Todd Snively from Expert University Explains Amazon Intellectual Property Violation, IP Infringement



Hey everybody, Todd Snively with Expert University here to talk today about intellectual property Violations yay, right. I mean a Really fun topic not okay, but the reason we’re talking about it is because there’s just so many misconceptions about Amazon and intellectual property violations sellers get a letter from Amazon saying that they’ve been accused of violating Intellectual property and they don’t know what to do about it, right? Sometimes they are buying from a legitimate source Usually they are I say most people are buying from qualified and authorized distributors Or maybe even they have a direct relationship with the brand and yet they still get these letters accusing them of intellectual property Violations now before I go much further need to make it clear not an attorney one accountant Can barely get dressed in the morning.


Okay, so as far as actual Professional legal advice that’s not what I’m giving what I’m telling you is what my experience has been what Professionals have told me and the other thing I kind of want to do is put to rest some really bad information out there Somebody made me aware the other day. There’s this this young boy Some kind of college dropout thinks he’s an Amazon expert putting out some a really bad information about intellectual property And so I’m gonna try to correct all of his misstatements also in this short video so let’s start first with Why you’re getting the email? All right, if you’re getting that email somebody has made a complaint it could have been Usually it’s the rights holder Okay, let’s just assume for a second that that’s where the complaint is coming from Somebody has alerted the rights holder to a product that you’re selling that they don’t think it’s a legitimate product right because that’s the Only reason you should ever get an intellectual property complaint is if you are Doing something that would lead the brand rights owner to conclude.


You’re selling something other than his product All right now Even though that’s a fact a lot of people misused this whole intellectual property process and And that one kid, I referenced earlier that really doesn’t know what he’s doing He’s he’s actually out there telling people to misuse This intellectual property Reporting system. I’ll talk about that more in a second – all right, but let me just state my opinion that if you’re selling an authorized product something that you bought from an authorized wholesale distributor or that you Obtained legally in any other manner if you obtained it legally you absolutely have the right to resell it Okay now Where that, right Becomes question is when a marketplace like Amazon gets involved.


Okay bottom line Amazon Absolutely believes in the first sale doctrine Amazon says if you legally obtain that product you absolutely have the right to resell it on our site unless Amazon themselves have Instituted some sort of brand or category gating that would otherwise restrict you Okay, and then anything you would do to circumvent that ie listing the product under a different category or? Listing it as something other than what it actually is then that’s a whole nother story But let’s just stick with it for the second with the scenario that you purchased this product legally, right? You have the absolute right as determined by the Supreme Court under the first sale doctrine to resell that product All right.


So so what’s the big deal? Why does this ever become an issue? All right. Well it has to do with the brand the brands them The rights holders themselves in my opinion. They received really bad advice over the years Not only from attorneys. They don’t know what they’re doing big surprise, right? but from these Brand integrity police type companies that have popped up over the last couple of years Because you see just a little history Hope we’re not going down too many rabbit holes here for you.


But just a little history is the way the way a manufacturer used to maintained brand integrity and by that what they what they’re really talking about is price integrity is by a map program a minimum advertised pricing program All right So they would basically say hey you have to sell our product at this price and you can’t sell it below now the problem is is when that when that policy Got challenged in court and it went all the way. I believe to the Supreme Court The court said you can only enforce that map policy against your authorized Distributors your authorized resellers if somebody does not have a contractual relationship With you agreeing to follow map. Then you can’t enforce map. All right This is why I always thought it was so silly years ago When a brand would write me email me and say hey you’re selling our stuff That’s great.


But we need you to raise the price and you have to because we have a map program My response would be I don’t have to. All right. I understand. You have a map program. But here’s your problem I’m not an authorized distributor. You have no authority or control over me I can charge whatever I want and matter of fact you even trying to get me to change My price is in fact price fixing when I’m not an authorized distributor trying to influence what I’m charging Trying to get me to collude with you All right, so that stopped those people from a while and I was able to sell my products on Amazon No problem, then somebody got this bright idea To go around to all of these brands and say hey give me like six thousand dollars And I’m going to change your map program to an intellectual property Program, right? Okay. So if you’re not an authorized seller Which would bring you under the map? restrictions You’re then violating Your intellectual property. What a load of crap.


Okay. It’s It’s a minor loophole at best But I think what the brands are gonna find out when when that gets challenged in a court and goes to the Supreme Court They’re gonna lose and here’s why okay When when somebody is saying you violated their intellectual property the only way you can really do that is To to be the creator of the content that Truly is violating the property you’ve taken their photos you’ve taken their description off the manufacturer site and You’re using it to sell something other Than the actual product that’s what a true intellectual property violation is as far as I’m concerned.


Okay again, not a lawyer I just from my experience. Okay, so if you find an already-existing Listing on amazon and you find a source to buy that product from and I don’t care where it is All right As long as you legally purchase that product it Supreme Court on your first sale doctrine says you have the right to resell it on That Amazon listing UPC code matches UPC code identical product identical product. Okay, so So how is that an intellectual property violation in short? It’s not in my opinion It is not in any way shape or form and that’s why when that this kid, I don’t remember his name boop-boop anyway When he says oh I just When I see somebody on a listing and I don’t want him on that thing for whatever reason I just file an intellectual property Violation and I kicked them off because I know they’re not authorized by that brand to sell that product Hey that that’s wrong.


And I’m gonna I’m telling you right now little boy if you ever do that to me You’ll find yourself sued I’ll drag you into court for tortuous interference with a business relationship so fast your head will spin because you are misusing The intellectual property system. I absolutely miss using it to control the market So it’s restraint of trade It’s tortuous interference Man, you are just you where someone is gonna head You hand you your head one day if you do that to the wrong person and like I said You don’t may all the powers above help you if you ever try to do that to me.


Okay, so having said that You know, why is it wrong? Why is what this kid is doing and telling other people to do and other people are doing so wrong Alright, if a brand and in my opinion if a brand has a problem with their product being sold on Amazon They should contact Amazon and say we don’t want our brand sold on Amazon you’re violating our intellectual Property and Amazon will remove that item from their catalogue No questions asked because Amazon doesn’t want to as a marketplace violate anybody’s intellectual property. Okay, so Then if Amazon if their Terms of Service say hey if you legally bought that product and there’s a page You know existing with the same UPC code same product go ahead and list it why would Amazon say that if they knew? It was a potential intellectual property violation cuz it’s not Right.





It’s not an intellectual property violation to add your offer to an already existing Listing right? So the company’s right and these Idiot Amazon sellers who are out there telling people to do this. Don’t know what they’re doing They just don’t right but but it is if that and that’s why they’re doing it because again Amazon They’re a marketplace and they’re not gonna get they try to stay out of the middle All right. That’s why when a rights holder emails them and says hey this guy is violating my intellectual property They don’t investigate they don’t look at it. They send you the information and say here. Here’s this guy’s email address We’ve taken your listing your offer. I’m sorry. We’ve taken your offer off of the listing. Everybody else’s is still there. They’ve taken yours off Until you work it out with the rights holder and when he comes back and withdraws his complaint We’ll be happy to put your listing back up But that’s not gonna happen if the whole reason why the guy sent you the Intellectual property violation if his whole reason was to kick you off the listing in the first place Which isn’t right? Okay, he knows and here’s what makes it even worse is they know you’re not violating? Intellectual property.


They just don’t like it that you’re not an authorized reseller or that you’re below mat All right. So in my opinion And I’m gonna tell you I’m not gonna tell you why I have this opinion Could it have been because I’ve sued a bunch of brands and won. I don’t know but in my opinion if you were to sue The person that sent you that intellectual property Violation under the scenario that I just gave you’re gonna win you’re gonna win big Okay, because what they’re doing is wrong and the people that are out there telling People that this is what they should be shame on them shame on you boop.


Whatever your name was All right. Go back to college finish finish college and learn something. Okay. Don’t come out there with all these Suggestions that are just wrong and it illegal. Okay. So, all right, the real question here now is okay So if you get one of these intellectual property violations, what do you do? Right. And again, I’m only talking to the people that are truly not doing anything wrong. You bought your product legally It’s the right product. It’s on the right Amazon page and you’ve put up your offer and And you get one of these intellectual property violations, okay Well, the first thing you should do is send your in voice directly to Amazon Now this did not use to be an option When this intellectual property violation program first came out Amazon just said work it out with them They didn’t even give you the opportunity to send in your invoice. So, why’d that change all of a sudden? Why did Amazon? Start saying well.


Hey if you’ve got an invoice Showing that you legally purchased it just send it to us When you send them the invoice ninety-nine percent of the time they’re gonna put your listing right back up and they’re gonna close that complaint because they’re starting to catch on to what other people are doing what these ignorant sellers like Boop like Brands that are coming after you for a map violation by sending in an intellectual property evaluation. They’re catching on to that So they’re kind of saying, okay If you’ve got an invoice to show it to us you show you is Q show us you got an invoice that you purchase it Legally will reinstate here your listing and the rights holder is completely left out of the whole thing. Alright, so What if though what if you don’t have an invoice for whatever reason? What if or what if you send it in and for the reason Amazon doesn’t accept the invoice, maybe that’s not legible Maybe they just don’t like it.


All right. Well, then you go to the rights holder. You have an email there? Let’s hope it’s a good one because a lot of these idiots use fake email addresses But let’s hope it’s a good email and and someone’s reading it. Alright, your response should be Very vigorous, okay You you filed an intellectual property Violation against me for a product that I legally purchased that I have the right to legally resell on Amazon and you’re interfering with my business with Amazon You might want to even add I only have three of these and when the inventory sold out I’m not going to sell it anymore, or you know, you might want to offer them something just Be if people are gonna do that to you.


The bottom line is you don’t want to be selling that product Anyway, you just want to sell any inventory be done with it, but you don’t want to get stuck with inventory either And again, if you’re really strong willed and you want to continue selling that on a regular basis Then you’re gonna have to go after these people hard, okay Because until there’s like actual litigation that goes through the appeals that ends up at the Supreme Court These people are gonna continue to get away with or do this because they’re getting away with it.


All right and most Amazon’s sellers Don’t have the wherewithal the resources to sue major brands I do Okay, so I don’t take that garbage from anybody but usually I can get it resolved short of litigation in most cases and That’s by letting them know, you know, you know what’s going at. All right, so a lot of times That will resolve it. You know, you just say look, you know, here’s your complaint ID. Here’s the Aysen. Here’s the Email to Amazon. I need you to immediately contact them now that you know I’m not selling a counterfeit that I’m not knocking your product off I’m a really good little seller now that you know That would retract your complaint withdraw your complaint put a beat put my email in at the beep BCC the Amazon so I know you did it and I can Then not contact my lawyer to tell him to tear you up.


All right so What are some of their potential responses to that well they could say okay fine we see your you know, you see you’re not counterfeiting our stuff So we’ll withdraw the complaint that happens most of the time sometimes look at really strong-willed themselves and they’ll come back and they’ll say well because You’re not this should be a whole nother video actually because you’re not an authorized reseller of ours We’re not gonna on we’re not gonna honor the warranty on our own product. Oh My god, let that sink in for a second. Is that insane or what they’re basically saying? We’re not standing behind our product we don’t care where you bought it from If you didn’t buy it from one of our authorized reps, we’re not gonna honor the warranty what a load of nonsense and then they’ll use all kinds of rationale like oh It has to be kept at a certain temperature or you need training To know how to handle the product properly.


It has to be stored correctly Um, or it’s gonna damage the product and so what they try to do is make this argument That the product you legally bought is now materially different Than the ones they’re authorized reps are selling yet If you were to look at them side-by-side, are they materially different of course not this is all nonsense on their part to control pricing Remember this all goes back to their failed map efforts. They couldn’t get sellers. That weren’t authorized reps To maintain pricing integrity through map. So now they’ve just shifted gears and say, okay We’re just gonna try it this the scumbag way through intellectual property withholding warranties and by the way, if you do your legal research There’s plenty of case law out there where the courts have flat-out said that’s illegal to withhold warranty on a product based on where it was purchased from Unless the product has been materially altered right so they go after that little tiny hole to jump through and they start making up all these reasons why the product you’re selling is materially altered right because you’re not an authorized rep and the warranty doesn’t apply is really Their entire reasoning it’s all garbage and as long as Amazon sellers continue to be pushed around by these brands with these garbage tactics They will continue to use the tactics the the more people that stand up against them and sue them for this tortuous interference And this restraint of trade the sooner this practice is going to go away but they’re just like the life insurance Actuaries or actually more like let’s use because I think this is a real life example Recalls on automobiles, right the automobile company goes Oh, well when when our car is rear-ended the the gas tank explodes and people will die But how many people will die and how much money will that cost us to pay off the dead people? Versus doing a recall and fixing the problem.


Okay, that’s all these brands are doing is saying right now It’s economically feasible to harass every Amazon seller who’s not an authorized reseller and Take the few lawsuits that come at us and settle them They’re still economically way ahead. So we need more lawsuits Against the brands and the idiot Amazon sellers that think they’re the brand police that are creating these false Intellectual property claims. I hope this was elucidating in some manner if you got questions Feel free to put them in the comments if you liked it. Give it a thumbs up Go ahead and subscribe to the channel if you didn’t like it. Let me know why Cheryl. Alright. Peace out are going take care.



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