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Sat Nov 22 2014 16:43:57

How Would You Handle IP Infringement Takedowns on Amazon?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I recently had an item I was selling on Amazon.com taken down without notice to me. The item was taken down and removed from Amazon's catalog as well as my inventory for a few weeks before I noticed it was missing.

I contacted Customer Support by opening a case. The case was quickly closed with no resolution. I was told the item was being referred to Seller Performance.

I reopened the case and asked that it remain open pending notification to me why the listing was taken down and why I was not notified that it had been removed from my inventory. Of course Amazon hates having cases opened for too long so they told me that it will remain closed and that Seller Performance will get back to me.

When Seller Performance got back to me they stated that my item infringes on Intellectual Property (I have fought this battle a few times in the past, first with eBay to no avail, but more recently with lawyers representing Coty Fragrances on iOffer.

I was successful in having my listings reinstated on iOffer. I was not successful and eventually booted from eBay. Hence my Pinterest page devoted to "All Things Good About Bonanza.com/All Things Bad About eBay: Sorry eBayers.")
 
The basis of my argument for which Amazon still has not gotten back to me is this:
 
1) Who requested the takedown of my listing? (Am I not allowed to know the identity of the "alleged" IP owner?)

2) Why can 8 national retail chains sell the same exact item I am trying to sell, yet Amazon refuses to allow me to sell same product?
 
What I sell is legal although it does walk a fine line of what online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon like to have on their websites. The products are akin to generics that many retailers sell where on the product package is verbiage such as "the same active ingredient as in "xxxxx (brand name removed)."
 
Like I said before, I have seen my products in a minimum of 8 national retail chains and have even purchased some of it from these stores to resell.
 
Without getting into the all the minutiae of my ongoing battle, I would like to know from you or your readers if you/they have encountered such a reluctance on the part of Amazon to answer such simple questions.

I would love to know how to contact the BBB or the District Attorney in whatever states have jurisdiction in order to see to it that my rights are not being trampled on. I have written to Amazon Investor Relations too (ir@amazon.com) as well as the last good email address I have for Jeff Bezos (jeff@amazon.com), as I am also a shareholder in Amazon stock).
 
If the 8 retail chains can sell these why can't I? Why can't I get an answer to this simple question??
 
Thank you,
DaveMinNJ




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Nov 23 09:30:42 2014

I don't understand. Are these the types of items for which the manufacturer exercises strict control regarding their sale and distribution? (As an example, the ''ProActiv'' skin care products come to mind.)

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Nov 23 11:08:43 2014

@DaveMinNJ - I have never sold on Amazon, so I have no knowledge of their policies. However, in reading your letter, my thought was it might be a good idea for you to rethink your business plan. You admit that you've had problems in the past selling these products, and apparently Amazon no longer wants to sell them, whether through pressure by the "brand name," or pressure from their sellers who sell the brand name. Or maybe the brand name is allowing the knock-offs to be sold in certain locations only. I don't think a defense is that "8 national retail chains" are selling these products. That's like saying eight of your neighbors are selling illegal drugs, so you should be allowed sell them as well.    

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 23 11:44:40 2014

Hint Hint----Banned by Ebay for selling the same things and now Amazon is taking down the same auctions....I would think I would take the HINT HINT and find something else to sell.

There has to be a whole lot more to this story than what is being told.

My neighbors are all drunk right now. I think I will head to the bar.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 23 17:17:31 2014

Find another product. Your problem is the product manufacturer, not the venue.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 23 23:53:13 2014

The real question is - what is the violation?

Is Amazon claiming counterfeit goods? picture (trademark/copyright) violation?

More details are needed here.

Ive gone MANY rounds with eBay - Ive won most - by using a lawyers letter with threats to sue - Lanham and FSD say you don t need permission to sell anything anywhere - regardless of brand or type of item ie makeup.

%99.9 of all complaints are that they items are counterfeit. Easy enough to fix if the item is legit - show your invoice or have your attorney in his/her letter offer to show it - if/when the complaint is removed.

Besides SNADbay being mornons, VERO knows nothing about items, manufactorers etc. They get a complaint and act on it. YOU need to be proactive and make sure your items are legal and above board.

Some items in general are "touchy". Those come from companies with deep pockets that just dont want you selling their items on Amazon or SNADbay. Those companies are Burberry, Bose, Sony, Alpine and many more. For them its almost a sport - they will do/say almost anything to get you to stop - ANYTHING.

I had an Amazon issue with counterfeit. In my case it blew up in the manufactorers face since HE sold me the items RETAIL and didnt know. Amazon threatened HIM to stop filing these somplaints. (it was SMS audio btw).

You mentioned 3 venues and with each one there was an issue - maybe - that itself should tell you theres a problem you need to look into.

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by: KV This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 24 00:08:19 2014

''I would love to know how to ... see to it that my rights are not being trampled on.''

I will never understand sellers who think they have a ''right'' to use eBay, Amazon, and other venues. A Web site is private property just like a house. You have no more ''right'' to use eBay or Amazon than you to to use someone's house. If Jeff Bezos or John Donahoe threw you out of their house, would you call the BBB?

''If the 8 retail chains can sell these why can't I?''

Because they have their own stores. They're using their own private property. If you want to sell this item, then build your own private property -- brick-and-mortar store or Web site -- and do what you want on your own property.

Whle it's regrettable that Amazon didn't give you any notice before the takedown and wasn't straightforward about the reason, this whining about your ''rights'' is childish. When you're in Jeff's house, you play by his rules.

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by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 24 00:20:26 2014

I agree with what the others are saying. If you are having this much trouble selling this product (3 places already), I would find something else to sell. It's also a good indication that you could be getting yourself in some legal hot water. Whether you are right or not it isn't worth the continued fight when there are so many other options out there.  

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by: Stanislav This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 24 01:16:16 2014

Totally agree with KV! It's their marketplace, not yours. They do as they wish. Don't like it? Get out and open your own site where you will have full control over what you can sell.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Fly on the Wall

Mon Nov 24 09:55:39 2014

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. AMAZON took down a vintage 1940's Pyrex glass pie plate I had listed. I too, opened a case, and it was quickly closed. There was no reason for it to be pulled, as I even had photos and a close up of the old Pyrex mark. Whatever!



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