It is no surprise that Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, maintains its own process for managing infringement and counterfeit allegations. This process has opened up new strategies for asserting and defending infringement claims. In this article, we explain how trademark and patent infringement issues unfold on Amazon by describing the process for rights holders to report infringement, and the impact of successful infringement complaints, known as “Take-Down Notices,” on accused infringers. We also address the situation where an infringement dispute evolves into a lawsuit, and the resulting personal jurisdiction and state law issues that may arise.
How to Enforce Trademark/Patent Rights on Amazon
Amazon provides a mechanism for rights owners to report infringing activity via a rights owner complaint, known as a “Take-Down Request.” It is unclear whether the investigators reviewing these Take-Down Requests are attorneys or have any background in intellectual property rights. This mechanism allows rights owners to seek removal of allegedly infringing products from Amazon’s website. The Take-Down Request provides a rights owner with several drop-down choices, and a space to identify the allegedly infringing product(s) by listing the corresponding Amazon Standard Identification Number(s) (ASIN). The Take-Down Request does not ask for information to identify the accused infringer or its location.
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