Baseless Infringement Claims: How to Appeal IP Complaints on Amazon
IP complaints are a widespread issue amongst Amazon sellers. You should take them very seriously if you’re ever faced with one, even if you believe the complaint is entirely baseless.
Even for invalid complaints or complaints filed against a product you don’t intend to sell, any complaint is a mark on your account health & poses a risk to your selling privileges.
IP complaints aren’t a joke. If you receive an IP complaint, Amazon will suspend your listing or sometimes your entire account. Amazon has “take-down” procedures to avoid any potential liability themselves.
The court held that Amazon could not be liable when a third-party seller sold infringing goods on the platform. Amazon themselves did not offer to sell infringing goods directly, nor did they engage in infringing activities. Third-party sellers make up the vast majority of entities selling on Amazon.
We know Amazon will never be held liable as long as they remove any potential infringements that have been found / reported. So what do they do? As soon as they receive an allegation / notice that you have potentially engaged in infringing activity, they often require you to prove to them that you’re innocent without much analysis of the facts.
When you’re dealing with Amazon regarding the IP complaints, you’re guilty until proven innocent most of the time.
With an understanding of this unfortunate business practice that Amazon employs, in our experience, we find that particular methods work in resolving them efficiently. Sometimes, Amazon provides rights owner contact information who they expect you to contact.
Typically, we reach out to the rights owner and request a retraction right off the bat. We state that the complaint is baseless or request their basis for complaint. Often, we can resolve the complaint by getting a retraction from the complainant in exchange for an amicable resolution.
Suppose you have no luck getting in contact with the rights owner or they are uncooperative.
In this case, we recommend submitting a Plan of Action to Amazon detailing that we attempted to reach out to the rights owner, mentioning they’ve failed to respond / entertain our attempts to resolve the issue.
In some cases, Amazon will be receptive when you demonstrate that you have attempted to reach out to the rights owner as they suggest. In the same appeal, we also include any evidence and examples of the lack of infringement and state how you cooperate with their policies.
These appeals don’t always work, and it’s impossible to know how they are reviewed at Amazon, but we often see success when we provide Amazon with a solid & comprehensive appeal.