Style Pantry, LLC, a California-based fashion company associated with fashion blogger Folake Kuye Huntoon, recently secured a commitment from the International Trade Commission to investigate allegedly infringing uses of its protected intellectual property on Amazon. The ITC is an independent federal agency with authority to investigate trademark and copyright infringement claims. If the ITC finds that a trademark or copyright has been infringed, it has the power to bar imports of infringing goods and to prohibit the marketing and sale of those goods in the U.S.
Style Pantry filed a complaint with the ITC in March 2019 naming Amazon and certain sellers in China as respondents and alleging that the sellers are improperly using Style Pantry’s trademarks and copyrighted photographs of its fashion dresses, jumpsuits, maxi skirts, and other products to advertise and sell counterfeit products on Amazon. According to Style Pantry, the clothing itself is not protected by copyright, but the use of the copyrighted photographs deceives would-be buyers of Style Pantry's products into purchasing the counterfeit goods.
If the ITC finds that the sellers have violated Style Pantry's trademarks and copyrights, it may issue an exclusion order directing Customs to stop infringing products from entering the United States, It may also issue a cease and desist order prohibiting the marketing and sale of the infringing products, or the use of Style Pantry's trademarks and photographs, on Amazon.
The complaint, as amended, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 based upon the importation and sale of certain female fashion dresses, jumpsuits, maxi skirts, and accoutrements by reason of false designation, false description, dilution, and obtaining sales by false claim of association, the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the United States.