Buckle up, Amazon sellers! It’s time for a ride!
In this Got Suspended Clients article, we’ll be talking about an issue which has always haunted Amazon sellers, and has had many an Amazon account suspended on the platform. And that is, intellectual property claims or complaints against sellers who operate on Amazon’s platform
Not so fast!
Before we go too deep into the issue, let’s talk a bit about what IP, or intellectual property, actually is.
Every brand which exists has been first created as a mental concept. Same goes for the products belonging to a brand. Someone, somewhere, came up with the idea and put that idea production. It could be a product, it could be a logo, a song, a book, anything. Any invention is considered the intellectual property of the person(s) who created it.
Take Coca Cola for example. The logo, the design and shape of the product, even the super-secret recipe, are all considered the intellectual property of the brand. That means: they are off limits!
That’s right! Intellectual property is protected by the law. And there are different types of intellectual property, such as patents (which usually related to inventions), copyrights (we’re sure you’ve seen the © sign everywhere!), and trademarks. The reason these are protected by law is so the people who created them can benefit from their creation (whether financial or otherwise), and that no one else profits from them by copying, or to put things more crudely, stealing them.
By copying anything that is protected under IP laws, you are basically infringing on the intellectual property laws of that brand/creator, which is also commonly referred to as an intellectual property violation.
We don’t want to bore you with complex legal terminology and laws, so we’ll just address the question we’re sure you have!
“So…how does this relate to Amazon?”
When selling on Amazon’s platform, you are essentially dealing with products belonging to various brands (even Amazon itself) and that means intellectual property is also directly involved with your Amazon business.
Here are two very familiar scenarios which might happen on Amazon and get your Amazon account suspended:
- You get an IP claim from a brand or the rights owner
- You get an IP claim from another Amazon seller
For once, it’s not Amazon or Seller Performance getting your Amazon account suspended!
“Whoa, whoa! What is an IP claim?”
An IP claim is basically a way of others telling Amazon that “Hey! Amazon! This seller is infringing on my intellectual property rights!”
As simple as that! You get an Amazon IP claim, and an Amazon suspension to boot!
First of all, let’s figure out why a brand or rights owner will file an IP complaint against you on Amazon. There can be different scenarios:
- They are the manufacturer, and see that you are selling products at cheaper prices, and they want you out.
- They realize that you have created a copy of their product/service.
- They catch you selling fake versions of their products, also known as counterfeits.
Once a brand/rights owner files an Amazon IP claim against you, Amazon will automatically remove your listing, shut down your account, and freeze your funds without even hearing your side of the story. Maybe you did not intend to infringe on anyone’s IP rights! Maybe you did know that you were selling counterfeits! Nope, Amazon does not care and suspends your account anyway, especially if a major brand files a complaint against you.
Like we’ve mentioned before, sometimes it’s neither brand nor a rights owner which files an IP complaint against you. It’s other Amazon sellers.
“Who in their right mind would file a complaint against me?”
For some Amazon sellers, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! There are quite a number of Amazon sellers who simply suck at healthy competition and prefer to boot other sellers off the platform in order to pocket their share! Yep, it’s true! We’ve talked about that here.
These unfair sellers will file baseless complaints against sellers who are offering the same products they are, whether cheaper or at the same price.
Doing this automatically alerts Amazon’s algorithm, and you get a notification telling you that you have been suspended and there has been legal action filed against your store.
“What can I do if this happens?”
The first thing you need to do if you get Intellectual Property Complaints on Amazon which suspend your Amazon account is to contact whoever filed the complaint against you, and ask for a retraction. Usually, if it’s a major brand, you will get that retraction simply because they do not want to deal with the headache of legalities. However, you need to be firm and show them that you know the complaint is baseless (they usually are) and that you demand a retraction. Ideally, an Amazon lawyer (a lawyer who specializes in Amazon-related issues) would be the person to handle this because you are, after all, dealing with legalities.
The good news is that at Got Suspended Clients, we have the legal expertise which can easily help you get your suspended Amazon seller account reinstated! Reach out to us, and we will make sure your case is handled correctly, returning you to your Amazon business in the shortest amount of time possible!