Copyright infringement filed by scammer for product we don't sell, Amazon demands proof of product authenticity


#1

Last week we have received two separate copyright infringement notices for the products that we don’t sell and don’t exist in our inventory on Amazon.

The notices have listed a name of the person who filed the notices and e-mail address
{Content Removed}

I have found ASINs listed in the notices, and contacted the manufacturer.

  • The manufacturer does not use Gmail to conduct the business.
  • The person named in the complaint is an engineer at DB Drive, and is not involved in any copyright enforcement or web patrolling of products. Instead, another person is in charge of that.

I’ve sent an e-mail to Amazon explaining that:

  • our company does not sell products listed in the notices,
  • we’ve contacted the manufacturer, and the manufacturer is not associated nor aware of the person who has filed the claim,
  • the person who has filed the claim is a scammer phishing for personal information (because every notice had a paragraph saying "If the rights owner does not retract their complaint, or you do not provide supporting information, we may provide your contact information to the rights owner upon their request. "

The response was rather shocking (even after years selling on Amazon and having displeasure of dealing with unprofessionalism). Amazon’s Seller Performance Team has demanded:

  • A valid retraction sent to Amazon directly from the original rights owner who reported the infringing content
  • Proof of product authenticity
  • The reason(s) you were selling allegedly infringing products and/or uploaded allegedly infringing content.
  • What you have done to ensure you are no longer selling infringing content.
  • How you plan on preventing the sale of infringing content in the future.

This is so unbelievably unprofessional and stupid, that I am at loss of words…

If anyone has any advice on how to deal with this or can share some contacts within Amazon, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your attention


#2

I received a fake complaint this year, with a fake email and fake website. I emailed SP saying it was fake, and because it was not the companies offical info, they reinstated the listing.

You never had these as inactive? Make that your first and last sentence.


#3

I’ve received fake complaints as well. Verify it shows up in Amazon at the red flag. If not then it’s probably fake.


#4

did you list these ASINs? Being under manage inventory is enough to cause an issue.

If you have never listed these, then

  1. Ask the person you spoke to at the manufacturer to send a formal letter to the email address saying this claim is bogus. They will be interested because someone is committing fraud on their behalf.

  2. Write Amazon with Escalation Request in the title.

Address each point they sent.

—A valid retraction sent to Amazon directly from the original rights owner who reported the infringing content

The above email address is not an authorized agent for the brand. We spoke to (name them with contact information) and tell them what you were told.

—Proof of product authenticity

We have never sold the item nor ever purchased it.

—The reason(s) you were selling allegedly infringing products and/or uploaded allegedly infringing content.

We have never sold the product or uploaded it.

—What you have done to ensure you are no longer selling infringing content.

We never sold the items in question.

—How you plan on preventing the sale of infringing content in the future.

Answer this one.

@Oneida_Books, @Lake, @MAV-DAK, @Caan


#5

If the complaint was bogus you don’t have to answer that. I’ve had them removed just by replying with the basic information that the complaint was fake and answering the questions as you have above …


#6

That is why I called in the Master Jedi.

I am simply a padawan on suspension issues.


Fake Copyright Infringement
#7

File a counter claim - trying to prove your products are legit is a waste of time when you are dealing a bogus claim because you are treating the complaint as valid. a counter claim approaches the issue by treating the initial compliant as invalid.


Appeal on Intellectual Property Complaint for unbranded products
#8

On this issue I believe @Schadenfreudist has all of us trumped …


#9

This is why it’s very dangerous to have the success of your business tied to Amazon. We have moved away from Amazon greatly this year, and we continue to put our eggs in other baskets. I do not trust that you can avoid suspension here when doing things correctly and following the rules. It’s just too easy for people to make complaints like this. It’s too easy for people even accidentally make claims that something seems inauthentic (a check box you select when returning something). We all know buyers are not honest when doing returns. If they think checking that box might get them a free label, they’ll be more inclined to do it. Buyers make stuff up all the time, especially on Amazon.

If you would have told me last year at this time we would have pulled half of our inventory from Amazon, and were looking at further ways to reduce our business with Amazon, I would have told you that you were nuts. This last year has been VERY eye opening for me as a business owner, with employees to pay, bills to pay and so on. You can see it too, in that the Amazon catalog has started to suffer. The interesting things around the edges are drying up. Used stuff is drying up in a lot of categories. Those great deals you could find on electronics are gone, and at some point, that will hurt Amazon. I personally hope they come to their senses at some point. eBay went through a very dark time like this too, and they eventually came out the other side, but eBay also doesn’t sell things directly.


#10

Unfortunately, it did come from Amazon, and the disturbing part is that not only Amazon accepted it, but demanding that we produce a proof of something that doesn’t exist.
How do they even accept an infringement complaint from someone with a Gmail account?


#11

Told that to Amazon, asked them to escalate, but only get standard copy-paste responses.


#12

It is all basically automated. But you can use the fact it came from a freemail acct to as part of the counterclaim. Its likely AMAZON will deny your counterclaim, just keep resubmitting it… One IPV (not all, but one) took me 2.5 years to get reversed, others took me 30 mins.
The fact that it is a copyright claim actually works in your advantage because the DMCA expressly states that you have a right to counterclaim - where as TM claims its amazon’s discretion.


#13

Thank you all for your input.
I have resubmitted the counterclaim that the complaint came from a free account not associated with the manufacturer.
I have also filed a complaint with BBB against Amazon, hopefully this way an actual person will read my complaint instead of some brainless crony.
P.S.: I feel a little dumber every time I get a response from Amazon Performance Team.


#14

The BBB is nothing but a scam these days… maybe 30 years ago it was an organization with some ethics and value, but it has been shown over and over that these days you can buy a “A+” rating. Their business model verges on extortion. If you run a business that is not registered with them, they will gladly post negative reviews and you can only dispute the reviews by becoming a member (for a hefty fee).


#16

Yep,this’s the horrible thing I have been through,sucks


#17

If you ever created a listing for this ASIN then it can come up on bot searches by manufacturers, even if you never sold it. Just because the company is using Gmail doesn’t mean it is not legit. This has happened to me. Just tell Amazon that you created the listing, but never purchased or sold the item.


closed #18

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