Amazon Brand Protection: Know What You Are Up Against

June 12, 2021
Written by Corin Romkey
Amazon Ad Agency

Amazon has been growing in popularity worldwide, especially within the last few years. This major growth provides major advantages to its third-party merchants because of the huge pool of buyers, ease of setup, and global brand recognition, just to name a few. 

With the rise of Amazon comes the rise of sellers. Not all of them have the best intentions in mind, and Amazon brand protection isn’t always guaranteed. In order to protect your brand, we have identified several threats to watch out for. Be vigilant, know what you’re up against, and always be a step ahead of these malicious sellers.

Types of Threats on Amazon

To get a full understanding of Amazon marketplace protection, you should first identify the different types of threats that you might encounter on the site. 

Listed below are the most common problems Amazon sellers have to deal with:

Hijacked and Piggybacked Listings

Hijacked listings happen when another seller steals your Buy Box by selling what looks like the same product that you have—only a counterfeit version. This is possible by copying your product’s Universal Product Code or UPC. 

If you ever come across this problem, start by sending a cease and desist letter to the seller with a detailed explanation of how you are the original owner of the said product. At the same time, file a complaint to Amazon and register yourself as the owner. If neither solution works, get in contact with an Amazon professional who can help you with any legal recourse.

Similar to hijackers, numerous piggybackers are also present on the platform. Instead of fakes, piggybackers sell actual, authentic products. You may know them as resellers, but piggybackers aren’t authorized to sell these products. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell if someone is selling your exact product (complete with the brand and all). You can try purchasing a suspicious product to see if it is actually yours.  

While reselling a product isn’t illegal (at least, not in the US), Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS) states that duplicate listings with the same Amazon Standard Identification Number or ASIN are not allowed.

Infringement

Infringement is a broad term: in Amazon, it almost always happens because of the unauthorized use of brand elements. It is important to register your brand through the proper channels—this serves as proof if any infringement cases happen to you. Below are the most common occurrences of infringement happening on Amazon.

Copyright

Copyright usually refers to the creative side of your brand, like your logo, product packaging designs, images, and more—these creative works belong to you, and using any of these without your permission violates copyright. Laws around copyright can differ from country to country, so do your research about local copyright laws. 

Trademark

A trademark deals more with the company itself, like your company name and logo. It is possible to have a trademark without formally registering your brand, however, cases dealing with non-registered trademarks will be given very little assistance by Amazon. Registering a trademark will prevent others from using your name and logo, and is concrete proof that what you claim to own is yours.

Patent

Unlike the aforementioned infringements that deal with creative and proprietary information, patents usually involve innovations or inventions. 

These are the two main kinds of patents:

  1. Utility: This kind of patent will protect the item’s use. Utility patents are technical in nature, and securing one costs a lot of money and time. 
  2. Design: This patent protects appearances. Unlike utility patents, a design patent takes less time and money to secure. However, you need to prove that the designs are 100% original which often isn’t easy to do.

If you catch any of these violations to your account or listings, do the following:

  • Send a cease and desist letter to the offender
  • File a complaint on Amazon Brand Registry
  • Fill out this form and report the infringement (if you aren’t a part of the Registry)
  • In the case of patents, use Amazon’s Patent Neutral Evaluation Service

If all else fails, hire a service that offers Amazon Brand Protection and they can help you handle the issue legally.

Intellectual Property Infringement Claim

Intellectual Property is the umbrella term that integrates your patents, copyright and more. An IP infringement claim is a claim against you by another seller. If you determine that this claim is unfounded (and if you can prove it), below are the steps you need to take:

  • Email the seller. Ask them to provide you with details of your violations against them. Remember to treat the seller reaching out to you with respect: it won’t do to react in anger, even if you’re in the right. The end goal is to resolve the issue without any hassle, so work with them and sort it out. 
  • Get as much information as you can from them. There is still a possibility that you actually did infringe on their property and you didn’t know otherwise. 
  • Counter file a DMCA notice through Amazon if they won’t drop the issue.

Fake Reviews

Over the years, Amazon has gotten better at filtering out sellers who flood listings with fake reviews, both good and bad. Fake reviews don’t have the verified badge so it’s fairly easy to track these, however the problem is extremely rampant on Amazon. 

Report fake reviews by contacting Seller Support. Provide them with complete details and the screenshots of your evidence.

Final Words

There’s no such thing as full, 100% effective Amazon brand protection. If you’re selling a high volume of products, chances are that there’s another seller with bad intentions who will try and steal your top spot. 

Before investing all your time, money, and effort into building a brand on Amazon, register your trademark, sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry, and check out other Amazon brand protection programs that you can use. If you’ve exhausted all of your options, you can always hire an Amazon specialist that offers Amazon brand protection services outside of the platform.

If you’re interested in the latter, look no further. At Seller Interactive, we are committed to keeping your minds at ease by giving the assistance you need to protect your brand and listings. Contact us and book your free consultation now!

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