Amazon & Apple Duck Seller’s IPad-Cover Flap

(CN) – A company selling supposedly counterfeit iPad covers can’t pursue claims against Amazon and Apple for serving a “sham” infringement notice, the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Online retailer Hard2Find Accessories sued Apple and Amazon in 2014 on claims of breach of contract, antitrust violations, tortious interference, consumer law violations and defamation, saying Amazon shut down its third-party seller account after Apple complained that it was selling the covers too cheaply.

Apple routinely files counterfeit claims against companies that sell Apple products on Amazon at prices Apple doesn’t like, according to H2F’s complaint.

A judge dismissed the claims, finding H2F could not prove Apple’s infringement notice was baseless and that it had failed to state an antitrust claim.

H2F appealed to the Ninth Circuit and on Tuesday, a three-judge panel again ruled in favor of Amazon and Apple.

The panel said Apple supported its infringement claim with customer complaints regarding the authenticity of H2F’s iPad covers, according to the unpublished opinion.

H2F also failed to show Amazon’s seller agreement terms were deceptive or unfair and the lower court properly dismissed the breach of contract claims.

H2F did not appeal the dismissal of its state and federal antitrust claims, breach of fiduciary duty claim and unjust enrichment claims against Amazon or the dismissal of a defamation claim against Apple.

Circuit Judges Ronald Gould and Richard Paez and U.S. Senior District Judge Ivan Lemelle, sitting by designation from the Eastern District of Louisiana, sat on the panel.


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