Amazon Sellers Lawyer Insider Information: How to get IP complaints off an Amazon seller account, Price Gouging on Amazon, Amazon Shipping Suspensions, RetailMinded.com.
Address IP complaints as they come in, whether your account is down or not, whether it’s just a listing suspension or not…
As soon as you receive that IP complaint, go to the email address on the bottom of the notice and write to that person / company / brand protection firm that you received a complaint, and you take it very, very seriously. You’re going to do some research and get back to them.
The sooner you get back to whoever sent that email, the better. Because they have reports to file with who they are working for, if they’re a brand manager, they answer to somebody. So the first step is to respond immediately to every single complaint as they come in.
In the second step, if you have IP complaints on your account, I want you to organize the most recent first, then work your way backward. On each one of those, I want you to also reach out to the brand manager. Reach out to ever sent that email, let them know you received it, apologies for your delayed response.
Step number three. Now I told you the four different areas of IP law, copyright, trademark, trade dress, and patent. Now you have to look at what you sold, compare it to the brand, and make a decision. Did you actually violate their IP rights? Now, if you can’t do it yourself, you have to hire a lawyer admitted in some federal court in the United States.
We handle dozens of these every single day. We can do it very, very efficiently for you, but if you’re going to pay somebody, it can’t be a consultant. It has to be a lawyer to identify if you did violate a trademark. Did you violate copyright? Do they have a trade dress and did you violate it? And number four, patents, utility design, did you violate it?
That sets the stage for steps four and five. If you did violate their intellectual property rights, your goal is to get a retraction. Now, of course, if you violated their rights, your negotiating position is going to be a bit different. But there’s no reason to fight over whether you did or did not violate if you know in your heart that you did. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily put it in writing.
What you want to do is get that brand manager, get whoever made that complaint on the phone and offer to stop violating their rights, offered to stop selling their product. These efforts work, these methods get that brand to withdraw the complaint, which is your number one goal.
If you did not violate the brand’s IP rights and their complaint is 100% baseless, let them know it that you did not violate it. You still might be willing to stop selling their product, but you certainly didn’t violate their intellectual property rights. And if they asserted a counterfeit complaint, they actually violated your rights, your rights against defamation, your rights against having your contract with Amazon interfered with. But the goal is the same: negotiate a retraction of that complaint. Your goal is to get IP complaints off your account.
And now we go to step number five. All these other analyses, all these other communications, the emails and the phone calls, your negotiations for retractions were all off Amazon, but if the brand refuses to retract, then you have to write to email@example.com and explain that you did not violate anybody’s rights. Or if you did violate their rights, you want to take the position that you reached out to this brand countless times and the email has been ignored. No one’s answering your phone calls or the emails are getting kicked back, which we’re going to talk about at the very end.
The goal is always the same. If you cannot get the brand to retract the complaint, write to Amazon to remove that complaint from your account.
You always have to make sure that whoever made the complaint actually owns the intellectual property rights. There are tons of spoof emails. There are tons of sellers who will claim to own the intellectual property rights to a brand when they don’t own anything at all. So when you have these complaints, always check to see whether the complainant actually owns the intellectual property rights. This could be done at uspto.gov.