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Published March 15, 2024

Catherine Cavella, ESQ.

Online commerce has transformed into a fiercely competitive space, especially when considering the presence of giants such as Amazon. There is now a space for businesses worldwide to offer their products to millions of consumers daily. Yet, this level of exposure creates challenges, such as the rise in trademark and copyright disputes. These issues are becoming increasingly problematic for businesses and entrepreneurs, impacting not just intellectual property but also the credibility of the marketplace itself.

 

A Two-Sided Problem 

The problem surfaces in two ways. Initially, we see competitors making unfounded trademark or copyright infringement claims against products. These may be strategically timed to coincide with peak sales periods. For example, allegations could aim to remove rival products from the marketplace. This not only goes against fair competition in an economic sense but also creates financial and reputational harm to the companies being unreasonably accused. Frequently, these claims lack any legal basis and are made solely to secure a short-term competitive edge. When we mentioned that it is threatening the credibility of the marketplace, this is what we were referring to. 

 

The companies on the receiving end of these accusations are forced to show that they are selling a legitimate product. Beyond the immediate financial impacts, these scenarios can damage brand reputation and consumer confidence.

 

Simultaneously, the marketplace does have genuine instances of infringement. Sellers use unauthorized logos or content they do not have the right to. This disregard for intellectual property rights poses a different but equally severe problem. It infringes upon the rights of creators, misleads consumers, and diminishes the value of original works. Such practices contribute to a culture of infringement that undervalues the work and investment of genuine creators, emphasizing the necessity for rigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights on digital platforms.

 

You Have a Right to Respond Accordingly 

Never forget the rights of the original creators. When someone makes an infringement claim, it can lead to a product being removed from Amazon. Not only do the victims challenge these actions, but it is essential to remember that the original creators can take legal action against the people who targeted them. This may include recovering lost profits and securing damages from those who made false claims.

 

The misuse of ASINs, where fake storefronts imitate legitimate businesses, further complicates the issue. They are effectively deceiving consumers and damaging the brand and market presence of the original companies. Anyone who has taken steps to protect their IP and brand should contact legal counsel if either is being violated—even if it is happening on a platform as powerful as Amazon. 

 

The growing presence of these challenges emphasizes how important it is for companies to take proactive measures to protect themselves when they sell products online. For businesses, being well-informed and ready to defend their rights is essential.

 

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Trademark and copyright issues on Amazon mirror the broader challenges of being in a digital marketplace. It highlights the critical need to understand IP laws and take proactive steps to protect what you rightfully own. IP Works will assist you if you face these challenges or need professional legal advice on safeguarding your rights. Schedule a 45-minute consultation with us today to POWER YOUR IDEAS®. Our team is ready to offer the insights and support required to tackle these challenges effectively.

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Since 1992, Catherine Cavella, Esq. Her focus on Trademark Law and Copyright Law for the last few decades gives her deep insights into the fundamental principles behind the rules. Catherine regularly writes about new developments in trademark law, copyright law, and internet law.