Hi everyone - this case is still ongoing!
The latest PoA submitted and rejected a few days ago was:
I violated Amazon’s Trademark Infringement policy by listing items owned by a third-party rights owner and used their brand name, without first gaining their permission to do so. These items were owned by the brand, FITTOO. The ASINs that were reported were: B0822D79V9, B07H3MCW17, B07H3N27YX, B07L8QKQZ9, B07L8STNSC, B0822D4XTW, B0822CLCQX, B087C3NNYH, B07H99XYRC, B07L8RY6NX.
All of these ASINs were FITTOO branded Women’s Leggings in a variation of colours. I purchased the FITTOO Leggings from a wholesale seller and then listed each colour leggings under a FITTOO product listing without being authorised to do so by the Trademark owner.
This happened because I did not fully read and understand Amazon’s Intellectual Property policies and I thought that because the leggings were FITTOO branded, that I could continue to sell them as FITTOO leggings without first getting permission to do so. I also did not check to see if FITTOO brand had a Trademark or any intellectual property against it.
Despite receiving numerous violations and emails from Amazon, I failed to respond and address these issues in a timely and professional manner. This was because I was currently prioritising 200+ orders that needed to be shipped and did not have sufficient time by myself to respond to the Amazon claims. I now understand that this is not acceptable and I should have acquired assistance through a new colleague, rather than trying to run the entire Seller Account by myself.
The actions I have taken to resolve the issue:
- I have shipped all orders that were made prior to receiving the complaints.
- I have fully closed and deleted all of my listings that were in violation of the intellectual property policies.
- I have reviewed my entire inventory and will only list branded products where I have permission to do so from the rights owner.
- I will only list a select few products that I can continuously review to ensure I always have time to respond and act on Amazon’s communications.
- I have contacted the rights owner and apologised for my misunderstanding and policy violation. I have informed them that all listings have been removed and will not be listed again on my Amazon account.
The steps I have taken to prevent the issue going forward:
- I have reviewed the Amazon Intellectual Property policy, specifically regarding Trademark Infringement and ensured I fully understand it, which I accessed here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/U5SQCEKADDAQRLZ?ref=ss_ahd_pp_intel_prop
- I have used the Amazon Seller University to understand how to list products in a compliant manner.
- I have created a checklist process for all new product listings which has a specific step to ensure that I will always contact rights owners and suppliers to gain their permission to list their products on Amazon before I add it to my inventory.
- I have also sourced a legal assistant to assist with me ensuring that I legally obtain any necessary brand permissions in the future, as well as supporting me with any Amazon communication which means I can respond in a timely manner.
- I only source my inventory from authorised manufacturers and outlets.
- I regularly check Amazon’s policies and Seller University to keep up to date and ensure my account remains compliant.
I spoke to Amazon Account Health team on the phone yesterday and they advised me to include the below:
- Future Preventative steps needs more detail:
- Sourcing process going forward - write steps
- Reference trademark & authenticity - mention sourcing from supplier, how will you choose supplier, what documents will you check
- Quality check processing to avoid product authenticity complaints
- Listing process in detail - how will you check trademark
- What is your understanding of the trademark policy - what do you understand, how will you implement this into your business
- Any suppliers in mind already? who is the rights owner, give details of new supplier if you have it
- What will be your future inventory ?
^^^ Do you guys think the above is all necessary? I feel like im being sent on a wild goose chase with Amazon here. I was always told to keep the PoA short and sweet and now they want a detailed process for how I will source products and how i will list them etc? Should i include these as attachments rather than in the PoA text?
Also the last part about future inventory and future suppliers - I have no current plan for my next steps yet as im just focused on getting my account reactivated so I have no new supplier to quote etc. Is this ok?
As always any help is appreciated!