Amazon Files Lawsuits For Fake Reviews
In April 2015, Amazon filed a lawsuit against online businesses that sold fake reviews to companies. These online businesses hired people to write fake reviews by giving products 4-5 star ratings. Now, in October 2015, Amazon is suing those who were hired to write the fabricated reviews in another lawsuit. Is your company facing unfair competition against another company that may have paid for fake reviews? Did you consider purchasing fake reviews after being approached by these businesses? Were you hired to write fake or fabricated reviews? If so, you should consult with an attorney to learn about your rights and responsibilities.
Amazon claims that these falsified reviews tarnish its brand. Amazon is continuing to pursue legal action against those who purchased fake reviews for their products. Although, anyone can review a product on Amazon, whether the reviewer purchased the product from Amazon or not, fake reviews are against its terms of service.
The lawsuit was against buyamazonreviews.com, buyazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net, buyreviewsnow.com, and Jay Gentile, who is a California resident. The claims were for violations of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114 (Trademark Infringement), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (False Designation of Origin, Unfair Competition/False Advertising), Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and Washington Consumer Protection Act. These websites claimed that reviewers have tried their products and provided unbiased reviews. However, they also claimed that the companies who employ their services can obtain positive reviews for a small amount. At this time, two of the websites have gone offline after the lawsuit.
The October lawsuit was filed against unknown defendants (i.e., Doe Defendants) who were registered reviewers with Fiverr. Amazon’s claims are similar to those against the websites, including, but not limited to, consumer protection claims and violation of its terms of service. Fiverr, which offers graphic design, marketing, and advertising services is not a defendant in the lawsuit. Amazon investigated the use of reviewers by purchasing fraudulent customer reviews from Fiverr, who promised five-star assessment of products. The reviewers then used multiple accounts and Internet Protocol addresses to post reviews. Some reviewers went as far as to join the Amazon Verified Purchaser program, which indicates that the reviewer has purchased the product by having the company send them mail just to have a shipping address without trying the product. Fiverr is now working with Amazon to resolve the issues. As such, our law firm will be monitoring this case and other ones to provide updates, when and if necessary.
For more information about your legal rights, you should consult with an attorney. At our law firm, we assist clients with online fraud, trademark infringement, and business-related matters.