Undoubtedly, online marketplaces such as Amazon have been evolving exponentially over the past few years. Along with this, many issues causing patent violations have become more common and have become another reason to worry. Although, Amazon has taken various actions to fight back against the illicit use of patents and trademarks. Yet the number of fraudulent activities doesn’t seem to end. If you are a seller in Amazon’s marketplace or a patent holder whose product is being sold on the website then you must be concerned about the patent and how it benefits the Amazon seller.
Needless to say, there is an explosion in online selling. And while various brands are profiting from selling on Amazon, Amazon selling entails calculated risks such as infringement of intellectual property rights, stemming from sales of counterfeit, pirated, or otherwise IP-infringing goods. This is not something that begins to happen in a year or two on Amazon’s third-party marketplace. Amazon has been a hotspot for such illicit activities.
Being a seller, it is quite common to be concerned about patent issues. But don’t worry, we have got you covered and made this comprehensive guide for Amazon patent infringement.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a patent?
A patent is a form of legal protection for inventions issued patent grants its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing the invention into the country which allows patent protection for a fixed number of years.
If you are wondering if the rules vary from country to country perhaps that’s not the case in the European Union or the UK. However, different countries have different patent types, though. Amazon sellers must know that design patent law is only involved with the design and not the idea or invention. A design around could ease any potential accusations of infringement further. Hence, Amazon patent is the need of the hour for the Amazon seller.
Sellers often get confused between patent, trademark and copyright which is quite normal. Here is an answer to your confusion.
What is the difference between a patent, trademark and a copyright?
A patent is quite different from a copyright. A patent does not retain the expressive content of creative work such as a book or a picture but preserves a particular invention, such as the new camera.
Copyright, trademark and patents are all various types of intellectual property (IP). Trademark and copyright proprietors who consider their rights were infringed. And to resolve any disputes about any plausible trademark or copyright infringement on Amazon’s website.
Application Process of Amazon Patent
The application process of Amazon patent tediousnesss if noise to done in the right manner. It must contain the specification given below:
1. At least one drawing of the design.
2. A description of the drawing(s)
3. The claim(s)
The Amazon patent demands one of the most vital components of a patent specification as it responds to what it does and does not cover.
A claim is customarily stated as a statement of technical details which define the scope of the invention. The claim building is really important, and more detail can be used while drafting a claim.
Once the patent surveyor has acquired the patent application, then will proceed to review to identify whether or not the design is suitable for a patent. If performed to determine if the design is new then that means your invention is already recognized.
Why should Amazon sellers pay attention to the patent’s design?
Amazon sellers must pay attention to the patent’s design to avoid getting caught in the following situations:
1. Amazon Account Suspension: If you get your Amazon account suspended for design patent infringement, this could be catastrophic for your business.
2. Risk of Wasting Money: You may buy products directly from manufacturers and then rebrand them/place them under your labels on them. If you make a bulk purchase from the manufacturers and the products violate someone else’s product; this could cause you a hefty loss of money.
3. Being a private label seller, you may not need to file a design patent application. However, it is still quite important to design a patent search to assure that you are not violating anyone else’s patent. If you are found involved in any infringement, then you could risk losing your profits to the patent owner.
How does Amazon’s Patent Evaluation Process work?
The process begins with an email to Amazon mentioning that the patent holder wishes to have a part in and gives the patent number and the Amazon Standard Identification Number, or ASIN, of the product or products.
To do so, Amazon will then review the claim and conclude whether to persuade the patent holder to participate. If invited, the patent holder is asked to sign an arrangement determining all the products.
The patent holder also acknowledges keeping things confidential which he learned during the process to waive their rights to use Amazon. A seller who has been accused of violating or being involved in any illegal activity which is a sheer violation of Amazon seller policy will bear different consequences.
Therefore, either he can decide to participate, and sign the agreement, or have its product removed from Amazon’s product listing.
How to report an Amazon Patent Infringement?
Not every patent infringement claim on Amazon is rightful. Even though Amazon strives to make sure that your rights are protected, it prevents fast and thorough analysis.
If you know you’re not breaching a patent, then Amazon will restore the product listing and leave a letter to the complainant. Defaulters making false claims will stop their activities, to avoid any further issues which could include bans, court costs and monetary damages.
Before submitting any information, you’ll have to certify to the fact that everything you’ve claimed is true. Once Amazon takes the action as per your claims, then removes the listing, the seller will be notified of the decision.
Most of the brands work around the clock to build a great reputation. If anyone is found guilty of design patent infringement then your customers may lose trust in you. It can take a long time to gain their confidence and trust back. As a brand seller, the potential losses could be enormous because you need to invest a lot of time, resources, and materials into your products.
Having an intelligent software tool—Asinwiser—for online sellers will assist you to run your business in the right direction. Asinwiser.com is an excellent solution that will help you to target your potential audience with its all-in-one features such as brand story, product research, competitor research, profitability calculator, and so on.