Amazon’s vending machines are no longer just a convenience for Amazon shoppers, they’re also becoming a symbol of the internet’s new age of consumerism.
A number of retailers have been quick to capitalize on this trend.
A few of the most prominent include Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Pizza Hut.
But it wasn’t always so easy for vending machines to be rebranded as a more attractive alternative to the familiar plastic, red, and green logos.
In 2015, the Department of Justice sued Amazon and three other internet retailers over the use of the word “vending” in their logos.
In doing so, the department argued that they violated the Fair Trade Act, a federal law that requires that consumers have access to affordable goods and services at reasonable prices.
While the government’s case was eventually dismissed, the fact that the government has a history of challenging the use and marketing of logos, slogans, and similar advertising and promotional materials is worrisome.
For example, in 2008, the Justice Department brought suit against a company called Watsons that used the word ‘watsons’ in its logo and in a promotional material.
In 2012, a different lawsuit was filed against another online retailer, called GoGo, which used the same word in its promotional material as well.
But in both cases, the DOJ argued that it wasn, in fact, “the use of these logos and other distinctive words that constitutes deceptive advertising,” as opposed to the “recreational use” of those same words.
The case before the Supreme Court, however, was ultimately dismissed, and the DOJ dropped the charges against GoGo.
While a number of the cases that were brought against Amazon were dismissed, GoGo was not.
In December 2016, the Supreme