Chinese e-commerce giant, Temu, has recently taken a significant step in this ongoing struggle in it’s efforts to prevent imposters, “cybersquatters,” and other individuals unlawfully doing business on its behalf in the U.S. ecommerce market.
The ecommerce marketplace that quickly rose to the No. 1 downloaded shopping app in the U.S. in late 2022 after surpassing app installations for retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, launching trademark infringement claims against 20 website domains unlawfully using its protected trademarks. The “cybersquatters” are using Temu’s protected trademarks to create domain names, counterfeit apps, look-a-like online marketplaces, fake coupon codes and other false promotions–all to mislead consumers into believing they’re engaging with genuine Temu offerings
Since its debut in September 2022, Temu has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, further amplified by its 2023 Super Bowl ads has given way to a surge in fake online properties, coupon codes and social media profiles. Much like other major retail platforms such as Amazon and Expedia, and brands like Nike, Adidas, and The North Face, Temu has found itself a target of imposter properties and online reputation sabotage. As well as, other forms of online reputation sabotage have become an unfortunate reality of successful retail businesses.
These fraudulent entities are all designed to mislead consumers into believing they’re engaging with genuine Temu offerings. The impact on unsuspecting customers can be severe. Many place orders with these imposters, only to never receive their items and find no customer service support for their missing orders. This harms the consumer and tarnishes Temu’s reputation, leading to a surge in online customer complaints, including those lodged with the Better Business Bureau.
“Millions of consumers from around the world have benefited from shopping on Temu,” said an official spokesperson for Temu. “It is important to shield them and future customers from being tricked by these online scams.”
The lawsuit identifies several online properties, including temuapp.biz, temu-app.net, temucouponcodes.com, temudeals.store, and temucouponcodes.com, which are allegedly using Temu’s marks without a license to deceive consumers and create a false association with Temu.
Temu accuses these websites of engaging in trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. They are also alleged to be promoting phishing and online fraud schemes. In addition, Temu has been the subject of defamatory sponsored ads and paid media articles placed on traditional and online media properties.