Amazon Intellectual Property Policy Infringement
Amazon being the e-commerce platform it is, deals with a variety of issues. In some cases, the seller itself knows what must have gone wrong. For instance, fake reviews, selling counterfeit items, drop shipping, etc. Although, these are the things that people intentionally do in most cases. But there is something else that people are not generally aware of. It is Amazon Intellectual Property Policy Infringement .
It has bitten so many people like a venomous rattlesnake without even knowing them. There have been numerous cases of Amazon Seller Suspension because of intellectual property issues. And while it takes away your capability of selling on Amazon, there are a few ways you may be violating the policies. We have mentioned and discussed them below from Amazon’s perspective.
Amazon Seller Suspended for Copyright Infringement
The copyright law is more or less the same in all the countries. Although for better understanding we’ll use the definition of USA.
“Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.”
Now to put it in the context of Amazon,” It is a law that is created to incentivize the creator of a particular product. It is important that you bear the right to authorship by any means you were creatively involved with the product”.
How do I make sure that I am not in violation of it?
Well, the first thing that one can do is use original images for the products. Most of the cases that are in violation are related to the images used. It is a great habit to use images that you have taken of the product. If not then it is important that you take permission for the same. There have been multiple instances where sellers have used images from different sellers’ products. This has landed them an Amazon Seller Suspension and then ultimately they have to write an Amazon Appeal Letter.
Report Intellectual Property Right Infringement ( Trademark ).
It is when one uses a Trademark for its product but the product doesn’t belong to that particular company. For instance, if you are selling a Chinese smartphone and use the trademark of Apple then you will be violating the policy. This can also go under the policy of counterfeit selling then can get your Amazon account suspended. If you are selling a Chinese smartphone then make sure you mention the original trademark of the company instead of using a well-known one just to increase sales. Other than that there are a couple of other things that one can follow, such as:
- What is the reputation of the product that you are selling in the market?
- Is my product description in any way confusing to the customer or does it simply feel false for some reason?
- What is the origin of these goods and if asked will I be able to prove their authenticity?
- Am I using a particular trademark to simply describe the compatibility(which is allowed) or to comparison(not allowed) or simply to deceive?
When Can I use someone else’s Trademark?
Well, the purpose of a Trademark is simply to identify a particular or its origin. And not all sellers are selling products that they have created. In fact, the maximum number of sellers are actually providing products from different companies. Therefore, it is a bit natural for the sellers to use the Trademark for the product they are selling. However, it is important to have an understanding of the scope of it, otherwise, you might require an amazon appeal service like us. Therefore below are the conditions when Amazon allows its sellers to use someone else’s Trademark.
- Whenever a seller is selling an authentic product he/she can use the trademark to identify it.
- The trademarked word can be used in the context that it makes sense as its dictionary meaning. For instance, Apple is both a smartphone company and a fruit. Therefore, the seller can use the word Apple in that context.
- For describing the capability of a product or its compatibility in unison with another device. For instance, there are multiple companies that make headphones, cables that can be used with Apple devices. Therefore, one can use that word or trademark in the context. Although, one must make sure that the statement made is true otherwise it can get your Amazon account suspended.
How is counterfeiting related to Intellectual Property Right Policy?
If you have read the Chinese Smartphone example above then you may have got the gist of it. Although to clarify more, if you are using a trademark of another company to describe your product but your product does not belong to that source then it will be seen as a specific type of trademark infringement. It is allowed to sell similar-looking devices but one cannot use the trademark. Why? Well, it is the symbol of authenticity. If someone uses the trademark of the Apple iPhone then it means that the manufacturer of the product sold by the seller is Apple.
This is another one that has caused problems for many and had led to Amazon seller suspension. A patent unlike a trademark is not a word or a logo, rather it is legal protection for inventions. A patent will give the inventor the right to make, use, selling, import, or even offer to sell for an endless time or given number of years. Patents are granted by the U.S government in the following cases: new machines, articles of manufacture, composition, process, or any new improvement. On the flip side, it is ideally provided for any product structure & function and not the looks. This is the reason we often see similar-looking smartphones in the market.
How do I save myself from Patent Infringement?
Lest you don’t wish to make an Amazon suspension appeal, it is important that you know about this. In order to gain assistance over this, one must gain insight either from the manufacturer or the authorized distributor. Just in case if you still wish to sell a product, it would be ideal to consult the lawyer for the same.
Design and Industrial Design
This is used by manufacturers with ornamental designs, lines, colors that are used with a particular product. It is a form of legal protection and helps defend a particular design that is used by a manufacturer for their products.
How do I make sure not to violate Industrial Design?
It is the same as patent infringement. One must ask for assistance from the manufacturer or the authorized distributor. And, if you have decided to sell it then it is better to consult a lawyer first.
The intellectual property policy on Amazon has messed up many seller accounts. We deal with multiple who unknowingly get caught in the whirlpool. And, it is difficult for anyone to lose their business even for a while. And, the anticipation of how things will simply give you panic every now and then. Amazon seller suspension is ugly because for many it is not a side business but their main revenue. If you wish to tackle it yourself which is something that most people do then pay attention to the Amazon appeal letter. Although, if you are seeking professional help then we can help you and more. We are APlus Global Ecommerce and we help Amazon sellers on a daily basis. We hope this article may have been of some help to you. Also, thank you for reading it until the end.