What is an Amazon Trademark Infringement Appeal? Claims of trademark infringement are very common nowadays on Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon does not verify the truth or falsehood of a given counterfeit claim. Does Amazon handle disputes over infringement claims? The answer is no. At least, not voluntarily. The retailer will play a part, though, if required to do so by law. In part, this lack of vetting and accountability is partially due to the huge influx of infringement claims submitted to Amazon.
Historically, rights owners with or without an Amazon seller account have used the infringement claim system to attack their competition. A number of trademark violation claims filed against a seller will probably lead Amazon to suspend the account in question. In effect, the complainant is in a position of power over the seller. You would not be entirely wrong to interpret this dynamic and the absence of any real internal due process at Amazon as unfair punishment.
You may be wondering if Amazon has faced any legal backlash in the court system for this behavior. Currently, not to any major degree. A lawsuit between two Amazon sellers has a very minimal impact on the company itself. Also, Amazon’s robust legal team and virtually endless resources makes suing the retail giant itself prohibitive.
Dealing with the stress related to a trademark infringement claim made against your Amazon seller account? That is absolutely normal. Do not feel defeated, you have options. You need to take action. Largely, the responsibility to remedy the issue is on you. Amazon will not step in to the save the day.
What is An Infringement Violation?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.”
The value of the above definition is only as good as it is understandable in practical terms. Therefore, let us examine the details as a way of achieving that understanding.
As an e-commerce seller, you regularly offer various branded products to consumers in the United States. Due to the existence of intellectual property law, someone may file a trademark infringement violation against your account because of the sale of a particular product. It more or less comes with the territory.
Why Has Someone Filed a Trademark Infringement Claim Against my E-Commerce Account?
As a retailer, Amazon falls under the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Thus, if there is a perceived violation, sellers like you are subjected to a system where you will be notified by what is termed a “takedown notice.” The owner of a registered trademark can utilize the “Report Infringement” process to “notify Amazon of alleged intellectual property infringements.” The reason behind the claim could be any possible wrongdoing in terms of your store’s usage of specifically registered symbols or words.
The takedown notice may result in a removed listing or suspension of your account in its entirety.
Which is to say, if someone believes you do not have the right to sell a trademark protected authorized product. And indeed, if you have received a takedown notice, please know that it is not an absolute determination of anything. Rather, it is someone putting forth an allegation, which may or may not be applicable to your business.
Appealing Trademark Infringement on Amazon
Appealing the trademark infringement claim on Amazon. Typically, Amazon will give you the contact information of the complainant. Firstly, communicate with the person who made the claim and make an effort to reach a resolution. Of course, the outcome of making this effort can vary. You may not receive a response from the complainant. They may respond, but express that they do not intend to cancel the infringement claim. Or, the complainant may agree to negotiate a solution, which may lead to a retraction.
How do I proceed if I contacted the complainant, but did not get a retraction? In short, you will need to file an appeal with Amazon. It is recommended that you document all of your efforts! An appeal to Amazon is appropriate if you believe you are not in violation of any intellectual property rights as has been alleged. Maintaining organized documentation of your attempt to resolve the issue directly with the complainant will strengthen your appeal.
Appealing to Amazon After Contacting the Complainant
CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY!!! DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF APPROPRIATE LEGAL COUNSEL. YOUR RATE OF SUCCESS WHEN FILING AN AMAZON APPEAL WILL BE MUCH HIGHER WITH AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYER ON YOUR SIDE.
An appeal is technically a legal document, so having the expertise of a seasoned intellectual property attorney will ensure you have the most reasonable chance of success in terms of finding a resolution.
Your Amazon appeal letter or counter-notice is required to identify the “material alleged to be infringing” and contain a declaration “that the material at issue was either misidentified or mistakenly removed.” Additionally, you have to swear to the truth of your belief and sign the document. Amazon will conduct a review after your counter-notice has been submitted. If necessary, the retailer will request further information. The counter-notice will then be sent to the complainant. Subsequently, if the complainant does not inform Amazon “within 10-14 business days that they have filed a lawsuit against you,” they will usually permit you to once again sell the product and/or reinstate your account.
What do I do in the case that the complaint made against my account was valid?
We would like to reiterate, that if you are facing the reality of a trademark infringement claim, it will be in your best interest to acquire legal counsel.
As such, trademark infringement is not permissible under the law. Furthermore, you must develop a solution to alleviate that intellectual property violation. One way to accomplish this is to work with the complainant to form an agreement wherein you consent to not offer the unauthorized product for sale on Amazon after you liquidate your remaining stock.
As Always, It Never Hurts To Ask For Help
Have you received an Amazon Account Suspension or Notification? We here at Amazon Account Rescue are here to discuss these matters with you.
Should you have any additional questions or wish to discuss this or any other matter please feel free to contact us at 1-800-757-0282 or at email@example.com.