A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device used to indicate & distinguish the source of goods or services from others. Trademarks prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but doesn’t prevent others from making / selling similar goods under a different mark. The most common form of trademarks used by Amazon and e-commerce companies are brand names and logos.
Trademark infringement is typically one of the broader claims of intellectual property as there are various instances in which a trademark may be infringed. Essentially, trademark law exists to prevent consumer confusion and to promote good will amongst brands that provide a high level of value and or service to their customers. If a trademark is used in a way that may confuse consumers to believe a product comes from or was manufactured by a certain source, then there is trademark infringement. Some of the most common instances of trademark infringement we help brands and intellectual property owners enforce on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms include:
When a company or third party marketplace seller replicates a trademark and places it on their own goods without the brand owner’s permission, the activity amounts to counterfeiting. It goes without saying that the sale of counterfeit goods can confuse consumers into believing that they purchased an authentic product from a trusted manufacturer and thus, the sale of counterfeit goods amounts to trademark infringement and is also considered a crime.
When making claims of trademark infringement based upon allegations of counterfeiting, it is imperative to protect your brand “the right way.” Our firm always places test buys to ensure that we have physical evidence that counterfeit products are being sold by a suspected vendor or third party e-commerce seller before making any claims. We recommend all brand owners do the same. Not only will this make sure any claims submitted to Amazon or other e-commerce are as likely to be processed successfully as possible, but also prevents any damage to your brand by ensuring that all claims are valid. Our business has seen many brands make the mistake of using an all or nothing approach and wrongfully harming other businesses because they failed to engage in the proper due diligence prior to enforcing their IP. We pride ourselves on ensuring that everything we do is legally sound so that our client’s good will is protected while we work to maximize their revenue and protect their intellectual property. If you have issues with counterfeit sales of your products, please contact us right away.
Sometimes, other companies or third party e-commerce sellers may not recreate a brand’s trademark to place on their product, but instead will unlawfully use a brand’s trademark to describe their products. Usually, this type of infringement occurs in a product listing title or listing description page. When an infringing party refers to their products using a trademarked name, once again consumer confusion is caused as many consumers may be unaware whether the offer is associated with a brand they recognize and trust.
While listing level infringement is usually easier to recognize, it is also important to ensure that brands and intellectual property make effective use of the mechanisms e-commerce platforms have in place for reporting infringement. Whether using Amazon’s Brand Registry, eBay’s VERO program, Walmart’s brand portal or Alibaba’s IPP Portal, our firm has experience enforcing trademark claims on any platform in the most effective and efficient ways possible. Our company is data intensive and our multitude of clients and unmatched success allows us to gain a “bird’s eye view” of e-commerce trends, identify what works best, and execute flawlessly over and over again.
The unauthorized sale of branded goods can also amount to trademark infringement. However, brands must ensure that they take preliminary action to ensure that their company has systems and processes in place to render products authorized sellers provide to consumers “materially different” from products sold by unauthorized sellers. We have an entire page dedicated to Unauthorized Seller removal on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Click here to learn more about how our team helps brands remove unauthorized sellers from Amazon and other e-commerce platforms.
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