No longer can we think of retail without thinking of Amazon. But while the retail giant only continues to grow, it faces new challenges. One of those challenges has been combating counterfeit products and infringing goods.
In the past, the company has tried to combat such products by charging its merchants large fees, launching a self-service tool to help remove knockoffs and creating a registry of approved vendors. Unfortunately, nothing has worked to sufficiently combat the issue. But, now the company is trying its hand at a new program to help fight infringement of utility patents. Amazon is trying this new method in an effort to resolve issues much faster and at less cost. This new program, now in the beta phase, is called the “Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation” process.
The Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Process
The way that the program will work is that the owner of a utility patent may submit a takedown notification (for a single claim of a utility patent) against a product that is listed on Amazon. Once Amazon receives the complaint it will notify the seller who in turn has 21 days to contest the allegation.
The owner who is claiming infringement will also make a $4,000 deposit and both the owner and the merchant that is accused of infringement will be matched with a neutral attorney. Should the accused not respond to the claims, Amazon will remove their product and the individual bringing the claim will receive a refund. Should the accused wish to argue that it should be allowed to keep its product on the website, he or she will also be obligated to make a $4,000 deposit. After the neutral attorney decides which party is correct, the attorney will collect the $4,000 as payment from the losing party and refund the winning party.
Currently, the program is by invitation only but has been successful at removing several infringing listings. Although it remains unclear as to when Amazon plans to open this new solution to all of its users, it has been testing the program for some months now.
Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser, P.C. Can Help Those Who Are Experiencing Patent Infringement
Utility patents can be extremely complex and therefore so can cases of infringement. If you believe that your patent has been infringed upon, you must take action. That is why it is so useful to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced patent prosecution attorney.
At Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser, P.C., our attorneys understand and respect the rights that come from owning your utility patent. We will fight for you to keep those rights by preventing anyone from infringing upon your protected invention. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today!
Posted in: Patents