As a seller on Amazon, maintaining compliance with the platform's extensive product policies is crucial for ensuring customer safety, protecting your account, and fostering a positive brand image. However, receiving these Intellectual Property complaints brings several problems that can end up suspending the account.
As a seller on Amazon, maintaining compliance with the platform's extensive product policies is crucial for ensuring customer safety, protecting your account, and fostering a positive brand image. These policies encompass a broad spectrum of requirements, from product safety and labeling to product description accuracy and intellectual property protection. However, receiving these Intellectual Property complaints brings a number of problems that can end up suspending the account.
Generally, Amazon deals with 3 types of intellectual property rights and these are Trademark, Copyright and Patent. Trademark is the use of a particular brand name or its symbol. Copyright protects the creator of their work, on Amazon it is most often images. Patents are situations, the inventor prevents others from making, using or selling the invention. On Amazon, patents are then divided into design patent or functionality patent.
Amazon further divides Intellectual Property Protection into two groups:
A suspected intellectual property (IP) complaint is a notice from Amazon that they have identified your listing as potentially violating the intellectual property rights of another seller or brand owner. These complaints are not initiated by the right owner directly, but rather by Amazon themselves.There are several reasons why your listing might be flagged as a potential IP infringement. Some common reasons include:
• Using a trademarked name or logo without permission
• Using a copyrighted image without permission
• Selling a counterfeit product
• Using a product description that is too similar to another seller's description
💡 Common problems include the use of designs with well-known animated characters or the use of the phrase "compatible with the X brand".
If you're just a reseller or dropshipper, you probably didn't even do listing of these products. Amazon automatically suspended this product in your catalogue and says it will then automatically disappear within 180 days. You shouldn't be at any additional risk, but if you have more of these suspended products, your account may be suspended as well. Therefore, you need to:
Unlike the first type of Intellectual Property, these are cases where your product is reported as infringing IP directly by the brand owner, by filling out an Amazon form. Unfortunately, this often results in irregular reporting - Amazon tends to give an advantage to the brand owner as the alleged rights holder and you need to take steps to protect yourself. If this is the first time you receive such a claim, your account will most likely not be suspended. In most cases, this will result in the ASIN being deactivated. However, if you experience multiple IP violations, you risk account suspension. And if it happens, you need to resolve the situation based on steps below.
Solution can be divided according to the type of complaint you receive:
Parallel import - it’s a situation where the products are supplied to you by an intermediate party other than the official brand owner.
You need to upload an official invoice from the supplier with these parameters:
Unauthorized Distribution and Patent infringement - it's a situation where the brand owner claims that your selling is Unauthorized Distribution.
You have 2 type of solutions:
Unfortunately, not always the complaint filed is justified and even then Amazon will suspended your account or product. It’s unfortunately become quite common that some sellers file unfounded IP complaints against other sellers to try and get their listings taken down. Amazon takes a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to IP complaints so even if the claim is completely baseless and is eventually proved as such, it’s likely that the seller who was the target of the complaint will still suffer financial loss by way of having their listings removed temporarily or their account suspended.
A common reason is that the complaint via Amazon is not filed by the actual brand itself, but by someone third party. To verify the actual owner of a trademark or patent, use the following pages
The disbursements process can be complicated and protracted. Be patient, provide as many details as possible and don't forget to follow up the appeals.
If you struggling with the reinstatement on our own, as a team of experts we offer an Amazon account reinstatement service.