- What Exactly Is an Amazon IP Claim?
- The Most Common Types of IP Violations on Amazon
- How to Verify the Legitimacy of an IP Complaint
- Can IP Complaints on Amazon Be Avoided?
- If Amazon Notifies You About an IP Complaint – How Do You Remove It?
- 1. Get in Touch With the Brand Owner
- 2. Enclose Invoices as Verification of Payment
- 3. Ask the Company to Retract the Complaint
- 4. Let Amazon Know That You’ve Been in Touch With the Brand’s Owner
- 5. Attach Purchase Receipts to Your Amazon Message
- 6. Outline a Plan of Action
- 7. Ask Amazon to Take Down the Claim
- Final Thoughts
Protection of intellectual property is essential in the e-commerce industry, which deals in the daily sale of millions of items. Amazon is especially “sensitive” to these kinds of complaints as it must maintain its integrity.
Amazon IP (intellectual property) claims are filed by IP owners or representatives of brands to report infringements on their patents, logos, or copyrights. The potential for these reports to disrupt business, remove listings, or suspend accounts may cause Amazon sellers to panic.
Taking the time to learn about an Amazon IP Claims and how to address them is the right thing to do if you want your shop to be there for the long haul. A company’s success or failure may hinge on this information. Keep reading to get the lowdown on IP problems, solutions, and how to avoid brand complaints when selling on Amazon.
You might also be interested in reading our guide on counterfeit & inauthentic items suspensions.
What Exactly Is an Amazon IP Claim?
The first thing you should know is that it is not against the law to resale products on Amazon you have legally acquired. Otherwise, there would be no need for a Retail Arbitrage. What’s critical to note here is that Amazon is the one setting the regulations, so if a brand files an IP complaint with them, you will have to follow suit or else, it will affect your account health.
Amazon IP complaints are violations of intellectual property rights. If Amazon has notified a seller of an IP violation, it means a brand owner has lodged a complaint about their ASINs. In this way, brands can say that Amazon sellers who put their items on a certain information page violate their IP rights.
Amazon has created an IP complaints policy to provide Amazon FBA sellers with additional legal safeguards. In reality, though, competitors often take advantage of it. You should report this to Amazon if you suspect it has happened.
It’s crucial to analyze the complaint’s foundation and take appropriate measures to fix the problem. Reading the complaint and identifying the exact IP right that has been infringed upon is the first order of business. Knowing Amazon’s stance on an IP claim is the only way to avoid making false complaints — read more about it on Amazon.com itself.
The Most Common Types of IP Violations on Amazon
No one really wants to spend time studying IP law, and maybe we can all agree on that. Not all complaints about IP infringement are the same, either. The circumstances surrounding each infraction vary.
Particularly if you operate in a highly competitive market, you must have a thorough comprehension of how Amazon perceives each violation. Your brand might profit more from working with a consultant to avoid misunderstandings.
Fortunately, there are just four basic types of IP infractions that Amazon cares about. This includes:
Branding elements include words, symbols, or designs that help consumers remember a company. You risk an IP complaint if you make unauthorized use of a trademarked term or logo. Brands can file an ASIN-level complaint against retailers that are selling counterfeit or otherwise infringing goods bearing the brand’s name or logo. The rights holder may file a trademark infringement claim against the entire ASIN or Detail page if the terms are violated.
Authorial works are safeguarded by copyright laws. Books, movies, games, and music are all fair game. False claims of authorship are common, and it can be difficult to establish your rightful ownership of a creative work.
Some competitors might even falsely report your product images as copyrighted, so it’s very recommended to have unique and high-quality product images as well.
False claims about products being authentic have earned a poor reputation on Amazon. This is due to two factors.
Firstly, when a report of a possible counterfeit product is made, Amazon immediately takes action to prevent further legal trouble for the company. Many accounts are suspended without cause because of this policy. Secondly, dishonest rights owners frequently use sole distribution rights as justification for the counterfeit allegation.
Therefore, it is not a good idea to attempt to identify fake claims on your own. A consultant can help you fight back against dishonest business practices such as exclusive distribution claims and other strategies used by competitors and manufacturers.
At some point, a copyright owner will report a seller for selling knockoffs bearing their brand or copyright works.
These are forms of legal safety for inventions. There is a risk of intellectual property (IP) complaints if you sell an item that infringes on someone else’s patent. Utility patents and design patents are the two main categories of patents.
While Amazon patent complaints are uncommon, they aren’t always easy to resolve. The rights holder can initiate a report on your entire ASIN, which will result in immediate seller account suspension.
How to Verify the Legitimacy of an IP Complaint
As an Amazon FBA seller, you may be asking how to tell if a claim of intellectual property infringement is valid. It might be unsettling to receive an IP complaint, especially if you have never received one before.
If a company wants to assert intellectual property rights, it’s better to do so through Amazon’s formal channels rather than through Amazon seller account messages. You will get an email from Amazon and a notification in Seller Central under “Performance Notifications” if a brand has filed a valid intellectual property claim against you.
An IP claim can be investigated in a few different ways. Before filing an intellectual property complaint, it is important to do some background study on the company and the item in question. Brand statements on IP protection may also be found on the company’s website or social media accounts.
You can always consult a legal professional or reach out to Amazon Seller Support if you have any further questions. The following measures will help you avoid IP infractions on Amazon and keep your account from being suspended.
Can IP Complaints on Amazon Be Avoided?
While there are some indicators that sellers can use to determine whether or not a brand is likely to launch an IP claim against them, in most cases you will need to rely on your general knowledge and conduct additional, manual inquiry.
Here are some warning indications that you may be putting yourself at risk by selling these items:
- The company is the sole provider of the goods on Amazon. This shows how seriously they protect their brand, making great efforts to prevent others from selling their products.
- There are only a few competitors, but they have tens of thousands of ratings between them. If the manufacturer has an exclusive agreement, they may not want you to sell their products.
While these pointers are useful, the IP Alert Chrome Extension is essential since it provides access to an index of known IP claimants.
If Amazon Notifies You About an IP Complaint – How Do You Remove It?
When faced with an IP complaint, your response is critical to resolving the issue. Here is a step-by-step approach to effectively respond to an IP complaint from a brand:
1. Get in Touch With the Brand Owner
Start by writing an expert email to the complainant or rights holder. In this communication, make sure to:
- Cite the specific complaint, acknowledging its receipt.
- Apologize sincerely for any oversight or infringement unintentionally caused.
- Express your commitment to resolving the issue swiftly and amicably.
2. Enclose Invoices as Verification of Payment
Include copies of your receipts to prove that the things you claim to have purchased are legitimate. This is a critical step in reassuring the company that you have legitimately sourced their product.
3. Ask the Company to Retract the Complaint
In the same email, politely ask the brand owner to withdraw the IP claim. Your efforts to fix the problem and prevent further violations should be highlighted. It’s critical to encourage openness and mutual respect during this exchange.
4. Let Amazon Know That You’ve Been in Touch With the Brand’s Owner
Next, file an IP complaint with Amazon using Seller Central or the appropriate platform. Please let them know that you have contacted the brand owner and are taking steps to remedy the problem. This shows that you took the initiative to resolve the issue.
5. Attach Purchase Receipts to Your Amazon Message
You should include the identical proof of purchase receipts that you sent to the brand owner in your discussion with Amazon. This serves as two checks to ensure your products are legit and shows you’re following guidelines on Amazon.
6. Outline a Plan of Action
Provide a well-organized Plan of Action explaining the measures you’ve done to respond to the complaint and prevent future IP infractions. Whether you are eliminating infringing ads or stopping the sale of non-compliant products, be specific about the steps you are doing to remedy the situation. Include safeguards against repeat occurrences in your plan.
7. Ask Amazon to Take Down the Claim
Request that Amazon remove the IP claim from your account in a friendly manner in your conversation with them. Make sure Amazon knows you want to uphold their policies and safeguard their customers’ intellectual property. If you want to keep selling on Amazon and restore your selling credentials, you need to withdraw the claim.
Understanding and addressing intellectual property violations is crucial for your Amazon business. When you receive an Amazon complaint about intellectual property issues, it’s essential to act promptly and professionally to encourage a retraction. Failing to do so could impact your Amazon business negatively. By staying informed and taking appropriate actions, you can safeguard your account and maintain a successful presence on the platform.
If you happen to received an IP complaint — we can help you remove it — just contact us and let us know!
In some cases your account might be “toast” and unrecoverable — that’s why we offer new and fully approved Amazon seller accounts for sale. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.