J-K govt asks Amazon, Flipkart to stop selling fake ‘Kashmir Pashmina’ brand

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The online selling platform Amazon has stopped using the name of ‘Kashmir Pashmina’ for fake handicraft products after Jammu and Kashmir’s handicraft department issued a notice to the e-commerce giant.

Director of handicrafts and handloom department, Mehmood Ahmad Shah, in a statement, said that the action was taken against the e-commerce platforms after it received various representations and delegations complaining that the various e-commerce platforms were selling fake pashmina products under the name of “Kashmir Pashmina”.

“In this regard, the allegation levelled by the Pashmina artisans and traders against the e-commerce platforms was checked with regard to the sales and distribution of Kashmir Pashmina, which proved to be factually correct as the shawls, stoles etc, under the brand of Kashmir Pashmina was being sold on the e-commerce platforms prominent among them Amazon and Flipkart, ” he said.

The department issued a notice to the Amazon e-commerce platform to discontinue selling and distribution of the products under the brand name of Kashmir Pashmina on Oct 10.

In response, Amazon denied the charges but removed the tag.

“However, after receiving the notice, the name and format under which the items have been displayed on Amazon have entirely changed, and none of the products now listed use the phrase ‘Original Kashmir Pashmina’ anywhere on the product page, ” the director said.

“Pertinent to mention that Kashmir Pashmina products are legally protected under the geographical Indication of Goods Act, 1999, read with clauses 23, 24, and 25 under G. I- 46 dated 09.12.2005,” he said.

The Directorate received the reply through Vivek Ayyagari, Senior Associate, Saikrishna & Associates, Counsel for Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd.

“In reply to the notice, Amazon has denied all allegations against it, claiming that Amazon is only a marketplace wherein third-party buyers and sellers transact with each other. And that our grievances against Amazon actually rest with the third-party sellers listing their products under the brand name Kashmir Pashmina, ” the statement said.

The reply also mentioned that Amazon assures its full cooperation in taking appropriate action against any allegedly infringing and/or unlawful listings under the brand name Kashmir Pashmina on its marketplace subject that these specific listings are notified to them.

This is in view of the department’s seriousness with regard to stopping the online piracy and selling of fake products on the name of Kashmir Pashmina through various e-commerce platforms and therefore endeavoring to strengthen G.I (Geographical Indication) tagging for Kashmir Pashmina, ” the director said.

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