Every day, startups all over the world set up websites in the hopes of becoming a runaway success like Casper or Warby Parker. Many of them turn to Shopify, a Canadian company that makes it a snap to open a web store. Shopify charges a mere $30 a month to maintain the site and can help with shipping, payments and even inventory. More than 600,000 merchants have signed on, and most have no complaints.
Then there are people like Mike Lindell. He runs My Pillow, which makes pillows, sheets and mattresses. Earlier this year, Lindell noticed that an unidentified scammer had used Shopify tools to set up a near-facsimile of mypillow.com called mypillowstore.com, which claimed to sell My Pillow products. In April, My Pillow sued Shopify, alleging it supported trademark infringement. Shopify took down the site, but My Pillow is demanding damages plus any money Shopify made running the bogus store.
"They've never contacted us to tell us how they're going to stop this from happening in the future," Lindell says. "Millions of dollars could go into fake sites like this before they take them down. You could destroy a company."