If you have a business selling products on Amazon, very likely, at some point, you will receive an email from Amazon or from a third party notifying you of a claim related to infringement. Here is a step-by-step guide for resolving Amazon infringement cases.
Research immediately — The first step is to research your listing or listings to determine whether the claim of infringement is valid. It is important to do this immediately. A notice of claimed infringements must go to the top of your priority list. Your notice of claimed infringement will identify the listing or listings that are allegedly infringing.
Remove the listing(s) — If the notice has come from Amazon, the listing or listings in question have been removed already by Amazon. That is Amazon’s typical response. Amazon also places your account under “review” if this is the first notice of claimed infringement. Second and additional notices result in account suspension. The goal is to “clear” this notice of claimed infringement so that you avoid becoming a “repeat offender” in the eyes of Amazon.
If the notice of claimed infringement has come from a third party, then the listing(s) are probably still active. It may be best to remove the listing or listings yourself — at least temporarily. Remember, the goal is to avoid actions that will give Amazon reason to suspend your account. If you choose not to remove the listing(s), then make sure that you work through the following steps as quickly as possible.
Respond quickly — The next step is to respond quickly to the notice even if you think the notice is bogus or in error.
Contact the rights holder — If the notice comes directly from Amazon, it will contain contact information for the rights holder. It is important to make contact with the rights holder — and to do so quickly — even if you think the notice is in error. You are making these initial responses to show Amazon that you take infringement claims seriously and that you act quickly to resolve claims. Acting quickly to contact the rights holder can be important if it is necessary to convince Amazon not to suspend your account or to reinstate your account.
Often, rights holders have intellectual property attorneys as representatives. Some Amazon sellers find this part of the process to be intimidating and, therefore, make the mistake of putting off the phone call or writing the email. This is one place where retaining experienced Amazon infringement lawyers, like the ones at Revision Legal, can help. Experienced attorneys will act quickly to make the call and obtain the needed information. Another advantage of retaining experienced counsel is that the rights holder (and Amazon) will know that you took the infringement claim seriously. Further, experienced counsel will know to obtain the right information about the claimed infringement including:
- Proof that person/entity claiming infringement owns the claimed copyright or trademark or is the authorized representative — only the owner of copyrighted materials or a trademark can make an infringement claim
- Details with respect to the claimed infringement
- Expectation of the rights holder — removal, payment of damages, etc.
- Is the rights holder amenable to withdrawing the notice of claimed infringement if the matter can be resolved?
- And more
Rectify the problem — Once you know what the problem is, the next step is to rectify the problem. Without admitting that infringement occurred, remove the listing, change the photo, take out the offending words, write your own product description or take whatever steps are needed to resolve the claim with the rights holder. Ideally, you want the rights holder to withdraw their notice of claimed infringement or provide other documentation that can be forwarded to Amazon.
Prepare a detailed written response for Amazon — As noted, the key player is Amazon. Only Amazon can suspend or cancel your account. You want to keep Amazon “happy” and you want to prevent Amazon from seeing you as a “repeat offender.” Once the issue is resolved with the rights holder, a detailed response must be provided for Amazon. Often, with the issue resolved and a written response provided, the matter will be closed by Amazon without further action. Experienced internet law attorneys can help with this step, too, ensuring your response to Amazon is persuasive and effective.
For more information about how we can help with an Amazon notice of claimed infringement, or if you have other legal issues related to internet law, contact the trusted internet lawyers at Revision Legal at 231-714-0100.