“Trademarks ensure quality”

Now there are two situations that can arise:

  • Someone copies your trademark
  • Or someone files a trademark infringement case against you.

Both of these things require immediate attention or your Amazon account could be in trouble.

We have discussed various aspects of trademark infringement in this post.

Let’s take a look:

What is Trademark Infringement?

Trademark is a mark of quality usually overlooked by third-party sellers.

So basically, it is a symbol or a phrase that distinguishes a product/service. Trademark infringement occurs when a seller tries to copy unauthorized and identical business names.

Imagine, you list a product under a brand name that already exists. It is highly likely that you will have to go through strict penalties by Amazon.

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This is Amazon’s trademark and it is displayed everywhere on Amazon. If you were to copy this, you will have infringed their trademark.

Where are Trademarks Displayed on Amazon?

You will find trademarks on the product details page.

Trademarks are uploaded on the byline portion in the product details section.

In the image below, you can see that “Purina, fancy feast” is a trademark of this brand selling cat food.

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What Happens When a Seller Infringes Your Trademark?

As we discussed that trademark infringement occurs when a seller distributes/sells unauthorized reproductions of your product.

There are two ways to approach this problem:

  1. Contact Amazon via an online form
  2. You can also have your trademark registered federally to have nationwide protection from infringement.

There are sellers who blatantly copy your overall presence on Amazon. They sell your product with a similar trademark, product style, and description.

It can be incredibly annoying.

There are certain confusing situations in this case. There are multiple manufacturers in this industry. Incorrect ASIN can cause a great deal of confusion. When a seller lists a product bought from the same manufacturer (under non-exclusive licenses) they list their product under the same ASIN. Although it may seem unfair, sometimes that can also be considered trademark infringement. See: https://onlinetrademarkattorneys.com/faq/amazon-trademark-copyright-infringement/

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What to do when a seller is selling unlawful copies of your product?

There are three ways to approach this problem:

  1. Contact the seller directly
  2. Contact Amazon and report a violation.
  3. File a complaint against the seller using their ASIN number and other relevant information.

Types of Amazon Infringement Claims:

There are several situations that can put your future of selling on Amazon in jeopardy. There are two types of infringement claims:

  • Copyright infringement claim
  • Trademark infringement claim

But, in this blog post, we will be discussing “trademark infringement claim only”.

Here are a few scenarios of trademark infringement:

Someone is Selling my Work (artistic)

Well, this one is a bit confusing. If a person has legitimately bought your product they are free to resell it. However, if they have just simply copied or stolen your work that is considered infringement.

Someone is Using my Pictures:

It is a common practice to upload a picture of your product on Amazon. If another seller steals a picture taken by you, you can file a report. However, you need to make sure that you have already taken it off of Google.

Another important piece of information:

You can follow the copyright process if you have the copyright of your images, the entire process takes 45 days and a $100 to be approved.

Someone has Filed a False Infringement Case Against me:

Usually, the product allegedly under scrutiny is removed from Amazon. But, if a seller believes that it is a false claim, they can file a counter complaint. Amazon has 14 days to re-list the product.

How To Respond to Claims of False Trademark Infringement?

We had a team member go through this. Her product, pictures, product description, and logo were all legit. She was a force to be reckoned with until she had to go through a false claim of trademark infringement against her.

She was disturbed and upset. She was 100% sure that the claim was false.

We started investigating and found these two great ways to deal with this issue. So let’s take a quick look:

Find the Source:

Before planning a strategy, it is imperative to know the source of the claim. Did it come from Amazon or another seller? It could also come from a manufacturer. A merchant not working in the Amazon marketplace can also file a complaint. The information should be provided in the email you received from Amazon.

File a Counterclaim:

You can only file a counterclaim through Amazon. But you do need solid legal grounds for that.

**Tip: A federally registered trademark can save you from a lot of trouble.

See:** https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/how-to-counter-claim-on-trademark-complaint/419912

Legal Support:

Hiring a trademark attorney can be a great option. A federally registered trademark allows you the support of trademark law. Thus, it is recommended to get help from a specialist to know more about the law.

What are the Outcomes of a Trademark Infringement Complaint Against me?

There are several outcomes to a possible infringement claim. Your entire Amazon storefront could be suspended. But if the complaint has been made against a specific product then that product may be removed.

But, If there are multiple complaints against a store, there is a high chance that the entire store will be removed.

A Step by Step Guide of Dealing with a Trademark Infringement Claim (In Case your Account gets Suspended):

We know the havoc a suspended account can wreak on your life. It can leave you incredibly confused. We have listed down a few ways for you to make your way through this tough time.

  • Research-find out if the complaint is correct:

    It is imperative to do detailed research on the complaint. Make sure the business filing the complaint has actual grounds to do so. There are certain cases that we have already discussed above where there is a thin line between a false and a correct claim.

  • Contact Amazon:

    You can file a counterclaim and explain your legitimacy.

  • Contact the seller:

    You can always contact the real seller and ask them to solve this matter with you. Maybe they would be willing to retract the complaint.

Now that we have taken a look at the steps to deal with Trademark Infringement, let’s see how to avoid violation of trademark laws on Amazon.

How to Avoid Violation of Trademark Laws on Amazon?

Before entering the Amazon marketplace you need to make sure of the following things:

  • The goods you are selling is from a legit distributor.
  • The content of your listing is not copied without the owner's permission.

To do so, you must ask yourself a few questions before actually listing your product:

  • Where are the goods coming from?
  • How can I prove the authenticity of my store?
  • What is the best way to describe my products to avoid confusion?
  • Did I use a legitimate and original brand name?

Final thoughts:

It may seem like a lot of work but you can pull yourself out of trouble by following the simple procedures mentioned above.

Feel free to contact us if you have stories to share about how you handled a trademark infringement case.


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