Amazon Bookstore, the Minneapolis, Minn., feminist bookstore that was founded in 1970, has filed suit against Amazon.com, alleging that the cyberretailer, which opened for business in 1995, has 'knowingly infringed its trademark.' The suit seeks to enjoin Amazon.com from using the Amazon name and asks for damages and attorneys' fees.
An Amazon.com spokesperson said that the company had not yet been served with the suit and couldn't comment.
In the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Amazon Bookstore argues that 'tremendous confusion exists among consumers as to the affiliation of Amazon Bookstore and the source of its products. With its vast size and massive marketing expenditures, Amazon.com is rapidly overwhelming Amazon Bookstore and negating its attempts to alleviate the confusion. The result is that Amazon Bookstore is losing the value of its trademark, its product and corporate identity, its ability to move into new markets, and control over the goodwill and reputation it has developed over the last thirty years.'
Asked why the suit hadn't been filed earlier, Amazon Bookstore president and manager Barb Wieser told PW that the confusion had grown dramatically in the past year and that it took some time to find the right law firm to represent the store in its suit. 'It's a big deal to take on Amazon.com,' Wieser said.
'At conferences, people say, `We order books from you,' when they're actually buying from Amazon.com,' Wieser added. 'Even some people who know our store think they're ordering from us when they're ordering from Amazon.com.' Amazon Bookstore sends a newsletter to more than 2500 subscribers in 12 countries and has a Web site (www.amazonfembks.com).