Basic Methods of Brand Protection on Amazon for Brand Managers
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A huge mistake that many brand management companies make is including their authorized sellers with the unauthorized sellers when they send cease and desist letters or make complaints on Amazon. So this needs to be done very, very carefully. The last thing you want to do is knock off your own brand or your authorized sellers.
This is done extremely easily and efficiently through your brand-registered account. If you don’t have a brand registry, you have to watch our video to make sure that your brand has a brand registry on Amazon. You need to be able to identify the people behind the Amazon accounts.
Now, this is also done through electronic databases and through information and resources that we have, but you want to make sure that you have the ability, whenever possible, to reach out and actually touch that seller beyond their Amazon account. You want to make sure that the remaining sellers, the ones that have refused to stop selling your product, even though they’re unauthorized, even though they are violating the first sale doctrine, that you’re able to make your complaints on Amazon and include only the language that Amazon staff is trained to act upon.
If you include too much, if you include certain words, Amazon staff in India… they’re called the MPA team… will literally ignore your complaint, even if the rest of the complaint is entirely valid. You need to make sure you are not including too much in your take-down when it comes to amazon.com.
Also, if you are losing a ton of sales, if the return on the investment makes sense, going to court, particularly going to the Northern District of Illinois, which is the federal courthouse in Chicago, and seeking a temporary restraining order can be a great way of protecting your brand. But an analysis has to be done first. There should be no race into the courthouse. You have to make sure that the cost of the litigation is going to generate more sales and make that expense worthwhile.
If your brand has a patent, you can enforce that patent on Amazon through its evaluation program. It’s extremely cost effective. It is extremely fast. It is much better than going to court. And as soon as you win that case, Amazon will treat that patent evaluator’s decision as if you had gone to court.
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