Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) have filed joint lawsuits against 13 defendants who attempted to market and sell inauthentic replicas of WWE’s title belts in Amazon’s store. The belts included commemorative WWE World Heavyweight, Universal, Intercontinental, United States, and NXT Championship title belt designs.

An image of the WWE belts

“Official and licensed WWE products, branded by our IP, are trusted by our fans around the world and we go to great lengths to protect consumers from counterfeits and other types of infringements,” said WWE Vice President of Intellectual Property Matthew Winterroth. “It’s our hope that other companies look at Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit as a model of how to partner with companies of any size to help combat this relentless threat.”

WWE combined its proactive IP monitoring and enforcement program with Amazon’s Project Zero and Brand Registry protection tools to detect infringing listings, and Amazon removed them. Then WWE partnered with Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit to pursue these lawsuits targeting bad actors who attempted to sell counterfeit products and falsely represent their locations and identities.

One group of defendants was found to be operating a fraudulent business out of New Jersey. In addition to the lawsuits, Amazon and WWE worked with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey to pursue these bad actors, which led to felony counterfeiting charges against two connected individuals for the sale of counterfeit WWE championship title belts.

Images of genuine WWE belts
Images of genuine WWE belts

Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a team of former federal prosecutors, former law enforcement agents, experienced investigators, and data analysts. The team was formed to work with brands and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable.

“Amazon is committed to the authenticity of products in our store and protecting our customers from all forms of counterfeits, including those impacting fans of the iconic entertainment brand,” said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “We will continue to work with WWE and Middlesex County law enforcement to bring these bad actors to justice.”

Case numbers in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington: