UK Supreme Court Rejects Amazons Trade Mark In

UK Supreme Court Rejects Amazon's Trademark Infringement Appeal

In a stark alert to providers of global e-commerce services, the UK's most senior court has upheld an earlier decision that Amazon "targeted" UK customers for sales of U.S. goods on its U.S. website, amounting to trademark infringement in the United Kingdom.

The Dutch firm Lifestyle Equities argued that Amazon had targeted British consumers with U.S. goods that infringed its UK and EU trademarks. The High Court initially agreed with Amazon that there was no such targeting, but the Court of Appeal overturned this decision, and this was upheld by the UK Supreme Court in March 2024.

In essence, the appellate courts found that Amazon had infringed Lifestyle Equities's rights by offering to customers in the United Kingdom, by way of advertising and selling, clothing bearing the marks in question through Amazon's U.S. platform. The UK Supreme Court confirmed Amazon had targeted UK consumers in part because of the customer checkout process:

  • UK customers viewing these items were met with a persistent message offering to "Deliver to United Kingdom."
  • A pop-up box bearing the phrase, "We're showing you items that ship to United Kingdom," was also presented to those consumers known to be in the United Kingdom.
  • The "Review your order" page was found to have been intentionally UK-specific in its design, including UK-appropriate delivery times and prices, as well as the option for customers to pay in GBP sterling with an exchange rate displayed.

Important Points

One of the UK Supreme Court's principal concerns was the persistence with which Amazon's offers of UK delivery were made to customers during the sale process. In addition, e-commerce providers should be mindful of territorial intellectual property rights and consider how their websites might be seen to target customers in other territories. 

It is important to be mindful of these factors, as well as others, including:

  • Use of a local domain (
  • Local customer support (e.g., UK phone numbers)
  • Native language options

Parties should also consider the use of "geo-blocking" tools that divert customers in the United Kingdom to the UK site where such products are not available.

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