£80,000 compensation for piggybacking a brand’s ASIN

KingfisherThe Drum reports that Bonnington owner of the Kingfisher gardening range of products has been awarded £80,000 from the TopTrade Group for infringing on their brand.

Bonnington don’t sell Kingfisher products on marketplaces themselves, but many of their retail customers do. These retailers had started to complain that they were being undercut with unrealistic prices by competitors and that got Bonnington investigating.

It turns out that an ex customer had started to import copies of the products, used Kingfisher artwork and listed on the same Amazon ASINs. After some trial purchases according to The Drum, Bonnington estimate £1m a year in lost sales and figured that half the Kingfisher products offered on marketplaces were substitutes.

After lodging a claim with the High Court the case was settled with £80,000 in compensation being paid.

The lesson of the story is that if you’re selling a product on Amazon don’t use another brand’s ASIN unless you’re selling their product. That’s not always easy to figure as some brands are simply a generic product with a sticker on. However there’s always the danger that if you piggy back a high performing ASIN, if your product isn’t identical, you could end up in court.