Intellectual property issues are one of the most common causes of Amazon Seller suspensions. Intellectual property issues are frustrating for sellers as they are usually unaware of how or why they are violating someone’s rights.
Making matters worse, our firm has seen an increase in baseless intellectual property complaints being filed against sellers from spoof emails. Essentially, competitors are pretending to be rights owners of major brands and are filing baseless complaints with Amazon against Amazon Sellers who have done no wrong.
From what we are seeing, some sellers are creating spoof emails and sending false complaints of infringement to Amazon reporting their competition for baseless intellectual property violations. These email addresses may seem legitimate, but a key indicator that the complaint was sent from a spoof email lies in the domain name. For example, a report of infringement sent from an email address ending in @gmail.com or at @gxmail.com is likely a spoof and should be investigated further.
What Amazon Sellers do if they Suspect a Spoof Email Complaint?
Step 1: Respond
Just like any intellectual property complaint on the Amazon platform, the first step in dealing with a suspected spoof email is to respond. Amazon Sellers need to respond to determine whether the complaint was in fact submitted from a spoof email. Typically, when dealing with a baseless spoof complainant, any reply email will be returned as undeliverable, or the complainant will be unresponsive.
Step 2: Build Evidence – Attempts at Contact
Another reason it is imperative to respond to the complainant’s spoof email is because Amazon requires evidence that the email is not associated with the actual rights owner. As an Amazon Seller, if you feel that you may be a victim of a spoof complaint, make sure to save all attempts of contact with the complainant so you may later prove to Amazon that the complainant was unresponsive or their email address is undeliverable.
Step 3: Build Evidence – Actual Rights Owner Did Not Make Complaint
Amazon also needs to know that the real rights owner did not make this complaint against your Amazon Seller account. To prove this, Amazon Sellers will need to first figure out who the actual rights owner is and how to contact them. Next, the Amazon Seller must either call or email the real rights owner and verify that they did not file the complaint. Finally, Amazon Sellers need to get some sort of written statement to submit with their appeal to Amazon evidencing that the real rights owner was uninvolved with the complaint.
Step 4: Draft an Amazon Appeal
Now that you have established evidence that your Amazon Seller account was fraudulently attacked by a spoof email and that the real rights owner did not submit a complaint against your Amazon account, it is time to present the evidence to Amazon. Writing to the Notice Dispute team in a clear and concise format is often enough to get sellers reinstated and / or the baseless complaints removed.
Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer Conclusion
As we have been dealing with an uprising in these baseless spoof email complaints, our team at Amazon Sellers Lawyer has the experience, and is ready to help victimized Amazon Sellers. Please contact our team if you suspect a spoof email complaint has been made against your Amazon Seller Account. We are happy to be your guide on the road to reinstatement.
By: Robert Segall, Paralegal, Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C.
Robert is a third year law student at Hofstra University School of Law and a paralegal at Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C., AmazonSellersLawyer.com.