Practice Area: Intellectual Property Infringement DefenseJeff Schick2018-12-25T03:51:24+00:00
Practice Overview: Intellectual Property Infringement Defense
Helping Amazon Sellers Defend IP Infringement Claims
Fortunately, we have the legal knowledge and Amazon experience to help you resolve them.
Amazon Sellers are increasingly facing intellectual property infringement claims, both from brands and from other sellers. Some sellers and brands have tried to weaponize Brand Registry 2.0, and are using it to make baseless IP infringement claims (patent infringement, trademark infringement, counterfeit infringement, and/or copyright infringement claims). Unfortunately, when these IP infringement claims are made, how you respond can result in legal liability for your company. Our team offers the right balance of Amazon experience to help you get reinstated, and legal knowledge to help should the brand or seller claiming infringement decide to bring a legal infringement claim.
If you face an IP infringement claim on Amazon, you will likely find out from having a product or account suspension notice from Amazon. In this notice, Amazon will provide you with the Rights Owner’s email address, and will require that you either obtain a retraction from the rights owner or file a dispute as to the validity of the claim. We can help with both.
If you wish to obtain a retraction: We can help you obtain a retraction from the rights owner by reaching out on your behalf, and negotiating the retraction from them. We will strive to ensure your legal rights are protected, and in the event that the rights owner requests payment in exchange for the retraction, we will provide the necessary settlement and release of claims agreements to ensure that your payment is not construed as an admission of guilt. (This is very important – the last thing you want is to pay a rights owner for a retraction, only to have them turn around and file an infringement lawsuit against you using your payment as evidence of guilt.)
If you wish to fight the notice (Notice-Dispute): We can help prepare the necessary documents to submit to Amazon to demonstrate to Amazon how your alleged infringement is not infringement, and that there was an error on Amazon’s part.
Defend Against Alleged Infringement from Brands Using Seller Enforcement Services
Many law firms are now entering the field of “online seller enforcement”, and are working with their brand clients to create programs to prevent unauthorized sellers (including retail arbitragists) from selling their goods. While some of these programs are legitimate, some programs lack the necessary elements to be truly enforceable.
If you’ve received a notice of infringement, our attorneys can help you chart the best course of action. Our team will analyze all of the facts available, and help you determine if the accusation against you has any merit. If the complaint is baseless, we will draft a legal opinion letter, which we will then use to point out the legal liabilities should the brand refuse to withdraw its complaint. Most importantly, you’ll have the full support of Francissen Rafelson Schick to stand up to the brand’s lawyers with strength.
What about Baseless or False IP Infringement Claims?
If you have received a copyright, trademark, or patent infringement notice from Amazon, this is a serious issue that requires you to work with experienced attorneys. Only a licensed attorney can help you evaluate the merits of the alleged infringement. If the infringement is legitimate, our attorneys can help you attempt to reach an amicable outcome with the rights-owner to avoid litigation. Remember, if you have infringed on someone’s patent, trademark, or copyright, you are liable to face litigation in addition to account or product suspensions.
In some cases, the alleged infringement in the notice is baseless. In the event that the alleged infringement is baseless, we can help you write an effective letter to the complaining party advising them of the seriousness of their baseless complaint, and the ramifications if the do not withdraw their complaint with Amazon. Once the complaining party withdraws their complaint, we can then file a Plan of Action with Amazon to have your product or account reinstated.
In the event that the baseless complaint is not withdrawn, we can work with your team to begin enforcement efforts. These may include some of the following strategy options:
File a lawsuit against the complaining party
File trademark or patent cancellation proceedings with the USPTO, in the event that the root IP being infringed is not able to be protected
When You Face Infringement Claims, You Need an Experienced Legal Team
When you receive a letter from Vorys or a complaint of infringement from Amazon, you need licensed attorneys to represent you. Hiring an attorney can help you deescalate the situation, and gives you the security of knowing that an attorney who deals with these issues frequently is using their experience and knowledge to help further your business goals. Nobody without a law license in good standing should give you advice about how to handle an infringement claim: not only are they not qualified to help you, but in most states it is considered unlawful practice of law.
Read Our Insights on Intellectual Property Infringement Law
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