Copyright Infringement Allegation Has Removed Listing!


#1

Dear fellow sellers,

So I get a copyright infringement claim on my best product which has been selling well for around 2 years now and has 200+ reviews averaging 4.6 star.

And Amazon close my listing down…

I am sure you can appreciate how much hard work it takes to get a product at that level, especially if you are a two-people husband wife family business!

I email the addresses amazon gives in their infringement notice email, and then I email the claimant after a couple of days and now just emailed them today after 6 days!!! A week of no sales and damaged rankings and 500+ inventory stranded, with no clue what’s gone wrong and why and where the alleged infringement has happened.

And when I email the notice-disputes amazon address, they reply back with the generic template that I need to submit documents to prove my right. My products is extremely simple and generic bundle of standard items - not much chance of infringement anyways!

Can anyone help and advise what I should do next, to get out of this painful pickle!

Much appreciated :sparkling_heart:


#2

Nothing in this post provides anyone with any information to offer help or determine if you are in the right or in the wrong.


#3

Frustrating I’m sure but all any of us can do in this situation is give Amazon what it is asking for.


#4

Hi Lake,

Here’s the screenshots of the email I’ve just sent to the claimant + amazon and also screenshot of the generic response I received from Amazon.


#5

Amazon wants me to proves specifically that I have not infringed on the claimants copyright - I have no clue as what the claimant considers as the infringement and hence I don’t know what I am proving to be mine - that’s the issue. All of the product is mine and contains generic items like plain balloons etc so I have not copyrighted them myself! You wouldn’t get a copyright on balloons would you (would be nice, I could then stop everyone in the world from selling balloons - unless they give me a royalty :slight_smile:


#6

Would it be possible for you to post the original message you received from Amazon regarding this alleged infringement?


#7

I have no clue as what the claimant considers as the infringement and hence I don’t know what I am proving to be mine - that’s the issue.

But this is exactly why you’re having a problem, IMO. Amazon expects (rightly or wrongly) sellers to know that what they’re listing is not infringing on anyone’s trademark or copyright before they list it. Because if you ARE accidentally infringing on this item, how can Amazon know you won’t accidentally infringe on others?

They aren’t going to hold your hand and walk you through how to tell if your products are infringing, they’re just going to alert you to a potential problem and expect you to show them why they aren’t. That’s why you haven’t gotten any response to your requests for more information - that isn’t what they do.

There’s still not enough information to really help you. Here are the two points you need to consider, along with the type of information you should provide if you want help:

#1. Is the claim against you bogus or legit?

Your letter to Amazon says you are trying to contact ‘this seller’… Do you think the claim was filed against you by an unscrupulous competitor trying to shut you down and get sales for himself? Or was it filed by a legit copyright/trademark owner who’s rights you might have violated?

One hint could be the name of the rights holder… did the complaint come from an attorney at a company you can google? Or from Joe Schmoe with a gmail address? Or from someone with a seller name that competes against you on Amazon? That’s one of the pieces you haven’t provided.

#2. Could your product be infringing someone’s rights? You haven’t told us what it is, so it’s hard to tell you how to figure this out. You’ve said it’s ‘simple’ and ‘mine’ but not told us what that means. What we’d like you to share, are things like:

  • Did you contract a factory to manufacture the merchandise for you, or did you obtain the pieces of your bundle from existing manufacturers/distributors and just group them together into your unique item?
  • If you had them manufactured for you specifically, did you design them yourself?
  • Did you obtain them, or any part of them, through Alibaba, AliExpress, or any manufacturer you found there?
  • What steps did you take to investigate whether the product potentially violated any existing trademarks or copyrights prior to listing it?
  • Where did you obtain the images of your product that you are using on Amazon?
  • Does your listing include any brand names commonly associated with any of the products in the bundle?

These are the types of things Lake meant when he said you hadn’t provided enough information to help.

Your letter to Amazon said - this product has very simple and non-copyright items with it. Items include…

But what you needed to tell them is how you know they are not copyrighted. From what you’ve posted here, you don’t seem entirely clear about how to know, so just telling Amazon they are not in violation isn’t going to make them trust you. Just because something is ‘simple’, doesn’t necessarily mean you can use it.


#8

Hello Masooms-US,
To ensure that your plan of action is more understandable, kindly mention the ASIN and the complaint id for the one, appeal sent for.
Ensure you also attach the documents proving that there is an authorization for you to sell the given listings, as there are rights owner complaint claiming that it is their product.
In addition, if you think the products you are listing are generic item. Ensure that you do not list them under any brand rather list on the generic item product detail page.
Thanks and regards,
Harleen


#9

Just chiming in to say that I (unfortunately dimly) recall a similar thread posted involving a party supplies bundle, I believe — your mention of balloons made me think of it.

In that thread’s case, the complaint / copyright was for a graphic the infringing seller was using. Do you have anything like that?


#10

At the end of the day most likely another wild goose chase.

It’s still too easy for a bad actor to just file fake complaints against whatever they don’t want a competing seller on Amazon offering.

Whether or not the bad actors are always sellers, or just outright hackers attacking Amazon as a paid day job is still unclear. My thinking is starting to be the latter. Honest sellers aren’t able to stop paid hackers attacking Amazon with fake complaints. Why Amazon are refusing to take counter measures against these bad actors with the same expedition as the fake seller account attack is also very unclear.


#11

Hi Harleen,

The ASIN is: B079FZ5J4P
Complaint ID: 6585641571

This is our brand registered product with our name all over the listing, packaging etc. Our brand is registered with Amazon as FunDeco Party. What specific documents would be required to prove that I have authorization to sell this item? Given I am the ASIN creator and the registered brand which is product is from, I think this would be sufficient to prove this is my product.

By generic I meant they are common product with no specific designs that can be copyrighted. The product is a party decorations product bundle, which has plain balloons, plain bunting and tassel and a standard Happy Birthday Banner with no designs on it. We really think there’s nothing for anyone to copyright about. We are sure the product does not infringe anyone’s copyrights - everyone can sell balloons after all.

The only thing that there may be an issue could be one of the pictures where we used a small portion of the picture from the internet, that may be their picture we’re not sure. However, that is a very unimportant portion of the picture and given a chance we can remove it immediately! Again, we’re not even sure if that’s the issue - we’re completely in the dark.

500+ units sit in the warehouse stranded. Our listing with 200+ 4.6 star reviews has been removed. Our stranded inventory percentage has shot up to around 25% and the Inventory Performance Index is already dropping. No sales on a running product for a week now mean the hard earned top spot on page 1 is gone. We were Amazon’s Choice on major keywords, probably all gone. I think we deserve some sort of an explanation by someone to guide us. We are honest sellers who have built our brand on quality. We want to rectify whatever has gone wrong but we have no opportunity to do that!

All we get back from Amazon on every email sent is a request for us to submit proof of our own copyright on the product. But we haven’t copyrighted the product our end because there is nothing to copyright! How can we copyright balloons and bunting! Does this mean we have no right and anyone can come in and knock our listing out?

Please help!


#13

It’s probably one of the stock images you used or one of the many graphics you have on your listing… likely one of those is the culprit.

It really is unfortunate that Amazon won’t even tell you what you’re accused of. You, like many sellers, are often in the dark scrambling to find out what exactly is being infringed upon.


#14

@cmk_27
here’s the original message from Amazon - thanks

@racingroxstore

If I am accidentally infringing someone’s right, then of course I didn’t intend to - in fact I don’t really know if I am infringing or not! How can Amazon expect me to know I’m infringing, that’s like they’re giving a verdict on me already - what if the claimant is wrong? Even if they are right, we should at least get a chance to resolve?

The company who have claimed are a UK based company - a known brand so not bogus company. They aren’t our competitors as well.

Yes, I get my product manufactured in China and my supplier is also not aware of any copyrights that we may have infringed upon. It’s all shock and awe at the moment.

All my images are mine, taken and edited by me, apart from minor props etc that I got from the internet. If it is a prop within the picture - then we can remove it immediately.

Listing does not include any brand names other than our own, especially not the name of the brand that have claimed copyright.


#15

Hello Masooms-US,

if you think that the pictures which you have taken from the internet are causing the issue. then kindly delete the given picture and put that explanation in the plan of action which you will provide to the respective team.

Thanks and regards,
Harleen


#16

Is there a reason why Amazon won’t share the infringement reason?

The infringement notice (by the reporter to Amazon) contains the reason - why does Amazon insist on hiding that from sellers? It makes no sense to me.


#17

Dear all,

I successfully filed a DMCA counter claim notice against this complaint and the claimant again did not respond to Amazon as well - like they didn’t respond to us and around 14 or so days later (yesterday), my listing was reinstated.

However, today, they have filed the same claim with the same reference number again!!!

Is this even allowed on Amazon to have a loop of ‘claim - not respond - claim - not respond’ and meanwhile, destroy other people’s product, ranking, cash-flow etc - without any problem to themselves? Allowed or not, this is definitely not fair or ethical. Could anyone advise a way out?

Many thanks.


#18

Hi,
we have got the same problem as you. What did you do to get your listing active again?


#19

Not sure about your specific listing, I am a reseller of products, I am finding that if a brand name is used in the listing title, (right, wrong, or otherwise), the algorythm is kicking them back, while I seldom ever list brands that way, titles to listings have been changed by other sellers…granted the practice or ability of making those changes has become limited, it never fails to be the main reason for some of my listings to suddenly get flagged.
I am powerless, save to send numerous messages that generally are ignored and now without a way to call Amazon Seller Support, beyond ridiculous waste of time to deal with. It mostly takes them 3-6 hours to respond to the initial complaint with a need for more information and if you fail to provide it in 24hours, complaint is marked as resolved…insert emoji with crazed laugh here…if we treated our customers this way…insert emoji shaking head…


#20

May I know the what exactly you sent to DMCA as I have the same problem, I they don’t accept my letter. May I know the template you used to DMCA.

Thanks


#21

I’m literally dealing with this same exact thing right now.