Account suspended due to infringing intellectual property rights


#1

My account has been suspended due to offering items that may infringe intellectual property rights or may be inauthentic. The authorization letters and invoices proves to Amazon the products are authentic. Does it also prove the products/ASINs are not infringing intellectual property? Do I still have to supply a Plan Of Action even if I can prove the authenticity?


#2

Yes because your account has already been suspended and won’t be reinstated without a POA. Your invoices / authorisations will need to be from the manufacturer or authorised distributor. Retail or wholesale invoices will not be acceptable. If you are sure you have the correct authorisation and authentic products then you can include this information in your POA.


#3

how many ASINs was it for out of interest ?


#4

I was suspended for the 3 ASINs


#5

and how long have they been flagged on your account for before they suspended you ?


#6

There was no Notification of Restricted Products Removal email regarding the ASINs. So no warning whatsoever. I’ve only been on Amazon for a couple of weeks. I do have the authorization letters and invoices from the supplier.


#7

Is there a Plan of Action template I could use to give me a rough idea of what to write? Specifically one for infringing intellectual property rights and product authenticity with supplying the invoices/authorisations.


#8

Templates are a bad idea as each plan should be individual and tailored to your specific business.
What works for one may not for another.
Follow this basic guide though
1: Root cause .The “why” behind the issue not the what.
So " three customers complained that their goods arrived damaged" would NOT be a root cause if you received condition complaints, but " we investigated and believe that inadequate packaging may have given rise to transit damage…" would be the root cause

2: Immediate corrective actions taken, to resolve both immediate customer issues and to rectify any failings within your business model that may have led to the root cause[s] identified.
So in the above example your actions would include refunding or replacing goods for all affected customers and then implementing new packaging procedures for your orders.

3: Pro active steps which you will take moving forward to ensure continued compliance with policy and to ensure no further occurrences of the issue can happen

Obviously the examples I have given [damaged goods] won’t apply to your POA , but hopefully you get the gist and will be able to examine your account, identify the root causes of your suspension and draft a plan from there.
Always relate your points in parts 2 and 3 to the root causes you identify in part 1


#9

Should I admit I made a mistake on the POA? Or should I say this is a false claim by Amazon as I’m an authorised seller and I’ve supplied the required documentation.


#10

Just to clarify my previous comment. Would I not be contradicting myself if I said on the POA that I’ve carefully read the Amazon intellectual property and Anti-Counterfeiting policies to ensure I fully understand them to prevent from violating them again. When with this suspension, I’ve not actually breached any policies.


#11

You do not need to add the

but certainly mention and link the specific policies.
You do not have to pretend to have committed a breach of policy when you haven’t, just be factual.

This is not a “false claim”, it is merely a suspension on the suspicion that you may not have been authorized to sell those items/brands.
Your root cause is probably going to be that you listed against a brand that requires authorization from the RO and that as you are a new seller Amazon routinely asked you for invoices and LoA to prove authenticity of those items and suspended your account pending production of those documents.

You do not need to admit a mistake because if you did obtain LoA and have the appropriate invoices then you do not appear to have actually made a mistake.
Amazon don’t want a made up story, they simply want an understanding that you have authority to sell these goods and that your account is in compliance with their policies.


#12

I had the same issue. There was no warning the account was just suspended and they also listed 3 ASINs they wanted me to verify.
I have the invoices from the manufacturer but they won’t give me an authorisation letter so I have to remove all of their products from Amazon.
I’ve written a draft POA on another thread. I would really appreciate if someone could please take a look and let me know if I’m doing it right. The link is here: https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/forums/t/account-suspended-for-inauthentic-items-no-authorisation-letter-help-with-poa-please/262611


#13

Hello @ Retro_Emporium and @ Adrian we appreciate your inputs.

@TWD_Sales, we understand that your Selling Account has been suspended due to offering items that may infringe the Intellectual Property Rights or Inauthentic Products. “Do I still have to supply a Plan of Action even if I can prove the authenticity?”—quote Typically, we require a Plan of Action with supporting Documents when addressing the Infringement /Inauthentic issues and the documents can be submitted through your account health dashboard or by following the instructions on the performance notification you received. I would like to provide a direction to move forward:

  • Kindly review your process and listings to come up with the root cause and it is very important to understand the type of issue occurred on the account so you can come up with a valid appeal addressing the root cause, corrective measures and preventive steps.
  • We recommend you to elaborate more on the reason as ‘why’ the issues occurred on the account at the first place.

Here are some questions to consider while writing an appeal:

  • Are you able to identify any possible reasons for the issues occurred?
  • What is the current process you follow when listing a new product?
  • Is there a gap in the process that caused the listing to be added to your inventory without consent from the rights owner or any gap in identifying the authenticity of the products?
  • What is the gap in the process that resulted in listing an Inauthentic or Infringed products?
  • Where are your items being sourced from? If from a wholesaler, what steps did you take to ensure the supplier is authorized to resell these products and what steps did you take to ensure the rights owner is also aware that you will be selling these products?
  • In what way are the products not complying with intellectual property policy or product authenticity policy?

Elaborating more on this will show understanding and provide a better idea on the preventative steps you can implement to avoid this in the future.

  • What questions will you ask from your supplier to ensure that inventory is obtained lawfully and is not counterfeit?

  • What steps will you take to ensure the buyer does not have a counterfeit experience or right owners do not file infringement complaints?

  • What steps will you take to ensure there are no further gaps in your business practices to avoid similar issues?

I hope this information can be of use to your case, your plan of action will ultimately need to identify the gaps in business practices and your preventative measures should serve as a plug to those gaps. Remember, the forums community is here to help. If you have further questions, feel free to add to this post so we can further assist you.

I hope these suggestions help you in your endeavors.
Harleen


#15

I’m about to submit the below Plan of Action to Amazon. Could you please review the plan first and I’ll appreciate it if there’s anything you can suggest to improve it.

Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team

Further to your latest email regarding my appeal I hope that you will allow me the opportunity to reply and address this final part in order for my seller’s account to be reinstated.

I understand that Amazon takes complaints of suspected intellectual property rights infringement and anti-counterfeiting very seriously and I would like to share with you my Plan of Action in which I explain what I have done to resolve the issue and what I will do to prevent similar complaints in the future.

What happened:
• My account was suspended on suspicion of infringing intellectual property rights and selling products that might be inauthentic

• Amazon have requested me to verify the authenticity of the products in question and obtain approval from the rights owners to use their intellectual property rights

What I have done to address this issue:
• I’ve obtained an authorisation letter from my distributor to show that I am an authorised seller and that I am authorised to use their brands on Amazon

• The distributor has issued trademark certificates to confirm that the brand name and logo has been trademarked

• The invoices have been submitted to Amazon to prove the products I listed on Amazon have been purchased from a legitimate source

• I’ve carefully read the Amazon T&Cs and policies, especially the ones regarding intellectual property and your anti-counterfeiting policy. To ensure I fully understand them.

What I’ll do to prevent similar complaints in the future:
• Before creating new ASINs, I’ll verify the product pages do not violate someone’s intellectual property, trademark, copyright or patent

• I’ll obtain approval from the rights owners to use their intellectual property rights and if they refuse the product will not be listed on Amazon

• I’ll ensure that the suppliers that I purchase from are authorised to sell the item or brand, to further ensure the product is authentic

• I’ll keep invoices, authorisation letters and supply chain documentation for the products I list on Amazon and will submit them to Amazon when requested

• I’ll regularly read the Amazon policies and guidelines to make sure that I am not in violation of any of the rules

• I’ll make sure that all manufacturers and suppliers are trustworthy and reliable

• I’ll keep accurate records of my suppliers, including name, phone number, address, email address and website to ensure a valid supply chain

I apologise if there was a suspicion I violated intellectual property rights or selling products that may be inauthentic. I’ll make sure this issue will not happen again. I believe this plan sufficiently addresses the issue and I hope I’ll be able to continue selling on Amazon.