IP Complaint - How do I get access back to my ASIN? (To liquidate / remove inventory)

A competitor (large corp) opened a IP Complaint on my ASIN, and the detail page has been removed.

I have 419 units stuck in FBA, they’re not letting me remove nor liquidate them (inventory “unavailable” when I try to do either).

They opened up a “Trade Dress” IP complaint - they have a trademark (image) on the product, so technically they’re complaint is incorrect (I’m not using they’re logo, their trade dress is literally the product, it’s hard to explain, but they can’t stop me from selling the product unless they have a utility patent, which for them expired 2 years ago).

I don’t plan on selling this item long term, I’ve been planning on stepping away from Amazon either way - I just need to get rid of the inventory in FBA to avoid long term fees, etc. But like I said, Amazon isn’t letting me move the inventory, nor are they responding to my requests about this issue (opened case last week, still open and “transferring” to another department).

How should I respond to the IP Complaint?

Should I just write an “apology” letter, stating I won’t sell it anymore?

Or notify them that this is a Trade Dress issue, and I’m not infringing on their trade dress? (And possibly be able to sell the rest of the 419 units, within 1-2 months, to avoid removal fees?)

A helpful person who used to work within Amazon told me I would need a “Letter of Opinion” from a lawyer for them to recognize that I’m right in this case.

However, I can’t afford to pay a lawyer $250 for a Letter of Opinion, I just want to get out of Amazon, spending the least as possible.

What’s the best course of action in my case?

I don’t really know what a “trade dress” IP complaint is.
I know that counterfeit complaints usually mean you are NOT getting your product back out of Amazon.

If trade dress means you need to change your packaging, then It seems to be they should let you get your stuff back out of FBA in order to “fix” the issue.
However, good luck getting Amazon to let you do a removal order on a product with any sort of issue. Now I know there are people out there who have had products deactivated and deleted and the stranded inventory got returned to them even though they did not want it to.
Are you able to delete the listing from your inventory? Does that send the stuff into Stranded status?


Trade Dress is pretty much using their logo. They made their logo the actual image of the product, a sneaky way to make the IP complaint - but it’s totally invalid, as it’s a trademark complaint. I’m not using their name, or logo, or anything on my packaging (in fact, my packaging is just a clear plastic bag, literally nothing on it).

If I answer the IP complaint saying pretty much “I agree not to sell this product ever again, please just help me find the cheapest way to get my inventory out of FBA, whether it is selling off the rest of the inventory to 0 units, or being able to create a liquidation order”… if I answer it like that, do you think Amazon would help me find some sort of solution?

Trying to find a way that isn’t just waiting until amazon sends everything back (or destroys it) and sends me a bill for $200-$400.

Wait for more seasoned sellers to respond to this. But my two cents is unless you actually fight/resolve the complaint they will not release your product back to you.


So you are saying that they say the Image of the product is the trademark use they are complaining about?
Is it their product you were listing?

As others have said, you probably need to handle the complaint in order to get your products released to you.
If it is the image they are complaining about. Remove the image from the Listing. My understanding though is that Amazon generally only recognizes word marks and doesn’t seem to know what to do about images.

Bigger issue I see is that if this is xyz brand product and xyz brand is complaining about a listing you created for xyz brand product and claiming that you are not authorized to sell it (even though they seem to be going about it the wrong way) then you may have a difficult time sorting this out. Do you have proper commercial invoices for the products? Is the complaint coming from the brand of the products? Or is this something totally different?

Lets say the item is a spoon. They’re using the image of the spoon as a trade dress trademark (like coca cola uses trade dress for their bottles. If you manufacture and sell a bottle that looks like a coca cola bottle, you will get a cease and desist letter for trade dress trademark infringement).

But by the definition of trade dress, you can’t trademark the look of a product, if it needs to look that way to function. (It’s like trademarking a fork as trade dress - the fork has to look that way to work. You can’t trademark it. It functions the way it looks.) It’s kind of hard to explain, but that’s basically it.

I removed all images from my listing - thing is, Amazon removed the detail page already, so I can’t even edit it. It’s gone.

I am not selling under their brand name, I made sure not to mention their brand name or anything. It’s a general product, literally like selling a fork or a brush. This company used to have a patent on this very basic product, but it expired a few years ago.

If you package your product in a way to confuse consumers so that it is harder to tell your product from your competitor’s product that may be a trade dress violation.

If you remember the old Kodak film packaging, a yellow box with black letters, packaging your brand of product to look like Kodak film even with another brand is a violation.

You need a lawyer, The risk to you is potentially greater than $250 or the value of the product at FBA. You can be sued.

Your product in FBA is in purgatory, either you take legal action, or reach a settlement with you competitor and have them remove their complaint.

I would not admit to any violation without seeking legal advice.

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Thanks Lake. I’m not trying to copy them in any way - my packaging is literally a clear plastic bag, with no branding or anything.

And the product is very generic - I was amazed there was even a patent on it at some point. But that patent has expired.

I’ve stopped selling the item - why would they sue me? It’s a low price item ($7 retail price).

Right now I’m just trying to walk away from it while spending as least as possible - if there are 400 units of a small item (it’s only about 4" x 6" x 0.75" in dimensions), the removal fees would only be about $200-$400 no?

If I fight it and lose, it would be an extra $250 for a lawyer I would be paying - money I don’t have right now (I’m about $10k in debt at the moment, I’m just trying to stop amazon and focus my time on other work to pay off my debt).

The thing stopping me from fighting it legally is if I win with Amazon, they could take me to real court, where legal fees would be much higher to fight. Since I’m not planning to sell this item long term, it wouldn’t make sense for me to invest even more into it.

Amazon will likely only drop the complaint (and return your inventory to your control) if the complainant withdraws it–no matter how much you fight and how much proof you offer.

You can try to arrange with them that if they withdraw the complaint, then you will only sell out and not restock, or sell your inventory to them at cost (or less), etc. They might demand payment to do so.

Because if they have a cut rate lawyer, or a relative they can get enough money in settlements or judgements than their profits on thousands of $7 items.

Or if they sue a lot of sellers, their incremental costs for adding one more is trivial.

IMO retrying to recover your FBA inventory fails a risk/reward analysis.

Trade dress is the visual appearance of the product and/or packaging/ You’re going to need an attorney, to sort this out.



Bodum began selling French press coffeemakers in the 1970s and began distributing the Chambord French press at issue in this case in 1983. Bodum claimed it acquired exclusive distribution rights to the Chambord French press in 1991 and has since spent millions of dollars in marketing and advertising the product. A Top began selling their French press, the SterlingPro, through Amazon in 2014.

In March 2016, Bodum filed a complaint for “trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); common law unfair competition; and violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act”. While A Top moved for summary judgment twice, these motions were denied, and a jury trial took place in March 2018. The jury found that A Top willfully infringed the Chambord trade dress and awarded Bodum $2 million in damages.

You may in fact be in infringing.