a more conventional way, they would struggle.”

Lush stated: "In response to our raising this with Amazon, they put us in touch with their sales team as if their infringement of our trademark would be best remedied by us doing business with them."

Other infringements

This is not the first time that the retail giant has gotten into hot water in its use of cosmetics firms' trademarks. Earlier this year, Dead Sea Premier Laboratories brought a lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly allowing their searches to return results from other firms when their company name was entered.  

Guy Ophir, an attorney representing Dead Sea, commented to CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com: "Amazon was misleading the public to believe that a specific retailer is an official one selling directly from Premier, results in that customer receiving a defective product, eventually harming Premier's reputation." ​ 

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Financial focus

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