Some big brand names resort to bullying tactics on Amazon to try to push away the competition. These big brands will hire brand protection firms like OpSec, which usually entails shutting out the competition and putting small businesses at risk. These companies manage to get Amazon’s attention to close competitor’s shops.
Some brand protection companies refuse to respond to Amazon sellers directly to make amends based on evidence of their false IP claims.
OpSec says they provide online brand protection combating those who “exploit your brand.” I wonder how often the line between a product that is a direct copy and a similar product that may be inspired by an original is blurred in the name of protecting big name brands.
Imagine you created a product with similar ingredients to a big-name brand product, but not a direct copy. The big brand doesn’t like this, so they have Amazon close your shop in an attempt at keeping a monopoly on that product type and avoiding competition.
Once the damage is done, a seller must then try to reinstate their suspended Amazon account. They are forced to reach out to these brand protection companies, and some of them will pointedly ignore Amazon sellers when they reach out with evidence such as invoices, receipts, and authorization letters. They ignore the rules they claim to uphold.
These companies do however pay attention once a law firm such as ours is involved.
When sellers receive intellectual property complaints such as patent, trademark, copyright, or counterfeit complaints, Amazon will always provide the contact information for the complainant. As preferred by Amazon, you’re encouraged to resolve the complaint off of the Amazon platform, and directly with the complainant. But because Amazon has already accepted the complaints from the complainant, this gives the seller a lack of power and leverage in their correspondence. Oftentimes the complainants will not retract their complaint or might not even respond to their attempt to communicate with them.
If you received a complaint similar to the scenario outlined above, and a brand protection firm is ignoring your invoices and documentation that shows how their complaints are baseless, you should hire a lawyer to reach out to them.
The law firm you hire will contact them and explain how their complaint is baseless. They will provide them with the facts. And then, the brand protection company will usually cooperate or immediately retract the complaint out of fear of a lawsuit.
When we receive a case such as this, we have three steps for resolving this issue:
First, we analyze the case to determine what the complainant wants ultimately from the Amazon seller. We then analyze the specific intellectual property rights issue at hand, whether a patent right issue, trademark or copyright. We investigate whether the complainant’s intellectual property rights issue was ever legitimate or stood on solid ground. A lot of the time the intellectual property rights used to file these complaints were not sufficient to justify the complaint. Finally, we reach out to the complainant. And because we’re an established law firm, when this happens, the complainant will often retract the complaint right away, because they don’t want to deal with the realities of a lawsuit, the escalation, arguments, and the funds required to do so.