During the period of economic resurgence after the subprime mortgage crisis, China became a manufacturing powerhouse, with Amazon playing a pivotal role. Amazon's attractive policies lured Chinese e-commerce sellers to its platform, subsequently drawing many more customers with their competitive pricing. This surge, however, also invited Chinese counterfeiters onto Amazon's platform. Major brands responded by suing those counterfeit sellers for trademark infringement. As most Chinese sellers failed to attend trials, these cases almost always resulted in uncontested wins for the brands, thereby granting them access to the sellers' financial accounts as a means to satisfy the damage claimed. Many U.S. businesses saw this as a lucrative opportunity. They replicated the strategies by bringing suits against numerous Chinese sellers for guaranteed profits. Yet, these cases against Chinese defendants likely possess four procedural flaws: the arguable invalidity of service pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad, the questionable jurisdiction of U.S. courts over Chinese sellers, the potential impropriety in joining numerous sellers in one suit, and the inadequate notice for many Chinese sellers.
Lei Zhu, Made in China, Sued in the U.S.: the Exploitation of Civil Procedure in Cross-Border e-Commerce Trademark Infringement Cases, 34 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 139-174 (2024)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/djcil/vol34/iss1/4