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Piggy Backing on Listings

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I'm desperate for some advice. Can anyone give their opinion on the following scenario.

I am aware that one someone creates a listing on Amazon that that listing is not solely theirs and anyone can 'piggy back' on the listing if they sell the same product. However, consider the following scenario...

A factory somewhere produces baked beans and sells the same baked beans in huge barrels to many resellers across the UK. One of these resellers then repack these beans into small tins, and attach their own label with their brand name (Billies Beans) etc on it, and more importantly they assign their own bar code (UPC/EAN) number to it.

Now, some other person who bought the same barrels of beans from the same factory have also put beans into small tins. Their label, brand name etc will obviously be different (lets call them 'Terrible Beans'). More importantly, they must have a different bar-code as the one used by Billies Beans was bought by Billies Beans so no-one else can have it.

Next, Terrible Beans have piggy backed onto Billies Beans listing, which as far as I understand means they use the same bar code (UPC/EAN).

Can this be allowed? How can someone say they sell the same product when it has been branded by Billies Beans, and Billies Beans does not sell wholesale to anyone.

From my conversations with Amazon, they have referred to a Notice of Infringement. However I do not have Billies Beans as a registered Trademark.

Assuming I am Billies Beans, does anyone have advice as to how I can protect my listing?

Any help much appreciated.

The original manufacturer with have the IP rights to the product produced and may licence, or pack for you under your brand name which will be IP registered, the product will have it's own bar code, so in theory no other seller will have this exact same bar code/product.

To report another seller for IP infringement, you need to own the IP rights of the product/brand.

Using your own EAN doesn't make a difference. The branding and label may be the issue perhaps?

Billy owns the IP rights to his packed and own labelled small tin of beans, by default.

If Terrible, lists against Billy's created listing, hence Billy's barcode on Billy's product, then Billy needs to write to AMZ advising Terrible is faking his (Billy) prodcuts and infringing his IP rights. He requests Terrible's listing be removed and AMZ request Terrible to "cease & disist".

It makes no odds that the beans are identical, the tin label on Billy's listing on AMZ belongs to Billy.

There is also a Branding Option in AMZ somewhere which helps records listings and Branded, but I forget where as I do not use it.

Good luck

If the Catalogue Page clearly states "Billies Beans" as the manufacturer (distributor), and some other seller lists his other manufacturer under that listing, they should be in some kind of trouble. Like a book, of the Catalogue page shows the manufacturer as Penguin, and some other seller lists a Hodder product or a Book Club product (same title/author/date), then that is a false listing.

A buyer would be upset, normally, and want a refund. And Amazon should be interested in any complaint about the listing, therefore.

(However, it does sounds like the same product is being sold and the customer should be happy enough with the contents, whoever is the distributor. And in this cut-throat game of buying+selling, there is always someone else willing to sell for less than you, even down to a maddening sell-price of 1p.)

Generally on non media amazon tend not to be bothered by the manufacturer field. Many sellers put their own company name there when they have not produced it.

I'm a customer who bought Billie's beans, I received Terrible beans instead. I don't like Terrible beans, I've been deceived and I'm not happy.

Terrible beans are passing off goods as Billie's beans. Terrible beans are trading off the goodwill of Billie's beans.

You don't need to have a registered trademark, but it helps. File a Notice of Infringement on the Conditions of sale amazon page. Amazon do not enforce infringements on barcodes by the way.

As long as the item is fully re branded like you example then they should only be sold on separate listings and I would imagine Amazon will enforce this. But if its 2 generic tins of beans that you just put your name in the description then its more of a grey area. If its a big deal then you should consider registering you trade mark I think it only cost £200 as you can do it yourself just look at the intellectual property office website.

Thanks everyone for your responses, it seems to have confirmed my thinking. It looks like my best course of action would be to register a trade mark brand which should cost me around £200. I then need to follow the following:

  • i pack my 'beans' ensuring my trademarked branding is on them
  • include in the title that they are my trademarked brand
  • i set the brand field as my trademarked brand (and possibly the manufactuer field also)

As soon as i have the above in place, i should then be able to serve a notice of infringment to Amazon who should be obliged to remove the competitor from my product listing?

Correct my if I am wrong, and I appreciate every ones response so far.

Assuming all this was not entirely hypothetical and assuming you already use your own licenced barcode, for the product with your own Name Branded Label, I'd suggest you immediately update your listing details amd contact AMZ SS asking they contact the other seller to remove their listing as they are passing off goods as yours.

Don't bother to wait till your trademark is fully paid and in place, as no one but Billy is allowed to sell Billy's beans, regardless of any body of authority registering a trafe mark.

Thanks everyone for your comments, much appreciated.

hi I would like to know how you got on as I have read the law reads as per below

Can I register any name as a trade mark?
No. You can apply to register “any sign or symbol that allows your customers to tell you apart from your competitors”. It can be a name, logo, slogan, domain name, shape, colour or sound, or combination of those. But to be registered as a trade mark, your name must:

be distinctive for the goods and services you apply for
not be similar or identical to any earlier marks for the same or similar goods and services
not be deceptive, or contrary to law or morality

Why are you reviving a thread that is nearly 2 years old?