Amazon Compliance is getting more difficult every year
With millions of listings on Amazon, it certainly comes as no surprise that there are many intellectual property complaints among Amazon sellers.
With claims ranging from plagiarizing text to outright stealing logos and other trademarks, Amazon IP protection teams fight hard daily to mitigate IP theft on their platform.
Despite this, however, sellers need to take their own steps to make sure their intellectual property on Amazon is properly protected.
As a seller on Amazon, you must defend what’s rightfully yours and your business’s in order to see success on the platform. In this article, we discuss the best methods for IP protection on Amazon that will benefit sellers both old and new.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible creations of the mind. These creations include inventions, logos, designs, songs, stories, and anything else that is essentially “thought” into existence. Intellectual property on Amazon may include logos, branding, and product content such as copy, photos, and videos.
There are legal frameworks that exist to protect IP, such as trademarks, copyright, and patents. Intellectual property on Amazon is protected by these laws within the seller’s jurisdiction.
Why is protecting your IP important?
Amazon is a massive platform that makes intellectual property complaints on Amazon all too common. When someone infringes on your IP, it can have a negative impact on your business such as lost sales or a damaged reputation. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about Amazon IP protection.
What can you do as a new seller?
If you have not yet trademarked your branding or enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry, then you should do these two things as soon as possible.
Registering your Amazon business with Brand Registry and filing for the necessary legal protection is a worthwhile investment as it allows you to properly protect your brand.
With Brand Registry, you can also handle your intellectual property complaints on Amazon much more easily.
New sellers may also benefit from working with an Amazon Advertising Agency to help them handle their IP protection.
Amazon consulting agencies can also provide other valuable resources such as marketing strategies, Amazon PPC services, legal advice, and more.
Common intellectual property complaints on Amazon can range from having product photos stolen to having every word of a seller’s product descriptions plagiarized.
By protecting your brand from the start, you can encounter fewer headaches than most new sellers.
Types of IP violations
Not all types of intellectual property complaints on Amazon are for the same thing. There are different types of IP violations, with different actions needed for each. Although some are more severe than others, it’s important you provide your business with IP protection on Amazon in every way you can.
ASIN Level violations
This level includes complaints about someone using your images or text on a product, packaging, or any other place in which you didn’t give permission.
Image or text IP violations
These violations include using images/text in a product listing without your permission.
This type of amazon intellectual property complaint may arise when you believe that a seller’s listing uses content that is protected by copyright.
How to Claim IP infringement using Amazon Brand Registry
When you register on Brand Registry you become eligible for Amazon Trademark Protection and other brand protection features.
If you are experiencing what you believe to be IP infringement, then you’ll be able to easily use the RAV (report a violation) Feature on the platform.
This feature requires you to fill out a form with the following information and materials:
- Signature of the copyright holder
- Description of IP being infringed
- Description of the material you claim to have been infringed
- Detailed list of products, links or ASIN
- Your contact information
- Any other relevant information
- Statement of good faith belief that disputed use is not authorized
- Statement of a penalty of perjury
You will also be required to send notices to Amazon’s copyright department if copyright infringement applies to your situation.
Once your intellectual property complaints for Amazon have been submitted, their internal IP teams will review your submission and determine whether or not your intellectual property on Amazon has been violated.
If your IP has indeed been infringed upon, Amazon will work to take down any listings that use your content without permission.
Cease and desist letters
A cease and desist letter is a legal document that you can send directly to the infringing party. Before doing this, however, you must understand the legal implications of sending a cease and desist order regarding your intellectual property on Amazon. Feel free to read this guide before sending a cease and desist letter to ensure you understand all the risks associated with this type of legal action.
Benefits of sending a cease and desist letter
Although there may be better steps to take when it comes to protecting intellectual property on Amazon, a cease and desist letter can result in the desired outcome and may be necessary in some cases. If you plan on issuing a cease and desist, make sure you adhere to the following best practices:
- Be straightforward with your intentions
- Provide clear information and leave no doubt
- List violated terms and items
Downsides to sending a cease and desist Letter
Please note that sending a cease and desist letter does not directly involve Amazon with intellectual property complaints.
When you go through the established Amazon IP protection programs, you may be able to resolve issues more quickly.
As always you should fully understand the legal consequences of threatening and pursuing legal actions. It is best to consult with a lawyer before you engage in any legal battles.
Amazon Brand Gating
What is Amazon Brand Gating?
Brand Gating is another Amazon program that can provide an extra layer of protection for your brand. Through this program, Amazon can seize counterfeit products, remove unauthorized listings and even prevent listings from being created if a third-party seller is using another seller’s IP.
Why do sellers use or apply for Brand Gating?
With Brand Gating, Amazon prevents unauthorized resellers from using your brand name to sell counterfeit products by requiring them to show proof that they are permitted to sell them. Therefore, without your explicit approval, other sellers can’t resell your products or infringe on your branding IP when you use Amazon Brand Gating.
How do you apply for Brand Gating?
Amazon Brand Gating is free for sellers registered with Amazon Brand Registry. To apply, you’ll need to fill out a detailed application and provide the ASINs you want to protect. Additionally, working with an Amazon consulting agency can help ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible.
Consider hiring an agency and/or legal team to handle brand gating to handle for you
By hiring an Amazon advertising agency or business legal aid, you’ll get the professional help you need to navigate the messes that come with intellectual property complaints on Amazon.
Agencies will be able to help you understand more about intellectual property on Amazon as well as assist in navigating IP infringement on the platform.
It’s also wise to consult with a lawyer before involving any sort of legal action against sellers. This can help you get the most out of your action and provide further protection for your business.
As a seller, you may end up filing intellectual property complaints on Amazon. Violations involving intellectual property on Amazon may result from other sellers infringing upon your trademarks, copyright or even patents.
By registering with Amazon’s Brand Registry, and consulting with legal experts, you’ll be taking the right steps to protect your intellectual property on Amazon.
If you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our compliance experts to help manage your brand registry application or IP issues.
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