Trademark Infringement


#1

In the last few months I have received a few notices about trademark infringement. I sell mostly beauty and hair products that I buy at local stores. I am a bit confused about the notices and what I am doing wrong, and of course I am deeply worried about having my selling privileges taken away. I have been selling for 10 years now and this has never been an issue. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

" On May 24, 2017, at 2:31 PM, "notice@amazon.com" wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> We are contacting you because we received a report of trademark infringement from the rights owner listed below. Sellers on Amazon.com are not allowed to create listings or detail pages that infringe trademark rights.
>
> We removed the content listed at the end of this email.We may let you list this content again if we receive a retraction of the complaint from the rights owner.Their contact information can be found below.
>
> --DEANNA WEBB
> --dwebb@curiobrands.com
>
> If the rights owner agrees to retract their complaint, they must send the retraction to us at notice-dispute@amazon.com.
>
> If you believe that the reported content does not infringe the rights owners trademark, you may email notice-dispute@amazon.com with supporting information.
>
> 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.
>
> We consider allegations of intellectual property infringement a serious matter and your account is under review. If we receive more complaints about your listings, we may not allow you to sell on Amazon.com.
>
> To learn more about this policy, search for ‘Intellectual Property Violations’ in Seller Central Help."


#2

Thank you so much for your detailed reply Dave. I have been selling this way for 10 years and have nearly perfect feedback and no issues with buyers complaining about fake products, etc. It’s very frustrating to have this happen, but I can certainly understand everything you wrote. I appreciate all your advice.


#3

your lucky amazon has not caught u and banned you for life for this selling practice


#4

You are not allowed to purchase from retail stores and resell them. There are a few reason for that. The most important is that you are not an authorized reseller and the brands are very protective over their resale network. You are using their brand to sell those products without their permission.

Your account is at risk since you broke Amazon’s policy which requires that you only sell items that you have the permission of the brand owner.

You could also be taken to court and sued for a lot of money.

At this point, your are guilty until proven innocent and based on what you posted, you are guilty.

You need to have the complaint withdrawn. The only way you can do that is to contact the person on the other end of the email address, plead ignorance, apologize and promise never to sell their items again AND ask if they will withdraw the complaint (so that your account won’t get suspended). You might even ask about the process to become an authorized reseller and purchase products from them at wholesale. You might get lucky.

As Amazon mentioned in the note, if the complaint is not withdrawn and the this company requests it, Amazon will provide your complete details which can be used in court as evidence in a lawsuit.

Try the contact and hope for the best.

Also, look into every brand you currently are selling. Any that are not sourced from an authorized supplier should be taken down. Otherwise, you will go through the same problem for each brand. Contact each of the brand owners to request a new account and get permission to sell their products.

You either need to go totally legit or get out before you get into serious problems.

Also, be aware that what you purchase is yours and is considered used. You may also be breaking product safety laws by selling used product. There will be concerns that you potentially tampered with or replaced the contents. There has been unscrupulous sellers who have taken bottles and replaced the contents with something else - sometimes generic, but possibly even something dangerous. That is what people who think they are not buying from an authorized reseller will think.

Dave


#5

I think its funny how many of you know so little about IP laws etc. I won’t go into the discussion regarding whether arbitrage is a good business model or not but comments like “You’re using their brand to sell products” makes me snicker. If it IS that product they aren’t infringing or “using their brand” for anything. As far as companies being protective of their brand… again sorry. Then keep your channels airtight. Don’t let your dealers sell low enough for someone else to be able to buy and resell for profit. Making false claims in the name of being protective leaves them legally liable.

So anyway, OP this is what people and companies do when they want to stamp someone out. You didn’t actually infringe unless you were using their trademark on another product or to sell another product. Selling a product under the actual listing for that product is not infringement. This is just the easiest way for people to get your listing gone immediately. When litigators get involved all these know it alls that justify this type of behavior back up quick.


#6

Also call AMAZON SELLER SUPPORT and discuss this issue because there are competitors that email these bogus emails to have you stop competing the same products they are selling. If there no RESTRICTIONS then there shouldn’t be any reason why you can not sell a particular Brand. If a Brand wants sellers not to sell their products on Amazon then they are supposed to contact Amazon and make that Brand a restricted Brand to sell on Amazon. Call Seller Support and discuss whether it is OK for you sell that Brand or not.


#7

+You didn’t actually infringe unless you were using their trademark on another product or to sell another product+

Are you a patent attorney? I kinda doubt it and you shouldn’t be on here giving bad legal advice. It’s his a$$ if he gets caught, not yours.

I’m not an attorney but I can tell you for certainty that any legal brand owner and manufacturer has the right to say who sells their product. Amazon is a retail site, not a garage sale. Sorry but they are cracking down and you people doing retail arbitrage are going to have to come up with a legitimate business model or you’ll be gone soon enough.


#8

Methinks you can be funny, too.

> You didn’t actually infringe unless you were using their trademark on another product or to sell another product. Selling a product under the actual listing for that product is not infringement.

See, that’s the funny part.

+“Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.”+

That language is direct from the USPTO. People need to read it about six times to fully let it sink in.

Bottom line, I get to control how my IP is marketed, and if I want to license it in exchange for some commercial benefit or financial consideration.

As @Style said, on Amazon, this is more of an account issue. They have deeper pockets than most of us here and could easily be named as a related infringing party in the Federal action. Account limiting or zapping is the way that they can demonstrate that “they’re doing what they can and shouldn’t be a named party”. It’s nothing personal, except to the IP rightsholder, themselves.


#9

True, you won’t go to jail for buying something at the drugstore and selling it on Amazon since it isn’t counterfeit. However IP includes intellectual property like their proprietary advertising materials, like their professional photos that their authorized resellers have permission to use.

Plus, if they complain to Amazon about infringement or “might be counterfeit,” Amazon will block the listing till you prove otherwise and after a couple warnings you get suspended.

This is more of an account issue than a legal one.

Amazon does not have a policy on arbitrage. But brand owners have learned how to efffectively stop it, mostly to protect their dealers and MAP pricing. And that is legal.


#10

The only part of your post that is even almost accurate is that companies have learned how to effectively, if only even temporarily kill other sellers.

However, when you create a listing on Amazon you give it IP rights. Per Amazon policy if an item matches exactly you cannot create a duplicate and must use the existing listing. On this platform if the product is the same exactly you have no basis for Copyright or Trademark infringement and advertising has nothing to do with it.

For the seller getting the complaint it is more of an account issue. For the seller making the false claim it is both. It absolutely becomes a legal issue. To protect your dealers and MAP you must sell to those you trust and make sure none of your dealers are violating their agreements and aren’t selling low enough for resellers to be able to buy and resell making a profit. It has nothing to do with Amazon though. This is the thing, everyone wants to have their cake and eat it to and is now using the false claims to get what they want.

What I find funny is a lot of you seem to defend this practice and are ok with it. Some of your probably actually do it. You justify damaging someone’s business because you don’t want the competition. Would you also justify another seller making false claims about your products to get you gone because they don’t want the competition either? Funny how that works.

Anyway, the good news in a court of law it doesn’t matter what you want. It matters what is legal. This practice is illegal. Down vote all you want, you’ll still be wrong.


#11

So you read it 6 times and still didn’t get it? That’s not good. Maybe give it a 7th. This confusion, deception, or mistake would be slapping a Nike Trademark on a shoe and confusing customers by making them think this is a Nike shoe due to the use of the trademark.

Selling an actual product that is exactly the product, brand etc it says it is does not create confusion, damage or mistakes. You get exactly what you expected and paid for.

When someone is selling an exact item under an exact listing they aren’t using a trademark. The product is what it is. They only infringe when they use that trademark on something else and use it to create the deception. So yes, if someone wants to use your trademark on another product they will need to consult you. If it is a trademarked product that they are selling you have no control or say whatsoever. They aren’t licensing or attempting to license your trademark, therefore your consideration or financial gain means nothing. They are selling a product that already has one.

PS this debate would be more fun if you more of you spoke on facts and not with butthurt about how you wish it was and want it to be.

Edited by: PWW on May 27, 2017 9:12 AM

Edited by: PWW on May 27, 2017 9:12 AM


#12

You assume that all of these infringement complaints are malicious, but a brand owner that sees his product suddenly being sold by someone like “Happy Dealz 2016” on Amazon has got to take some action to protect his IP, and unfortunately or not the most efficient way at the moment for regaining control and ensuring that what’s listed on Amazon is real is by filing an infringement complaint.


#13

Sorry missed you there. Don’t want you to feel left out. Patent attorney? I thought we were talking about trademarks not patents lol. And here is the problem folks. I’m sure you’re a nice person but you clearly know nothing in regards to this issue. Next!

and no I’m not an IP attorney, but I do have one. A good one. Do you? I made it a point to actually know my business. BTW if any legal “advice” is being given its to you malicious types. I have my own products as well. Its as important to know the legal ramifications of your actions when you’re the owner as it is to know when you’re the reseller. Truth be told, we have a lot more to lose with false claims than some guy reselling a couple of something.


#14

Well, I don’t need to read it a 30th time, actually. I own IP and protect it. Doggedly.

But with all your blather I’d suggest that you read it a second time, as the key word in the legal definition is “+unauthorized+”.

But there isn’t any debate. Perhaps you could run down to the mall and pick up a set of Nike shoes like ASIN B00RW59WUK for under 50 bucks and list them from your Seller Storefront. We could then see who really gets to feel the hurt. :slight_smile:


#15

Well in those circumstances you need to verify that is happening not just say the right way isn’t efficient and making a false claim.


#16

Yes unauthorized use of your trademark is not ok which is why someone can’t go apply it to something else. That would be unauthorized use of your trademark. Selling your already trademarked product and calling it what it actually is isn’t an authorized or unauthorized use of your trademark. Its not a use at all. The product is already trademarked.

Concerning your comment, if I wanted to do that and they snuffed me out, if I was willing, I could absolutely go after them in court. Its up to you whether the money you’re spending is worth punishing them. That’s why ignorant sellers have been getting away with this. Most people don’t know what just happened is illegal, don’t have the funds, or don’t want to spend them. Don’t confuse that with being right.

Edited by: PWW on May 27, 2017 9:57 AM


#17

I got a copyright/trademark takedown/violation from Universal a few years back for posting an image of the CD I was selling…with this in mind, arent ALL images on here, ebay, etc., copyright violations?


closed #18