Williams-Sonoma Sues Amazon Over Private Brand

Catalog and mall stalwart Williams-Sonoma has filed suit against Amazon. The trademark- and patent-infringement suit claims that the Amazon’s private brand Rivet includes furniture that is “strikingly similar” to those made by Williams-Sonoma’s West Elm division, including a $300 orb chair the household retailer introduced two years ago, according to the suit.

“It is implausible Amazon could have conceived of a product line with nearly identical product designs” that feature product names containing the same terms that Williams-Sonoma uses, except by copying the West Elm product line, the lawsuit states. Williams-Sonoma claims that three of the chairs that Amazon allegedly copied were designed in-house and accounted for $8 million in revenue in the first 10 months of the year.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.