As an Amazon seller, it is important to be aware that there has recently been an increase in Amazon complaints relating to intellectual property (IP). If you’ve just encountered Intellectual Property Complaints, take a deep breath and let us guide you through the process of dealing with these issues.
What Is Amazon Intellectual Property?
Amazon intellectual property can be divided into three categories: Trademarks, Copyright, Patents.
- A trademark is the protection of a name, symbol, or design, which is used to identify source goods or services. A sub-part of a trademark is a trade dress, which is “the overall appearance and image in the marketplace of a product or a commercial enterprise. For a product, trade dress typically comprises packaging and labelling. For an enterprise, it typically comprises design and decor.”
- Copyright law protects works of original authorship, such as novels, poems, or musical composition.
- Patents provide the protection of ideas such as inventions or technological processes.
Reason of Increase in IP Complaints Against Amazon Sellers?
Amazon never monitors or bother about any intellectual property infringement until and unless it has been reported to it. It always tries to protect IP rights of brands or other authorized owners.
Amazon provides rights to the owner of the brands to file a complaint if they feel a product is counterfeit or inauthentic. It takes strict action against you if you violate intellectual property standard without knowledge.
Amazon will send you a warning notice of intellectual property complaint highlighting either Listing Suspension or Account Suspension.
It will remove your selling privileges without considering whether the complaints are legit or merely an attempt by other sellers to eliminate you from the competition.
This is a big loophole in the Amazon systems that most of the sellers used against each other to suspend other sellers from Amazon.
How to create a Plan of Action To Deal With Amazon IP Claims?
What to react when confronting right’s owner claims
- First attempt to reach out to the right’s owner for an explanation of the allegations. Even if you’ve received a baseless notice and your account has not been suspended, do not ignore the letter.
- Don’t get angry and defensive, and certainly do not send accusatory or threatening letters to other parties or their attorneys.
- In many circumstances, the right’s owner is enforcing IP rights that you might not even be aware of. Tell the alleged rights’ owner that you strive to respect other’ s intellectual property, and that you are writing to them to determine the basis of their claim. Ask them to substantiate their claims, including any registration numbers upon which the claims are based.
- Oftentimes, the right’s owner will explain to you the basis of the allegations, and may encourage you to retain your own attorney going forward. They may or may not agree to retract the complaint pending your removal of any infringing material. They may ignore you entirely.
If the brand comes calling and files notices with Amazon, you can’t run and hide, you need to address it: talk about adherence to compliance, and show that you understand your place in the reseller universe.
What you need to do is to write an appeal that demonstrates the action items below
- You’ve retained professional legal advice not only to protect yourself, but to prevent future possible violations.
- All items you sell are vetted and documented prior to listing them, to ensure that the brand will not come after you for selling it on Amazon.com.
- You’ve immediately removed offending items when contacted by the right’s owner or brand, upon verifying that their claims are legitimate, to resolve the dispute.
- Indicate that you are going over ALL listings with your IP attorney to ensure that nothing will violate another party’s rights when you sell it.
Amazon will be more responsive to abuse of the rights infringement notice process AND you can make use of counter notices, in the proper circumstances, to defend yourself against false claims.
In conclusion, Amazon is an excellent resource for businesses to sell their products on a worldwide platform. However, these businesses need to protect themselves from intellectual property infringement on their products and they also need to be proactive so that they never infringe on another party’s IP rights.
If you are caught infringing on an IP, you will need to immediately remove that listing and prepare a good plan of action for that. However, if you, unfortunately, encounter this issue and can’t find a solution, Amazoker provides Amazon Appeal Service to help you restore your business in the shortest time. Contact us now!