Amazon Facing Legal Action Over German 'Black Friday' Trademark Breach
US online retail company Amazon is reportedly being sued in Germany for its use of the registered trademark 'Black Friday'.
Hong Kong-based media and IP holding company Super Union Holdings Ltd has owned the trademark in the country since 2013. However, the company alleges that Amazon has been using the phrase without permission to promote sales on various platforms.
Super Union Holdings is now reportedly taking legal action against the online retailer in a regional court in Hamburg over Amazon's unauthorised use of the trademark. A successful conviction could result in a fine of up to €250,000, according to reports.
Black Friday sales fall on 24 November this year, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. It started as the traditional beginning of Christmas shopping in the US and has developed in recent years into a period of high sales for retailers across the globe.
In 2016, the Super Union Holdings licensed 'Black Friday' exclusively to the Austrian-German company Black Friday GmbH, which hosts the domain www.blackfridaysale.de.
Based out of Munich and Vienna, the site provides sellers with a space to advertise sales under the Black Friday moniker.
Super Union Holdings previously attracted media attention when it enforced its trademark of the phrase by issuing warnings to companies such as the US e-commerce marketplace Groupon in 2016.
In a statement, the trademark owner said that it defends its rights with a sense of proportion like any other trademark owner would. It added that this was necessary to ensure and protect the interests of its sellers.
It stated that anybody who wants to legally use the trademarked phrase 'Black Friday' can buy a licence from the owner.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine