In order to sell branded products on Amazon, you must be the legal owner of the brand or an authorized reseller. A branded product is one that is protected by copyright, trademark, or patent.
Amazon has an Intellectual Property Policy that provides information about intellectual property rights and addresses common concerns that many sellers may have. All sellers are asked to comply with Amazon’s policy and applicable intellectual property laws and encouraged to report violations for further investigation.
Nonetheless, as there are countless listings on Amazon’s marketplace and millions of sellers using the platform, listings by unauthorized sellers and the sale of counterfeit products are commonplace. This is a nuisance for sellers who are looking to protect their sales and brand reputation. While Amazon has a violation reporting process in place, it is not always effective and can be time consuming. This can be quite frustrating for sellers who are keen to find a prompt solution.
If you own a trademark for a product, you are eligible to register it with Amazon’s Brand Registry before your trademark application has been fully registered. However, this may present a problem if a need arises for you to report a trademark infringement. Amazon’s Brand Registry provides an online forum for sellers to report unauthorized sellers that are selling their products. Once the process has been initiated, there is an online form that needs to be completed by the seller in order for the matter to be further investigated. The issue here is that a seller can only complete the form if a registration number has been assigned to their trademark.
Our company encountered this issue recently when we wanted to have an unauthorized seller removed from one of our branded product listings. Our trademark application had been formalized with the Canadian Intellectual property Office, but had yet to be registered. Without the registration status, we were unable to complete the online reporting process and were left with no recourse without spending significantly more time on troubleshooting.
We know that this is a common issue that many sellers face and unfortunately the existing online processes may make it difficult for unauthorized sellers to be removed from a listing, which can be detrimental in some cases.
We retained the services of GBC Law, a firm of expert Burnaby Lawyers, to assist us with this issue. They helped us prepare a letter to address the issue that we were able to submit to Amazon Seller Support, as well as a template letter that we could use in the future if we encountered the same issue again. Within 3 days of us submitting the letter, the unauthorized seller was removed from our listing. Although we may have been able to eventually have the unauthorized seller removed through alternate methods, GBC Law helped us save a lot of time and hassle and was able to provide us with a practical solution for the problem should it arise again.