More reports on: Marketing

Amazon barred by German court from misselling Birkenstok

01 January 2018

A court in Germany has barred Amazon from appealing to customers spelling sandal manufacturer Birkenstock as ''Brikenstock,'' ''Birkenstok,'' ''Bierkenstock,'' Reuters reported this week.

As per the report, Birkenstock convinced a Dusseldorf court that Amazon had placed ads for the misspelled variants of its name via Google AdWords. The shoemaker expressed concern that customers could be lured to buy counterfeit versions of its products, which in turn could damage its brand.

Birkenstock and Amazon have been engaged in a long-running dispute over fake versions of the footwear. It started pulling its products from Amazon's US store in July 2016 over claims the retailer was turning a blind eye to rampant counterfeiting, according to CNBC and it is doing the same regarding Amazon's European division beginning in 2018.

''For us, Amazon is complicit,'' Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert told Der Spiegel, Reuters wrote.

Fortune reported that the court ruling is not final and the move might not do much to fight piracy, since the majority of counterfeiters do not use comical misspellings to get listed on marketplaces, but simply copy the designs wholesale to an inferior standard.

Meanwhile, Quartz noted that Birkenstock's decision to pull products from Amazon has not brought in the results it looked for, as numerous resellers and also Amazon subsidiary Zappos continue to list Birkenstock products.

Meanwhile, according to commentators, Amazon's disagreement with Birkenstock reflected one of the company's few defeats in 2017, but for the most part Amazon has had a good year with the purchase of Whole Foods giving it a foothold in the physical grocery market.

Also Amazon Prime membership is increasing and the company's hardware division has done well with its line of affordable Fire tablets and Amazon Echo.

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