Understanding Intellectual Property Rights for Amazon Sellers: An Interview with Yael Cabilly
Watch this interview between Ed Rosenberg and Yael Cabilly, a veteran trademark lawyer based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Yael has been dealing with intellectual property (IP) issues for over 13 years and has a firm that primarily works with Amazon sellers. Here are the key points from the video:
Yael explains that if a seller has a trademarked listing on Amazon, and another seller sells on that listing without using the trademarked sticker, it can be considered trademark infringement. This is because the second seller is using the trademarked brand name to sell their products, misleading consumers into believing they are buying the trademarked brand.
A trademark doesn’t need to be a large brand to have value. Even a small company can register a trademark and have value in it. Once a trademark is registered, it can be used to remove hijackers from a listing. It doesn’t necessarily gate the brand, but it allows for quick removal of infringers.
Yael discusses the difficulties of avoiding patent infringement, as it can be expensive and complex to search for existing patents. She suggests focusing on a certain company if you know it’s the original brand behind a design, as it can be easier to find the patent that way.
To avoid copyright infringement, Yael advises not to use someone else’s photos or text when forming a new listing. She suggests hiring a designer or taking your own photos to avoid copyright issues.
: Yael mentions that she has seen Amazon suspend accounts for trademark infringement, but not for patent infringement alone. She suggests that if a seller is infringing a patent, they could potentially sell the product outside of the country where the patent is registered or reach a licensing agreement with the patent owner.
Yael discusses the lack of transparency from Amazon when a brand owner files a trademark complaint against a seller. She suggests that Amazon could improve by providing more details about the complaint, such as the patent or trademark number and who the complainant is.