Cloning a product on Amazon can be perfectly legal. However, there are still laws preventing the use of other people's photos and descriptions.
Damavandi, having spotted a clear offender, filed a copyright infringement claim with Amazon to get the Krasr product removed. He was successful.
Then, Damavandi says, the madness started. (Krasr denies the following narrative, saying in one email that, "This is all a joke and completely made up," and in another that it sounds like Pure Daily is doing whatever it can to get rid of "threats and competitors.")
Damavandi was contacted on WhatsApp by a person claiming to be "from Krasr," who asked him to withdraw his infringement claim. Damavandi said he would first need Krasr to remove stolen content from its product page.
The next day, April 4, Damavandi received a puzzling email from Amazon saying the company had received his request to retract the infringement complaint.
But Damavandi says he never sent any such request.
The email from the apparent impostor to Amazon, which CNBC has viewed, used the address that Damavandi allows Amazon to give other sellers if a conflict needs to be resolved. Krasr is the only entity that would have gotten access to that email address for that specific claim.
There were several clues it was a fake email. The sender claimed to be emailing from "onyxdist" — the shortened version of Onyx Distribution, Damavandi's distribution company, and also the suffix in the email address, but not a name that Damavandi would ever have used in communications. The email ends with "Sincerely, Dama" — referring to the prefix in the email address and a shortened version of his last name. He said he never uses this name in emails.
Damavandi tried to clear the confusion up with Amazon immediately, but the company ignored him, he said.
It's certainly not the first time Amazon has been duped. In September, CNBC reported on a fake law firm tricking the site into kicking off the seller of a popular toothbrush head. Late last year, a number of Samsung sellers were suspended because of mistaken infringement claims, and the site has become generally more chaotic in recent years since Amazon started openly courting Chinese sellers.
After the fake retraction email to Amazon, Krasr was right back up and running with its Nanosteamer. And the attacks on Damavandi's product were just beginning.