4 areas of intellectual property that you, as an Amazon seller, need to know about.

Here are four areas of intellectual property that you, as an Amazon seller, need to know about. You need to know about all four, so stay with me until the very end. This information is absolutely vital when it comes to selling on Amazon.

First of all, copyright law.

The first area you need to know about is copyright law. When it comes to Amazon sellers, you need to know the two main problems that you face. Copying someone’s verbiage and copying somebody’s images. You can’t go online, even if you’re selling the same product, and scrape their images. It is a clear copyright violation. Same thing with copying and pasting their verbiage. You got to rewrite it. You got to make it your own. That’s basic copyright law for Amazon sellers.

Basic trademark law for sellers.

This is the second of the four areas that you need to know about as an Amazon seller. One, you can’t take your logo and stick it on another branded item. A lot of private label sellers start out by doing that. They take their own brand, their own trademark. They get it made into a sticker and they put it on someone else’s product. Clear violation, don’t do it.

Patents, the 3rd of 4 areas of intellectual property to know about.

There are two types of patents. Design patents, that’s how a product looks. It’s how many pockets, how many zippers, the pattern. It has nothing to do with the function. And the big question is that if you’re accused of violating somebody’s design patent, is your product different enough, did you improve it enough that you are no longer violating their design patent?

Last, but not least, sellers need to know about trade dress.

Trade dress is the entire packaging, the product, the color, the shape. If you look at a Beauty Blender Sponge, that fuscia colored egg shaped sponge with the clear cylinder packaging, that is killer trade dress. If you are considering copying that, you better think twice about it. Trade dress complaints are hard to enforce on Amazon, but the big brands are not shy about filing lawsuits against you. So that is trade dress, you can’t copy the shape, color and packaging of another product. Also, what you need to know about trade dress is that it is enforceable, even if nothing is filed with the USPTO.

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