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United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

September 16, 2019

AMAZON.COM, INC., a Delaware corporation, Plaintiff,
HUANG TENGWEI, an individual; XIE WEIYONG, an individual; and ADSWING TECHNOLOGY, CO., LTD., a Hong Kong company, Defendants.




         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff, Inc. (“Amazon”)'s Motion for Default Judgment against Defendants Huang Tengwei, Xie Weiyong, and Adswing Technology Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Defendants”). Dkt. #27. On June 5, 2019, the Court granted Amazon's Motion for Default against Defendants. Dkt. #23. Amazon now requests $4 million in statutory damages against Defendants jointly and severally and a permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants from engaging in future trademark infringement. Having reviewed Amazon's Motion, the supporting documents, and the remainder of the record, the Court finds good cause to grant the requested relief in part.


         The Court accepts the following well-pleaded allegations of Amazon's Amended Complaint as established fact. See LHF Prods., Inc. v. Holmes, 2018 WL 3742189, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 7, 2018) (citing TeleVideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1987)).

         Millions of consumers around the world shop on for hundreds of millions of items. Amazon is one of the most recognized brands in the world.

         “Malvertising” describes malicious advertisements that harm consumers and damage the entire online advertising industry. Malvertising threatens consumers through a range of harmful actions, including disrupted user experiences and malware attacks. It threatens the advertising publishers because users associate the malvertisements with them. It also directly damages brands, like Amazon, that malvertisers unlawfully use in an effort to deceive consumers.

         From their office in China, Defendants Huang Tengwei (“Huang”) and Xie Weiyong (“Xie”) operated a sophisticated and widespread “malvertising” campaign that harmed Amazon's customers and damaged Amazon's brand. Huang and Xie operate under a multitude of company names (some real, some fictitious), including for example, AdsBays, Tap My Traffic, Adbooming, and Adscompanion.

         Defendants Huang and Xie hijacked the legitimate online advertising process by injecting malicious code into advertisements published on popular websites. Defendants' malvertisements forcibly redirected victims from their desired websites to a website controlled by Defendants replete with Amazon's trademarks and other indications of Amazon's brand. Defendants intentionally designed this website to deceive victims into believing it was affiliated with Amazon to entice victims to click through. Defendants then sold the generated traffic to online marketing companies.

         Amazon operates its own advertising service. The abuse of Amazon's brand was central to Defendants' malvertising scheme, and Defendants' actions directly harmed consumers. Amazon's products and services are readily identifiable to consumers around the world because of the company's substantial investment of time, money, and other resources in Amazon's brand, including exclusive ownership of numerous federally registered and registration-pending trademarks including the following marks at issue in this case: AMAZON, AMAZON.COM, the Amazon logo, and the abbreviated “a” Amazon logo as pictured in the Amended Complaint. See Dkt. #11 at 5-6.

         Defendant Huang Tengwei and Defendant Xie Weiyong are individuals who likely reside in China. Dkt. #29 (“Williams Decl.”), ¶ 4. Defendant Adswing Technology Co., Ltd. (“Adswing”) is a company registered in Hong Kong, China, and owned by Xie. Id.

         As stated above, Amazon alleges that Defendants engaged in an online advertising scheme that deceived online consumers using Amazon's name and marks. See Dkt. #27 at 5-7 (citing Amended Complaint). Further evidence to support these allegations come in the form of a declaration from an Amazon employee, Jason A. Roe, who states that he has reviewed “numerous” complaints Amazon has received about this malvertizing scheme. Dkt. #30 at ¶ 3. These complaints are not attached as exhibits. Mr. Roe references and quotes from eight customer complaints. Id. at ¶ 4 - 11.

         Amazon also includes a declaration of a strategic brand analyst and investigator named Nate Hall who details how the malvertizing scheme worked on a technical level. Dkt. #31. Through the use of Amazon's name and marks, Defendants directed duped online users to a New York-based marketing company called Fluent, Inc. that purchased this traffic. Id. at ¶ 11. Mr. Hall states that “[b]ased upon my review of records provided by Fluent and my investigation, Defendants referred over 800, 000 unique victims to Fluent through Defendants' AdsBays account alone” and that “[b]ased on my experience as an investigator, the number of victims who received Defendants' malvertisements… is far greater than 800, 000 because not every victim who viewed Defendants' Landing Page completed the survey.” Id. at 14-15.

         The Court previously granted leave under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(f)(3) and (h)(2) to serve Defendants by registered electronic mail to the ...

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