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Federal Court OKs Amazon's System of Suggesting Alternative Products 102

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-don't-like-that-you'll-really-hate-this dept.
concealment writes "Many of us have had the experience of going to Amazon to buy one thing but checking out with a huge shopping cart of items that we didn't initially seek—or even know were available. Amazon's merchandising often benefits Amazon's customers, but trademark owners who lose sales to their competition due to it aren't as thrilled. Fortunately for Amazon, a California federal court recently upheld Amazon's merchandising practices in its internal search results."
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Federal Court OKs Amazon's System of Suggesting Alternative Products

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  • Truly sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ravensfire (209905) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @01:11PM (#43016283) Homepage

    Go to a store and you'll generally see competing products next to each other and that's okay. But try to do something similar on-line? Horror! Unfair! Must file lawsuit! It's become our culture but the practice of suing for anything and everything has become utterly ridiculous in the last decade or so.

  • Re:Truly sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Osiris Ani (230116) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @01:23PM (#43016423)

    Go to a store and you'll generally see competing products next to each other and that's okay. But try to do something similar on-line?

    ...writes the person who clearly didn't read the article. I say that because if you did, you'd know that the products in question quite specifically aren't actually available on Amazon.com.

  • Re:Brick and Mortar (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @02:54PM (#43017575) Homepage

    In this case, the trademark holder was actively blocking sale of their product on Amazon and then suing Amazon for suggesting similar products that they did have in stock...

    The audacity is jaw-dropping.

    To me it isn't. Can you go into a retail store and see a sign that says "Apple products" with nothing underneath them, and then a big arrow pointing to Samsung, HP, Acer tablets and laptops? That's the assertion here is that you can't use the word "Apple" with bupkis there. I'm pretty sure I've never seen that done - and probably because it's been litigated away by manufacturers and trademark holders.

    This is essentially what Amazon is doing by routing searches to competitor's products. Arguably with the retail logic above, the retailer (Amazon) would need to use a generic like "laptops/tablets" instead of the leading mark (ie, Apple).

  • Re:cry some more (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MDMurphy (208495) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @03:19PM (#43017829)

    It doesn't have to be a keyword. Amazon has a feature "other people who searched for that bought this". So people could initially have searched for the exclusive watch, not found it and then looked at others. They might even have bought one. Amazon wouldn't have had to do anything specific regarding the "other watch" besides see what people who came looking for it looked at after when they didn't find it.

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