How to Police the Amazon Marketplace Using Your Utility Patent

Amazon has quickly become the leading marketplace in the world. Companies are seeing millions of their products being sold one unit at a time. No other single retailer can match that volume. Amazon also operates on a global scale, meaning most companies now have a larger reach – and their major competitors are now overseas.

So what happens when another company makes a blatant rip-off of your product and starts selling it on Amazon? At Aftermarket Law, we’re leaders in policing Amazon, and we’re seeing this happen more often than ever before. Often, the companies selling rip-offs only exist because you created a market for that product. Now, every sale they make is one you’re missing.

The traditional method of shutting down an overseas knock-off involves going through the district court. You still have to serve them even though they’re overseas, which could take two to three years. The standard lawyer fee for that entire process is a cool million dollars. However, there is another option – one that could be accomplished entirely in about three months for a quarter of that price, one we’ve written about before: the Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation.

The Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation process has Amazon themselves take down any competitors infringing on your products that are protected by a Utility Patent. In a mere thirty days, your overseas competitor’s Port of Entry into the United States could be shut down. So can you do it? Answer these two questions:

Do You Have a Utility Patent?

You need a Utility Patent, not a Design Patent or a Trademark.

Do You Have Rock Solid Evidence of Infringement?

A strong case relies on having clear and unique claims in your Utility Patent. It should be immediately apparent to someone who knows nothing about Intellectual Property that your product was ripped off when they look at the Utility Patent and your competitor’s product.

If your answer to both of those questions is “yes,” you’re in luck.

How Does the Process Work?

With the help of an attorney, you file an Initial Notice listing your Utility Patent number, the product you are accusing, and proof that you are the Patent’s owner. Amazon gives the competitor the option to either stop selling the product or agree to resolve the dispute in arbitration in three weeks. If they do agree to arbitration, there is no hearing, no discovery, and very little paperwork – just submitting responses.

That entire process takes about sixty days and then the arbitrator has another twenty to submit their ruling. In most cases, the rip-off product comes down and a Settlement Agreement is drafted as soon as the official verdict comes in. These overseas companies often have no interest in fighting to defend their product, just getting rich quick.

Once you’ve won one case with the Utility Patent, you can simply show other knock-offs to Amazon and they’ll take them down on sight. That is a powerful tool! If you have a Utility Patent – and you are clearly being ripped off on Amazon by overseas companies – using the Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation is your best option. To get started, contact Aftermarket Law today! If you make it, we protect it!

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