May 3, 2019 1:15 PM, EDT

Amazon Fails to Get Williams-Sonoma Lawsuit Tossed

AmazonChris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News failed to dodge a lawsuit that accused it of trying to trick shoppers into thinking it was an authorized reseller of Williams-Sonoma products.

Williams-Sonoma filed the trademark-infringement lawsuit last year to protest a section of the Amazon website that displays hundreds of its products and doesn’t make clear that the products aren’t coming directly from Williams-Sonoma.

The case is a challenge to the online retailer’s private label push that started with batteries, baby wipes and phone chargers and has expanded to include clothing, toys and high-end furniture.

Amazon argued that the lawsuit should be tossed out. It said it was doing nothing wrong, just providing a place where Williams-Sonoma products, bought elsewhere, could be resold to consumers.

But a magistrate judge in San Francisco said May 2 that Williams-Sonoma made strong enough allegations to proceed with the case.

“It is a close call, but on balance, the allegations raise the plausible inference that Amazon is not merely reselling Williams-Sonoma products but is instead cultivating the incorrect impression that these sales on are authorized by Williams-Sonoma and that a reasonably prudent consumer is likely to be confused,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte wrote in her ruling.

Amazon representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.