Amazon Sellers, DO NOT Re-Apply Trademarks to Certified Refurbished Items
Each one of the trademarks that you’re seeing flash on the screen are different marks, different logos that are used on different types of sporting goods, which are often sold as refurbished products.
Now, the reason why I’m showing you this today is because we’re faced with a really interesting case. We have an Amazon seller who sells refurbished sporting goods, and what the Amazon seller was doing was reapplying the trademark to the product. The Amazon seller wasn’t applying a different logo or a different name to the product. They were just reapplying it, so it looked a little bit newer / fresher. The seller was not doing anything about the listing, it was refurbished. But part of his refurbishment process was reapplying the mark.
The question is, is that a trademark violation?
I’m not saying it is, and I’m not saying it isn’t because I think the courts are split on whether or not it’s a trademark violation. I tend to think that ultimately it is a trademark violation because you’re taking a mark owned by somebody else and you’re putting it back on the product. I don’t think you can really do that. Whether I’m right or I’m wrong, I think sellers need to know that if they do something like this, even if they put the same exact mark onto the product where it was just to make it bright or freshen up the product, they could be starting a problem with Amazon. So it might be better to polish, clean, package really well, rather than re-apply the mark, even though it’s the same mark.
Now, if you watch these videos, you know often we talk about big general issues, like how to write a plan of action, how to get IP complaints off your account, what to do if Amazon refuses to release your money or your inventory. These are sort of big, broad problems that every single Amazon seller faces. But also when we learn about specific issues, I try and share those with you as well. So Amazon sellers, if certain actions are causing Amazon account suspensions or listing suspensions, sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong, you just want to avoid the problem so that your account or listing never goes down.
If you’re selling certified refurbished items, clean up the products the best you can, but I would advise you to NOT re-apply the marks of the logos.
Thank you for joining me again today. A rising tide lifts all ships, information helps all Amazon sellers.