Help With POA after suspension


#1

Hello,

I would very much appreciate any help with my plan of action below.

I have been temporarily deactivated due to rights infringement. Namely - creating a clothing listing that contained a trade mark, in the item title, and in the item image, that I did not have permission for. The item was intended to be a parody but nevertheless (as I now realise) violated the right owner’s TM.

Here is the most recent suspension notice:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. We cannot accept your appeal because it does not address the report we received from the rights owner. Please provide the following information so we can process your appeal:

– Greater detail on the root cause(s) of the infringement.
– Greater detail on the actions you have taken to resolve issues.
– Greater detail on the steps you have taken to prevent infringement going forward.
– Greater detail on why you believe an error has occurred.

Where do I send this information?
Send this information to notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk.

And hear is my intended reply:

Thank you for your reply.

Greater detail on the root cause(s) of the infringement:

The infringement involved the use of a registered trade mark (namely ‘***********’). This trademark was used in the item description, and in part of the image shown printed on the item.
The image was intended to be a parody of an existing image. However, in creating this item I infringed upon the trade mark in question, by using it without permission. This is why the rights owner rightfully filled a report.

Greater detail on the actions you have taken to resolve these issues:

I have studied the Amazon guidelines regarding appropriate copyright and trademark use. Subsequently, I have reviewed my entire inventory and removed any items that may be violating Amazon guidelines due to my previous misunderstanding of these guidelines.

The particular ASINs mentioned by the rights owner above have also been deleted.

Greater detail on the steps you have taken to prevent infringement going forward:

I will not create, or list against, any listings that violate the Amazon guidelines regarding appropriate copyright, or trademark use.
I will consult the UK Trade Mark website to confirm that my listings do not violate any existing trade marks.

This is my first violation of this nature.

I would be grateful for any guidance regarding my appeal, and wether it is suitable.

Thanks


#2

Unfortunateley I do not belive that your plan is sufficient in it’s current form.
You have addressed neither the infringement notice, by way of getting the rights holder to submit a retraction notice [which must be in the correct format and sent to the right team], nor have you addressed the alternate scenario, “error” and explained why you think the complaint was made in error.
In fact you have openly admitted violating the other parties rights, and said that this may not be an isolated incident.
You will need to contact the rights owner, explain your misunderstanding of the law, and ask him to send a retraction notice, then you will need to submit a more detailed plan that shows what steps you have taken to rectify your mistake.
Reading the help pages and removing one set of ASIN’s is only part of what you need to do.
You need to completely trawl your Inventory and remove all offending listings,
You need to show how you now source your inventory so that you are not listing infringing items, and then you need to address the moving forward section in a little more detail. [How will you ensure you don’t infringe in future?]


#3

Hi Adrian,

As stated I have completely trawled my inventory and removed anything that could be conceived as violating the guidelines.

There is nothing in the notice that asks me to request a retraction, what format it must be in, and where to send it to. Could you reveal where this information can be found?

However as stated - I was in the wrong. My POA hopes to explain how and why it went wrong, and how it won’t happen again due to my new understanding of the matter.

I create my designs so there is no external sourcing.

You seem to suggest that if I admit I was in the wrong by making a single mistake, this is sufficient to permanently suspend me? This seems rather unfair, especially as there isn’t any other truthful explanation.

Thanks again.


#4

That sentence from Amazon about “error” is usually there to say “if you believe there has been an error and your listing was not in fact in infringement then explain how”
The alternate to an error is that you were in infringement, in which case the previous email you received would have asked you to obtain a retraction notice.
Since you admit infringing then you will ned to obtain a retraction notice from the rights holder.
That notice should look similar to this [thanks to Kika for the template]
image

TBH Your plan, IMO, is too light on detail and needs a bit more meat in it to show how you will correct things, now and in the future.


#5

Thanks for the help Adrian.

As I was in infringement it seems very unlikely that the rights holder will send a notice agreeing to “reinstate the mentioned content”. Nor would I want it reinstated. :frowning:

Guess I’ll just flesh out what I have.


#6

Here be my updated POA:

Thank you for your reply.

Greater detail on the root cause(s) of the infringement:

The infringement involved the use of a registered trade mark (namely ‘…’). This trademark was used in the item description, and in part of the image shown printed on the item.
The image I created was intended to be a parody of an existing image. This is permitted under the UK law on copying works for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche, as set out in Section 30A and Schedule 2 (2A) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
However, in creating this item I unintentionally infringed upon the trade mark in question, by using it without permission. This is why the rights owner filled a report for this item, and the ASINs associated with it.

Greater detail on the actions you have taken to resolve these issues:

I have studied the Amazon guidelines regarding appropriate copyright and trademark use. I now fully understand these rules and how these ASINs were in violation of them.

Subsequently, I have reviewed my entire inventory to ensure that all existing listings are not in violation of Amazon guidelines. The particular ASINs mentioned by the rights owner above have also been permanently deleted.

Greater detail on the steps you have taken to prevent infringement going forward:

I will not create, or list against, any listings that violate the Amazon guidelines regarding appropriate copyright, or trademark use.
I will consult the UK Trade Mark website to confirm that my future listings do not violate any existing trade mark.
I will desist in creating works of parody so that this situation cannot be repeated.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Thank you.


#7

Here is an example Plan of Action, if you need help with appealing suspensions due to infringement issues:


#8

Thanks for the reply Kiki.

I understand that that format of POA is what the appeal team are looking for.

However it just doesn’t seem to be applicable to this situation.

I’ve created a unique image on a piece of clothing that has unintentionally infringed a trademark because of what I’ve called it in the title. The image itself was a parody containing unique elements.

I’ve not sourced the item from anywhere. The TM owner doesn’t own the image.

Is this a unique situation?


#9

Could you post a photo of one of your products with complaints, just to see what kind of issue are we talking about?

I can imagine that you are selling these “movie/tv/brand inspired” t-shirts with quotes and logos/images. In this case, the items still infringe on the rights owner’s trademark, because you are using third party brand names to advertise your unbranded products without having a valid licence.

Anyone who wants to create their own branded merchandise needs to have a prior agreement with the rights owner.


#10

If you have created the image, you own any copyright or IP rights to that image.

However, if you have used a Trademarked word in the title of your listing, you may have infringed the IP rights of somebody else. For example, if your image was a parody of Mickey Mouse, and you used Mickey Mouse in the title of the listing, you would have breached Disney’s IP rights.

If you have done so by mistake and the IP rights holder or their agent (eg a lawyer or IP rights enforcement company) has made a complaint, you need to:

a) close your listing
b) contact the IP rights holder or their agent, explain the situation and ask them to withdraw the complaint
c) submit your POA, explaining the steps you have taken.

Paul


#11

So… this still hasn’t been resolved.

I’ve sent 8 different plans of action, and every time I receive the exact same email I received initially.

I’ve emailed Doug at managingdirector@amazon.co.uk. I received the same email in response.

The only different response I’ve received was in Italian (despite being from Amazon.co.uk). After translation… it was exactly the same email.

I’ve pasted my latest plan of action below. I cannot understand why this doesn’t address the problem. I’m assuming that it is possible to be re-instated, or else why would I keep being asked for a PoA.

It’s extremely frustrating, and depressing, to be treated this way.

If anyone can help I’d be extremely grateful.

PoA:

Hello,

Thank you for allowing me to submit a plan of action in regard to the temporary deactivation of my account due to counterfeit and copyright infringement issues.

I understand that such infringements are very serious. I intend the following Plan of Action to detail how I aim to resolve these issues, and prevent them from happening again.

What went wrong:

  •  A rights owner (complaint ID ***********) has identified the item I have listed as counterfeit.
    
  •  Due to my inexperience in such issues, I listed the item believing the item was not counterfeit, when in fact I was unable to prove that it was genuine.
    

How have I fixed this problem?

  •  I have fulfilled all other existing orders received up to the suspension notice.
    
  •  All customer messages have been answered, as well as general return requests. My current ODR rate is 0%.
    
  •  I have studied Amazon policies, especially in regard to Amazon’s Anti-Counterfeiting Policy, to guarantee that I will not be in violation again. 
    
  •  I have exhaustively reviewed my account, and permanently removed any listings that could violate the above policies due to unsatisfactory manufactures’ receipts or invoices. 
    

How will I prevent similar complaints reoccurring in the future?

  •  All items that contain copyrighted or trademarked images will be sourced from the appropriate sources. I will obtain valid invoices meeting Amazon requirements. 
    
  •  I will thoroughly check all items before despatch to ensure they are authentic, and as described.
    
  •  Where necessary, I will seek permission from brand owners, copyright owners, and/or trade mark owners before offering such items for sale on Amazon.
    
  •  I will strictly follow all Amazon guidelines, and policies.
    

I believe that the above directly address the particular infringement of complaint ID ******, as well as such violations in general.

If you require any further information, please let me know specifically what is required.

Thank you.


#12

The Plan of Action isn’t good and doesn’t include enough steps and actions.

The cause wasn’t “A rights owner (complaint ID ***********) has identified the item I have listed as counterfeit.“

A serious suspension due to Intellectual Property Rights Infringement and Authenticity issues won’t be appealed by saying how you fulfilled all existing orders, answered buyer messages and read Amazon policies.

You need to write a similar Plan of Action as what I posted above or this one:


#13

Thanks. I’ll try basing it around that.

However no customers have complained. So if I change that to “third party claims” will that be acceptable?


#14

Right. How does this look?

Thank again for your time on this.

Dear Seller Performance Team,

Thank you for allowing me to address my seller account suspension due to third party counterfeit complaints.

I understand that this is very serious and Amazon expects all sellers to adhere to Amazon guidelines. The below Plan of Action details what I have done to resolve these issues, and how I will prevent them re-occuring.

What went wrong:

  • We have received complaints regarding the authenticity of goods listed for sale on our store. I failed to properly address these issues with third parties in a professional and timely manner.
  • Due to my inexperience with such matters, I believed that sourcing items without valid invoices, or other proof of authenticity, was an acceptable way of sourcing inventory.

How have I fix these problems:

  • All remaining and pending orders have been shipped.
  • All customer messages, and requests, have been meet. My ODR rate is 0%
  • I have studied and understood all Amazon policies, with particular attention to Amazon’s Anti-Counterfeiting Policies in regard to sourcing inventory. This ensures I will not violate them again.
  • Any listings that cannot have their authenticity verified with valid documentation (invoices, receipts etc) have been permanently deleted from my account.

How will I prevent similar complaints in the future:

  • Where appropriate I will seek permission from brand owners in order to sell their products in Amazon.
  • Before listing any items, I will ensure that they perfectly match the Amazon product page. Any inaccuracies will be removed by updating the listings, and correcting the inaccurate details.
  • All inventory will be sourced from reliable, official sources (direct from the manufacture or authorised distributors). I will obtain valid invoices, and receipts, to meet Amazon selling requirements.
  • I will strictly follow all Amazon policies and guidelines.

I believe that the above solutions accurately address the issues detailed in the Selller Performance suspension notice.

Thank you for this opportunity to respond to my suspension. I look forward to continuing to sell on your platform


#15

This is a lot better. Have you deleted your entire inventory?


#16

Will do before sending. Fingers crossed.


#17

I’ve received four messages overnight.

  1. notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk :

"Hello,

This email address is not associated with your Amazon account. For security reasons, we do not send account information anywhere other than the email address registered to the account.

Please write to us from the email address registered to your account."

Even though it is.

  1. notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk (Excitingly in German… translates as):

"
Good day,

Thank you for your message. We are currently unable to accept your application because we were unable to identify the related message.

Please provide the following information in addition to the information in your original message so that we can process your request:

  • Your seller ID
  • the complaint number or task ID to which you submit the application (see previous messages)

Where do I send this information?
Send this information to notice-dispute@amazon.de."

  1. notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk - the same as the email 1.

  2. notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk - the same as the very first email I received:

"
Hello,

Thank you for your message. We cannot accept your appeal because it does not address the report we received from the rights owner. Please provide the following information so we can process your appeal:

– Greater detail on the root cause(s) of the infringement.

– Greater detail on the actions you have taken to resolve Trademark Potential Counterfeit and Copyright issues.

– Greater detail on the steps you have taken to prevent infringement going forward.

– Greater detail on why you believe an error has occurred.

Where do I send this information?
Send this information to notice-dispute@amazon.co.uk."

:exploding_head:

Of course I’ve no idea whether the final response was in fact a response to my most recent PoA or one I sent in three weeks ago.

Any suggestions left? A stronger person would weep.


#18

This looks like the most recent response to your current Plan of Action.

Your appeal was addressing authenticity issues, when in a fact Amazon wanted you to appeal infringement complaints.

I would advise you to review this example appeal and then prepare a similar one, where you will address intellectual property rights infringement:


#19

Ok. How’s this?

I have missed out one of the first points at it just isn’t applicable (is this wise?)

Dear Performance Seller Team,

Thank you for allowing me to appeal my account’s recent suspension due to intellectual property complaints.

I understand that violations of intellectual property rights, and the use of such rights without brand or rights owners’ permissions, are taken extremely seriously by Amazon. My plan of action below, explains how I have resolved these issues, and how I will prevent similar complaints in the future.

What happened?:

  • I received a trademark infringement complaint from the rights ******* for the ASINS listed in your email below. Complaint ID *********

How have I addressed this problem?:

  • All listings that have received complaints have been removed. They will not be reinstated until any such complaints have been resolved.
  • I have contacted the above rights owner detailing that the items are no longer being offered, and requested that they submit a retraction notice.
  • I have exhaustively reviewed my entire Amazon account, and listings, to ensure that they are fully compliant with Amazon policies and guidelines.
  • I have contacted all existing suppliers, and where appropriate, informed them that I am selling on Amazon, in order to prevent any erroneous reports of trademark infringements.

How will I prevent similar complaints in the future?:

  • I will ensure that any new listings do not violate any intellectual property, trademark, copyright, or patent rights.
  • I will continue to contact any new suppliers to ensure I can offer their products, and merchandise, on Amazon.
  • I will continue to source merchandise direct from manufactures, and authorised outlets.
  • I will continue to study Amazon guidelines, and policies, to ensure I am not in violation. I will also pro-actively monitor all changes in policies, or laws, which could affect my compliance.

I hope that the above accurately address the above issues, and I thank you again for the opportunity to continue selling on Amazon.


#20

This is not what happened.

You need to state that you violated Amazon’s policies by listing items for sale which violate intellectual property rights.