Despite many attempts to curb the issue, with initiatives such as Amazon Project Zero and Brand Registry, Amazon still has a significant problem with counterfeit and copycat goods infiltrating their marketplace.
Spotting a fake or copy-cat version of your product online can be heart breaking. Particularly at a time where, for a lot of us, sales are low. But, what can be done about it? Plenty! This guide will talk you through exactly how to remove that infringing product on Amazon. Ready? Let’s go.
There are many types of intellectual property infringement, on Amazon there are 5 key ways that your brand can be infringed:
- Copyright Infringement
- Trademark Infringement
- Design or US Design Patent Infringement
- Patent or US Utility Patent Infringement
What you will need
What you need depends on how you are being infringed and what you are trying to report. While for Amazon you do not need to submit a copy of your Intellectual Property certificate, you will need to have the registration numbers or proof of ownership to hand.
Registration numbers are required for Trademark, Design and Patent infringement reports and can be found on your certificates. For registered copyright reports, a registration number is not required. However, if you have one, including it in your application will only strengthen it. Additionally, we suggest including a link to a place where your original copyright/artwork can be found.
As well as this, you will need to provide Amazon with:
- Brand name – this should be the name that is registered on your certificates.
- Personal details – this includes your contact details and address
- Relationship to IP – you will need to tell Amazon whether you are the owner of the IP. or a representing agent working on behalf of the IP owner.
- The ASIN or URL of the infringing products – the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) can be found within the URL, usually the 10 characters after amazon.com/dp/
Reporting an Infringement
Once you have identified the type of IP being infringed and gathered the required information, you are ready to submit your report to Amazon. Simply follow the steps below to get started.
Step 1. Head to Amazon’s Infringement Report Page
This page varies depending on which version of Amazon the infringing product is being sold on. For most territories, the infringement page can be found by adding ‘/report/infringement’ to the end of the URL.
We have provided the links to the Infringement Report Pages for the main Amazon domains below:
- UK – Amazon Infringement Report
- US – Amazon Infringement Report
- Canada – Amazon Infringement Report
- France – Amazon Infringement Report
- Germany – Amazon Infringement Report
- Spain – Amazon Infringement Report
- Italy – Amazon Infringement Report
- Japan – Amazon Infringement Report
- China – Amazon Infringement Report
- India – Amazon Infringement Report
- Australia – Amazon Infringement Report
- Brazil – Amazon Infringement Report
- Mexico – Amazon Infringement Report
Unfortunately, reporting a URL on one domain will have no effect on the same URL on another domain. You will have to submit separate reports on the different sites.
Step 2. Create an Amazon account, or sign-in if you already have one
If you already have an Amazon account, as a seller or even a buyer, you will not need to create a new one for this. To create an account, you will need to provide a name, an email address, and a strong password.
Step 3. Fill out the Allegation of Infringement
This forms the first part of the submission and is where you outline the nature of the alleged infringement as well as proof of your intellectual property.
Step 3.1. Declare whether you are the IP owner or a registered agent
Step 3.2. Select the type of complaint
Firstly, you will need to select your primary complaint. Your options here will vary depending on which Amazon domain you are on; however, most should display the options:
- Copyright concerns
- Trademark concerns
- Patent concerns
- Design right concerns
- Other concerns
If the option you want does not appear, select other, and write in the box what kind of infringement you are reporting.
Once you have selected your primary concern, you are then asked to specify further. Choose the option that closest matches your issue. If you previously selected ‘Other concern’, this secondary field will not appear.
Step 3.3. Provide your Brand and IP Details
Next, fill in your brand name or, if appropriate, your registered trademark.
The form then asks for your registration number or patent number – this will depend on what you selected as your primary concern. You can only enter one registration number per complaint, so if you need to report infringements on several trademarks you will need to do this in separate submissions.
If you select copyright as your primary concern, the form will ask you to describe it or provide a link. This could be a link to your website where your work is featured or even a post on your Instagram account. If your copyright is registered, you can add this information in too.
Step 3.4. Add in as much additional information as possible
There is also the option to add additional information. We highly recommend that you provide as much evidence as you can about the infringement. Outline exactly what the listing is and how it infringes on your intellectual property. If you have digital versions of your IP certificates, providing them can make the process quicker. You may think the infringement is obvious, but a clear explanation can make it easier for Amazon to side in your favour.
Step 3.4. Provide the infringing ASINs or URLs
Finally, you can add in those infringing ASINs or URLs that you gathered earlier. If more than 1 listing is infringing the same piece of IP (Trademark, Design, Patent etc), you can add them, up to 50, in the same report. Be careful, different variations of a product can have different URLs, e.g. a blue dog toy will have a different ASIN from the pink version. Make sure that you include all infringing versions of a product listing.
Step 4. Your Contact Details
Here you should fill in your contact details. These will only be seen by Amazon and are required so that Amazon can contact you regarding the outcome of your infringement report.
Below this, you will see the option to add in secondary contact details. This information will be shared with the alleged infringing seller who may want to get in touch with you. You can choose to use the same contact information for both if you wish, but we do not recommend sharing any personal data with infringers.
Step 5. Wait for the outcome
You should receive a response from Amazon within 1 to 3 working days, although we have had replies in less than 5 minutes!
Keep an eye on the listings that you included in your report. Sometimes a product is removed before you receive a response from Amazon. In some cases, products may appear as unavailable even if the URL is still there.
Do not be afraid to submit your report again. If you do not get a reply or the infringement doesn’t get removed the first time, a second infringement report may be what is needed. Additionally, if your report is not accepted, you may need to change the complaints that you chose or provide more detailed information.
We’re here to help if you need us
Removing fakes and copies can be a complicated and time-consuming process. We hope this guide has been helpful, however, if you still feel like you need help, or would simply like to chat through anything mentioned, please do get in touch.
We are more than happy to help. It is what we do.
Please note, everything that we have mentioned in this article has been written in good faith. We always recommend speaking to a qualified IP lawyer before attempting to remove infringements. If you would like any recommendations, let us know, we can put you in touch with some good ones!