As brands have begun to increasingly rely on digital platforms to reach and engage with their target audience, the risk of unauthorized use of trademarks and the sale of counterfeit products has also grown. Unauthorized pages and posts on social media can dilute a brand’s goodwill and reputation and confuse consumers. This holds especially true when it comes to counterfeit products sold on e-commerce platforms which not only pose legal risks but also threaten customer safety and satisfaction.

One of the most important strategies to tackle these issues is filing takedown requests with social media and e-commerce platforms. These requests serve as crucial tools for combating trademark infringement and eliminating counterfeit products that dilute the goodwill and reputation accrued by a brand.

In this article, we will delve into how one can effectively utilize takedown requests to bolster brand protection.

Social Media Takedowns:

Dealing with trademark infringement on social media can be a rollercoaster ride for any brand. Imagine logging onto a social media platform, only to stumble upon a random person/business using your trademark to sell goods or services that are of inferior quality. And the worst part? You know that these posts and pages are also being displayed to your consumers or your target audience who would most definitely be confused regarding the origin of the goods and services in these posts. They might in fact believe that the goods offered by the infringer are yours and end up purchasing such goods. While legal action seems like the most obvious solution in such cases, there is a quick step that you can take to try and stop this in the meantime.

Most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide mechanisms to address such trademark infringements efficiently. As intermediaries under internet law, these platforms are obligated to promptly remove infringing content upon being notified of the same by the rights owner or their authorized representative. To initiate this takedown, you can utilize the online infringement report forms provided by these platforms. In these forms, you would typically need to include the links of the infringing content, basic information about yourself as the trademark owner, details of the specific trademark being infringed, and evidence substantiating your ownership rights. This evidence may include trademark registration certificates, evidence of prior use, or other relevant documentation demonstrating your exclusive right to use the trademark. Once submitted, the platform reviews the complaint and if they find the reported content to be infringing upon your trademark rights, they will take action by removing the content from their platform. Furthermore, the individual who posted the infringing content is generally notified via email, and the contact information of the complainant is shared, which allows them to reach out directly to the complainant to try and resolve the matter amicably. The entire process takes around a week or two and is an effective and quick interim solution while you contemplate legal action.

E-Commerce Infringement Reports:

Likewise, imagine you find another seller on Amazon or Flipkart using a name or logo that’s practically the same as yours, selling similar products. When consumers are unable to easily tell the difference between your products and the infringer’s, it is a cause for concern as it can lead to confusion and harm your brand’s reputation.

Here’s what you can do: first, gather evidence. Take screenshots of the infringing product listings showing the similar mark and products. Note down any instances where consumers might be misled into thinking the infringer or their product is associated with your brand. This evidence will strengthen your case when you initiate legal action.

Next, you can use the trademark infringement report forms provided by these e-commerce platforms and request the removal of these infringing products so that it helps you mitigate damage to your reputation and revenue in the meantime.

For instance, the e-commerce giant Amazon uses a unique identification number for each product listed on their platform called the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). This ASIN is a ten-digit alphanumeric code that serves as a distinct label for products listed on Amazon’s platform. When you encounter a product listing that infringes on your trademark or intellectual property rights, you can take action by reporting the ASIN through Amazon’s trademark infringement report form. This form allows you to specify details such as the ASIN of the infringing product, links to the product listings, and a description of how the product infringes on your rights.

Amazon’s intellectual property policy is designed to be flexible yet rigorous. Trademark owners who sell their products on the platform typically have access to specialized tools like the Amazon Brand Registry, which streamlines the process of reporting and managing intellectual property issues. However, even rights owners who do not sell on the platform and third parties such as authorized sellers, distributors, and even consumers affected by the infringement can still effectively report infringements through the standard infringement report form. Once a report is submitted, Amazon reviews the information provided to determine the validity of the claim. This review process is more stringent compared to that of social media platforms, ensuring that each reported case is thoroughly evaluated against Amazon’s policies and intellectual property laws. If the infringement is verified, Amazon takes appropriate action, which may include removing the infringing product listings from their platform.

Similarly, other e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Ajio among others also generally take measures to remove infringing product listings when notified by the rights owner with sufficient evidence to back up the claim. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to be aware of this and optimize their use of these infringement reporting mechanisms effectively.

As we have explored, the digital landscape poses both opportunities and risks for brands, especially when it comes to safeguarding trademarks and combating counterfeit products. By leveraging social media takedowns and e-commerce infringement reports, brands can swiftly defend their turf against infringers and protect their goodwill and reputation. When utilized effectively, these tools can be extremely helpful in maintaining brand integrity and consumer trust.

So, next time you spot an infringer trying to freeride on the hard-earned reputation of your brand, remember: you have the power to protect what’s yours. Stay vigilant and keep those trademark trolls at bay.

Written By Adlin Mini M