Amazon and Other 3rd Party Seller IP Infringement
In today’s gig economy, selling online is an essential part of growing and expanding your business. Resellers and retailers alike turn to the Internet to reach more people, grow their client base, and expand their offerings. While utilizing the Internet can be a wonderful way to expand your company and reach new clients, it’s important to understand that selling online also carries some risks. Some business owners are concerned about the possibility of intellectual property (IP) infringement. This can occur in many different ways. Someone might take some of your designs, for example, and sell them online through a third-party website, such as Amazon. They might take artistic credit for the IP and make money off of it. If this happens, there are several steps to take. However, it’s also important to understand how you can react if Amazon or another website believes that you have violated the IP rights of another person. Here’s what you need to know.
What happens when someone uses my IP?
Unfortunately, when you create art, you run the risk of someone stealing or imitating your IP. This can be an incredibly frustrating situation, especially when the other person is using your IP to make money. It’s important to remember that you do have rights during this time. It’s illegal and it’s generally against an online retailer’s Terms of Service for someone to use your IP without your express consent. If you notice that someone has used one of your IP online without your permission, there are a few things you can do.
First, you can contact Amazon, Fiverr, Etsy, or the customer service team of the third-party site and let them know someone has used your IP. Make sure you include your name, the date of the infringing party, where the infringement is located, how your IP is Infringed, the date the IP was created, and the proof you have that the IP is yours. Let them know that you did not give permission for the other person to use your IP. It is also required by some sellers and suggested for all to provide an affidavit indicating you are the IP owner or are authorized to speak on their behalf, and that the statements contained in the infringement notice are true to the best of your knowledge. Contacting Mann Law to have an attorney assist in your case can help you better navigate online sellers infringement procedures.
What if Amazon thinks I stole IP?
Sometimes Amazon receives reports that a someone has infringed upon the IP rights of someone else. If Amazon believes that you stole IP, they’ll likely reach out and ask you for more information. You’ll need to work with Amazon as quickly and promptly as possible to prevent them from simply closing your account. Always include information that shows you are the original creator of the item. Remember to respond promptly. Never just ignore an email that states you are suspected of IP infringement.
If the IP you’re using is not your own, you may still be able to use it if you have permission from the IP holder. For example, if your friend designed a beautiful picture and gave you permission to use it online to sell t-shirts, you’ll simply need to provide documentation in the form of a license agreement that your friend gave you permission. If, however, you did not receive permission to use the design, you’ll need to suspend sales of the item until and unless you can obtain the necessary permissions.
How can I move forward?
No matter what type of IP rights violation or infringement you’re facing, it’s important to stay calm. Remember that when you communicate with Amazon or even other sellers directly, you should use email rather than phone whenever possible in order to have a paper trail. You should also make sure that you communicate in a way that is professional. If you cannot find a reasonable resolution or the website or company in question refuses to work with you, it may be time to meet with an attorney who can help you.
Reaching out to an attorney doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. Remember that your lawyer is on your side and wants to help you move forward after this incident. Your lawyer wants to help you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to call Mann Law and schedule an appointment today. Bring all of your paperwork, documentation, and an explanation of what you’re facing so that your attorney can start building a case as soon as possible.