Of course, a huge pool of buyers, global brand recognition, ease of configuration and use are the advantages of selling on Amazon. But do not forget that there are unscrupulous sellers who want to take advantage of your hard work. Let's review these threats that you may face for your brand, and how you can protect yourself.
What does it mean? In short, having a listing hijacked usually means that someone is selling a fake or similar version of your private label product.
What should you do if it happens?
- Click on their seller name on the product page, and then select the "Ask a question" button.
- Send them a message stating that you are the owner of the product/listing and that they are violating Amazon's terms of service.
- Write a complaint to Amazon (whether you are a registered brand owner or not).
- Contact a specialized lawyer and they will be able to advise you on the next steps.
A piggybacked listing is where vendors sell your actual product (as opposed to the fake version). And unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell just by looking at it, so your best course of action is to buy this product and inspect it carefully to see if it's really yours.
Unlike in the US, where the law allows sellers to resell your product, Amazon's Terms of Service specifies that there can't be duplicate listings for the same ASIN, and so your options are a bit more limited.
To deal with this problem and keep your listings safe, find out where they are getting it from and try to cut off the supply.
Copyright and Trademark Infringement
Copyright most often pertains to creative works. This can be the personal logo or the packaging design of your product. As soon as you create these works (and as long as they are original), the copyright belongs to you.
Unlike copyright, a trademark deals to the company. For example, brand name, product names, slogans, and so on.
If another seller infringes your copyright, write a letter, filing a complaint with Amazon either through the Amazon brand registry or through a copyright infringement report.
Try to collect as much data as possible. Your success depends on whether you can prove that you were the original owner.
Unlike сopyrights and trademarks, patents are related to innovations or inventions, and there are two main types.
- Utility patents.
- Design patents.
The first protects the use or operation of the item. These patents are quite technical in nature, so they can be expensive and time-consuming to secure.
The second one protects the item's appearance. These patents usually take less time to protect and are more affordable, but you need to prove that some or all of the designs are 100% original.
If you are dealing with patent infringements as well as copyright and trademark infringements, then this problem is resolved by writing a complaint to Amazon. The only difference is an additional step for utility patents, where you will use Amazon's neutral patent evaluation service.
Claim for infringement of intellectual property rights
Intellectual property (or IP), protects intangible creations. It is also a general term that covers patents, copyrights, trademarks, and more, such as trade secrets or automated processes.
How can you solve this problem?
- Write to the seller (with the email address provided to you by Amazon) and ask them to indicate which of their IP they violated.
- Next, get as much information as possible. You may have actually violated their intellectual property, so get as much data as possible.
- Third, if their claim of intellectual property infringement is unsubstantiated, you can file a counter-notice in Amazon's DMCA.
A clear way to distinguish fake reviews is if they don't have a verified icon; another is to check for common language in lists to see how spam reviews appear. Before you take any action, take screenshots of all the reviews that you think are suspicious. Time matters, so find and take a screenshot of as many reviews as possible. If you receive fake reviews, contact the seller's support Service and provide them with identification data and screenshots.
Here are the main tips you can take when protecting your brand before facing a threat:
- Add your logo everywhere, including on the product and its packaging.
- Secure your Amazon account with OTP verification to log in.
- Use Amazon-provided barcodes (FNSKU).
- File an official trademark for your brand.
- Join the Amazon brand registry.
- Use a third-party app that will alert you to possible suspicious activity.
- If you are part of a brand registry, you can use brand gating for your brand or for specific ASINs.