How to take down Amazon seller listings that copy your products
You have invested a great deal of time and money to develop your products. Now you’re being copied by others. What can you do to take down Amazon seller listings of copy products? How do you enforce your patents effectively to stop Amazon sellers from copying your product?
Amazon Report Infringement Form: Start Here
Patent owners should take advantage of Amazon’s online form for reporting infringement. Amazon will email the status of your report of infringement to the email address you provided. IP owners have the option of retracting a previously submitted report of infringement.
Neutral Patent Evaluation: Next Steps When Amazon Listings of Copy Products Are Not Removed
Submitting Amazon’s report of infringement does not always lead to a successful removal of the infringing listings. You may benefit from the help of a patent attorney to request an Amazon neutral patent evaluation (NPE).
An IP rights owner enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry can add agents, such as patent attorneys, to represent them. If you would like to add US patent attorney Vic Lin as an agent to help enforce your IP on Amazon, send me an email.
Recognize that simply requesting a patent evaluation does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation. Successful access to neutral patent evaluations may require a combination of skill and perseverance.
A Patent Owner may submit a maximum of 20 ASIN numbers in an evaluation.
APEX vs. Amazon Design Patent Neutral Evaluation
Amazon’s neutral patent evaluation programs go by different names depending upon whether a utility patent or design patent is involved. APEX is for utility patents.
The Amazon Design Patent Neutral Evaluation is for design patents.
Amazon Patent Evaluation Procedures: What to expect when invited
Getting Amazon to open a neutral patent evaluation is more than half the battle. If Amazon accepts your evaluation request, they will send a patent evaluation agreement to each accused seller after your signed agreement is submitted.
An accused seller has three weeks to sign and return their part of the evaluation agreement. If an accused seller fails to return a signed agreement by the deadline, their identified ASIN listings will be removed.
If at least one accused seller timely submits their signed evaluation agreement, Amazon will select a neutral patent evaluator. Each side must then submit a $4,000 deposit for the evaluator. The winning party gets their $4K deposit refunded.
Patent infringement arguments: What is the schedule for written arguments?
A selected evaluator will establish the written briefing schedule after both the patent owner and at least one seller have submitted their respective deposits. Generally, the written infringement schedule will comprise the following deadlines:
- 14 days for Patent Owner to submit initial infringement arguments;
- 14 days for Seller(s) to submit written response with noninfringement arguments and/or evidence of prior sales;
- 7 days for Patent Owner to submit an optional reply.
Page limits are 20 double-spaced 8.5 x 11″ pages for the Patent Owner, including the initial arguments and reply, and 15 double-spaced pages for the seller’s response.
A decision by the neutral evaluator will be sent within 14 days of the reply date or the Patent Owner’s waiver of the reply, whichever is earlier.
How much do Amazon patent evaluation arguments cost?
The cost of the Patent Owner’s initial infringement brief starts at $6,000. The cost may be higher when multiple independent claims are involved. A detailed infringement analysis should be performed in order to select the best claim to assert against the accused products.
Patent owners who focus on costs over results may be making the age-old mistake of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. The goal is to win and shut down listings of copy products on Amazon.
Patent owners get to take the first shot. An opening brief must include, for example, strong and clear infringement arguments. Infringement under the doctrine of equivalents (DOE), if applicable, must be raised. The patent owner cannot introduce such DOE arguments for the first time in a reply brief.
It would be prudent to review the seller’s response and determine if a reply is warranted. The reply, though optional, provides the patent owner with an opportunity to address issues raised in the seller’s response brief that might not have been covered in the opening brief. The review of the seller’s response brief and the drafting of a reply will incur additional costs.
Can parties reach a settlement of an Amazon patent evaluation?
Before a decision is rendered, the Patent Owner and accused Amazon sellers may reach a settlement. The parties should promptly notify the evaluator who may keep up to $1,000 of the deposit, equally divided between the parties.
Need to take down Amazon seller listings of copy products?
Why let copycats take away your market share? Got patents? Then use them effectively against Amazon sellers undercutting your price. Call US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at 949-223-9623 or email email@example.com to see how we can help you enforce your patent against competitors.
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