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Williams-Sonoma filed a lawsuit against the American e-commerce giant Amazon for copying their legally protected chair designs. They also alleged that Amazon uses similar non-descriptive terms related to such products while marketing them. The infringement lawsuit was filed at the Federal Court of California. According to the complaint, Amazon has been selling chairs which are nearly identical to West Elm's $300 Orb chair for a lower price. West Elm is a company owned by Williams-Sonoma and known for their ‘‘Orb’’ chairs.
West Elm's ‘‘Orb’’ chair is known for their “cutout black, curved and scooped-back frame”. The e-commerce giant Amazon is accused of selling similar chairs at lower prices. West Elm accused Amazon of infringing their Trademark and design patent. According to the suit, Amazon even used the same non-descriptive terms to describe their products while selling them. These chairs sold by them were also named as ‘‘Orb’’ chairs. The striking similarity between the chairs can confuse the customers of both of these companies.
According to the suit, it is impossible for Amazon to come up with a product line which is so similar to West Elm's ‘‘Orb’’ chairs. Amazon's product line contains the same non-descriptive terms used by Williams-Sonoma. The e-commerce giant intentionally copied the product line to gain from the reputation of the ‘‘Orb’’ chairs. In addition, the plaintiff accused Amazon of running an unauthorized storefront of Williams-Sonoma. They were also accused of misrepresenting themselves as authorized sellers of the merchandise. It is confusing the customers and doing damage to the reputation and brand image of West Elm.
The suit claimed that Amazon is running afoul of Trademark law by illegally copying their patented chair designs. Williams-Sonoma is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief against Amazon.