Amazon stopped selling certain furniture designs on its website after West Elm called them 'knockoffs' in a new lawsuit

Amazon/west elm lawsuit

Court Documents

A comparison of the West Elm Orb chair and Amazon's Rivet chair shows how similar they appear.

  • Amazon has stopped selling certain designs in its furniture collection, Rivet.
  • The apparent change occurred after the designs were named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Williams-Sonoma, parent company of West Elm.
  • The suit alleged that Amazon copied the designs in its own products, like in its Orb chair.
  • The product pages for the chairs in question are now returning an error message, as of Tuesday evening.

Amazon has stopped selling some of its private-label Rivet furniture after it was accused of lifting the designs from another brand in a lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday.

West Elm, through its parent company Williams-Sonoma, has accused Amazon of creating "knockoffs" of the designs of three of its patented chairs, including the Orb Dining Chair, the Orb Office Chair, and the Slope Leather Swivel Office Chair.

"'Rivet,' an Amazon furniture and housewares product line, sells knockoffs of WSI's [Williams-Sonoma, Inc's] popular West Elm brand products," the plaintiffs allege in the suit.

In court documents, Williams-Sonoma lawyers noted the shape and size similarity of both companies' products, as well as the marketing of it with the same words: orb and slope.

Amazon west elm

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Another comparison of the West Elm Orb chair and Amazon's chair.

"It is implausible Amazon could have conceived of a product line with nearly identical product designs which feature product names containing the very same non-descriptive terms WSI uses in connection with these products, other than by intentionally undertaking to copy WSI's West Elm product line," Williams-Sonoma says in court filings.

As of this writing, the Amazon product pages for all three Rivet chairs now return error messages, complete with Amazon's famous 404 dog pictures.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit, but agreed the products seem to no longer be for sale.

West Elm introduced its Orb and Slope chairs in 2016. Amazon released its Rivet line of furniture in late 2017, and according to the suit, it started selling its Slope and Orb chairs in March.

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