Birkenstock Blocks Amazon From Luring Customers With Misspelled Name on Google

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Birkenstock's iconic Arizona sandal.
Courtesy of brand

In an ongoing battle with Amazon to protect its brand integrity and distribution, German comfort brand Birkenstock has scored yet another victory.

A German court has ordered the e-tail giant not to lure internet shoppers to its site when they mistakenly search for misspelled versions of the brand’s name on Google. The injunction was initially reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

According to Reuters, Birkenstock convinced a district court in Dusseldorf that Amazon booked variations of Birkenstock as keywords through Google AdWords.

A range of variations of the brand name would yield results for Birkenstock shoes sold on Amazon.com, the court determined in a ruling dated Dec. 20, 2017. Birkenstock had pursued the injunction because it feared unsuspecting shoppers might buy counterfeit goods through Amazon that could negatively impact its reputation.

“It was indeed a court victory for Birkenstock,” David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas, told Footwear News. “All interaction we had with Amazon which preceded this going back to last summer, and the activities Amazon engaged in which we took to issue with, obviously have led us to global actions to maintain our brand equity.”

Earlier in the month, Birkenstock announced that it would halt direct deliveries on Amazon in Europe beginning Jan. 1, 2018. The company has lodged a series of complaints against Amazon, specifically alleging that it allowed sales on its site that violated Birkenstock trademark rights — the brand has a trademark on its cork-soled sandals — and misled consumers.

Kahan has been at odds with Amazon in the past. He severed ties with the company in January 2017, pulling the direct sale of Birkenstock products, as well as all sales from third parties, on the site in the U.S.

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