Making sure that you have the precautions in place to protect your Amazon account from IP claims is vital. The better protected your account is the more peace of mind you have.
When selling on Amazon it is important that you comply with the necessary laws and do not break the IP rights of brands or other rights owners. Protecting your account is one way you can make sure your account is safe and healthy. You can check out our blog here about what you can do to protect your fba business.
Disclaimer – If you would like legal advice speak to a lawyer if you have a specific questions about your IP rights or the rights of others.
What types of IP claims are there?
- Copyrights are legal protections for original works of authorship. This includes written work like novels and poems.
- Trademarks are legal protections of a word, symbol, design or other means that a company identifies goods and services.
- Patents are legal protections for inventions.
IP Claims are not the same as brand restrictions. Even if you have approval for a brand you could still potentially receive an IP claim for an item.
How can I check that an IP claim is legitimate?
- Have you received an email from Amazon?
- Have you received a Performance Notification in Seller Central?
You can also find IP claims in Seller Central by going to Performance – Account Health – Product Policy Compliance – Received Intellectual Property.
Legitimate claims do not come through buyer messages.
A first time IP Claim should not cause your entire Amazon account to be suspended. Usually only your selling preferences will be suspended in relation to specific ASINs.
If you have several IP claims on your account there is a high risk of suspension.
Responding to an IP claim.
Your IP claim should contain contact details, this is the first place to start.
You may want to ask for the basis of the company’s complaint and reiterate that you are taking the complaint seriously. From the company’s reply you will be able to better understand if their complaint is accurate.
When dealing with IP complaints it is important to prove that the complaint is not true. For example, if you are accused of counterfeit, prove that the item is genuine.
IP Claim message example.
Thank you for notifying us of this. The entirety of our inventory for this product was purchased in brand new condition from [shop] which is an authorised distributor.
Attached below you will find a copy of our invoice for this product. You can see that we purchased this item from an authorised source and the inventory can be traced directly to the manufacturer.
This is not an intellectual property rights violation.
We have been selling exclusively on Amazon for [length of time] and would never detriment our business by sending in products which were not authentic, brand new or conforming to all of Amazon’s policies and procedures.
Please let me know if you need any further information to resolve this issue.
We would suggest sending a follow up email after 24-48 hours if you do not receive a reply.
Once you have contacted the brand it is important to contact Amazon and ask for the IP claim to be removed from your account. To do this you will need to provide your proof of purchase receipts.
It can be useful to circle or highlight the matching UPC for the item you are referring to in your message. By providing your invoices you are showing that there are no IP violations.
If you do not receive a response we would suggest removing the affected ASIN(s) from your inventory and telling Amazon you have done this. It is important to communicate with Amazon and respond to them as promptly as possible.
What to do if the IP Claim is legitimate?
If an IP claim is legitimate you will need to immediately remove the listing, apologise to the buyer and not sell that specific product again.
Writing notes on how you can avoid this from happening in the future is useful and will benefit your business growth.
How can I avoid IP claims in the future?
We would suggest looking out for brands which could potentially cause you to receive an IP complaint.
- Does the item have one seller on the listing and no other sellers? This is likely to be the company. We would suggest staying away from items like this.
- If an item has a few sellers check the sellers review counts. If the other sellers have thousand of reviews they may have a deal with the brand to sell their products on Amazon. We would suggest avoiding products like this.
The Profitl software has an IP feature which alerts you when an item is a potential IP risk. You can see it below.
IP claims are serious and should be something you deal with to protect your account. The better you understand how IP claims could affect you, the better you can protect yourself against them and avoid unnecessary frustration.