Appealing suspected trademark violations


#1

Hi

I wondered if anyone might be able to help with their own experiences. We recently (two months ago) received “Suspected Intellectual Property Violations” on a number of our listings. By background, we sell children’s wall stickers, a number of which are licensed products for which we have full licence agreements in place to sell in the UK.

We appealed the violations and were then given the Amazon disputes e-mail address to provide evidence directly to their team to have the restrictions lifted on these listings. After providing the evidence (the licence agreement we have, recent royalty invoices, and even an authorisation letter from our licensors!) we kept receiving what appeared to be automated e-mails back rejecting the appeal and requesting the evidence (that had just been providing).

Having tried this a number of times but being stuck in the same loop we then reached out to Seller Support help and spoke a representative (I’ve now done this a few times). They can’t help you as it’s not their area and aren’t able to provide any more contact details other than those already received i.e. the e-mail loop above.

At the moment we’re therefore at a dead-end, whereby we can’t appeal the suspected violations as we get stuck in this automated e-mail chain in there appears to be no one to contact to help!

Has anyone else experienced this in any way? If so, what was the solution? As you can imagine at this time of year the restrictions are having a real impact so we really need to resolve this asap!!

Mike


#2

This can have several different violations. Trademark, Copyright or Design Patent.

I suggest you post the notice and reply as each has it’s own way of being appealed.


#3

Hello this same situation happened to me a seller reporting me for using a generic picture and my listing was then blocked I received a email from amazon and a reply email if I wanted to dispute it which I did so and I won my appeal and my listing was reinstated as long as you email the correct email and have the information in the email they ask for with also a progressive email explaining everything on your side you will recieve a response within 4 working days. I made a mistake by sending my appeal to the first email of notice-dispute@amazon.com when it is meant to be sent to notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk.

Hope that helps.


#4

Thanks for the replies. It’s a trade mark violation - we have provided the licence agreement under which the listings are being sold.

I think the IP violations are largely automated based on scanning product pages. The issue is therefore that the trade mark (name) that appears on the listings are being flagged as violating IP rights. Despite sending the licence agreement they are refusing the appeal every time. But the refusal then just details generic instructions on removing the mark from the listings or providing evidence that we have the use of the mark. We can obviously not remove the mark from the listing pages as it is fundamental to accurately describing the product - and is important to make sure customers know these are officially licensed merchandise rather than copycats using non-licensed artwork etc.

It would just be useful to be able to speak to the team directly but this doesn’t seem to be possible sadly.

Thanks for the e-mail address - there was some confusion at first but we have been liaising with the UK email address. I’ve emailed again this morning with a much longer narrative about where we are and why we believe the violations are incorrect so hopefully this, on top of the evidence will prove sufficient this time!


#5

Hi,

In your listing do you use the :registered: symbol?

This could be the problem.

You may have to remove this and add “fully licensed” or something similar to get the listings reactivated.

Paul


#6

i got a trade mark infringment notice for a trademark thats not registered in the uk or the eu and amazon wont listen either


#7

This is for “Intellectual property violations”, not “suspected intellectual property violations”.

This is partly correct, SUSPECTED IP violations are run by an automated system which seller support can’t override.
This particular issue you’re having is down to the “brand” not matching the IP mentioned in the title.
You need to ensure that any brand mentioned in the product title is also filled in correctly in the product’s “brand” field (and in some rare cases the Manufacturer must be correct too).
You will probably need to get seller support to apply this change for you as the brand field is usually locked down very soon after a listing is created.

Once this change is made the violations should automatically be removed after around 1-2 days.

If it was the result of someone reporting the image then it wasn’t a suspected IP claim, it was an actual one. The process to resolve them is completely different.

edit: why do I keep typing “potential” instead of “suspected”? lol


#8

Hi Clearanceshed

Thanks for your comments - this is really helpful - and interestingly I had actually started thinking about the Brand Registry and whether that was the cause (given the seemingly automated process).

We are a manufacturer and brand in our own right so our brand is trademarked and enrolled with the Brand Registry. As a result, by default, all our listings have our name as the brand and the manufacturer.

For these listings, where we are producing products using a 3rd party licence we clearly want their trademark to be prominent in the listing. This will not be in the ‘brand’ section of the listing - do you think this is causing the conflict?

In general, is it possible to include someone else’s brand in this section when listing product? That may seem like a stupid question (and probably is) but as a manufacturer and brand our default has always been that they are our products (under our name), produced by us but just selling under a licence someone else trademark.

Thanks for your thoughts - the logic seems to make the most sense after getting nowhere for this long!


#9

Generally, if you have more than 1 brand in your title it will almost always flag it as incorrect (if any of the brands you sell issue a brand usage guideline give it a quick flick through and you’ll find they usually don’t allow this anyway).

There are ways around this but it can make your listing slightly less visible.
I’ll use Disney and your forum name as an example:
If you name your product “Disney stickers by stickerscape stuff about the product here” and put the brand as EITHER Disney or Stickerscape, it probably get a suspected IP claim since you have a brand name in the title which doesn’t match the brand (regardless of which you use the other one will be wrong).
On the other hand you could use that same product name and put the brand as “Disney Stickers by stickerscape” which would probably avoid a suspected IP claim, but would make searches for “Disney” or “stickerscape” less likely to show your product.

Note the word “probably” in both cases, the automated system that runs these claims is like the buy-box algorithm in that a lot of people can work out roughly how it works but no-one knows the exact details.

I believe in your specific situation though, the best thing would be to put the licensed brand-name in the title and Brand field and then put your own name in the Manufacturer field as well as the description (or bullet points).
As I said in an earlier post, getting Amazon to actually accept these changes and update the product page with them is the hard part.
We’ve had around 180 Suspected IP Violations so far, of these we still have 40 left which we are unable to resolve due to Amazon not being able to update the brand/title/etc. almost all of the 180 were caused by other sellers changing the listings.

As a worst-case scenario you are well within Amazon’s rules if you simply create a new listing for the product (with updated details) however this will not remove the violation from your account.
This is not a duplicate listing as the moment the violation is issued the original listing is erased from existence, which is what makes it so hard to update (in many cases seller support can’t even access it).

Yes, almost all of the brands that get “protected” by the suspected IP claims are ones which are brand registered, though I don’t believe there’s any option to opt a brand out of this system.


#10

Thanks very much - this is incredibly helpful and I appreciate the detail.

I’ll start taking a look at the listing and will see what can be achieved with Seller Support.

I’ll keep you posted!