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Amazon trademark protection removes listing over ‘3m’ keyword

27 Jan 2019

Amazon trademark protection have started removing listings, as a result of the ‘incorrect‘ use of product description keywords. In the instance, it has been brought to our attention  that a 3m cable listing has been removed on the grounds that 3m is a brand name.

While, keywords such an Apple, Chapstick and Band-Aid must be avoided for use in products’ titles, due to the trademark infringement reasons, it appears that generic terms like ‘3m’ are best to shy away from too. So suggests a seller from Amazon, who wants to remain anonymous, when talking about a recent experience with Amazon Spain.

‘A ridiculous situation’ is the phrase the merchant used when summarising how Amazon Spain removed a large volume of product listings for using a ‘3m’ keyword to describe the items’ offering.

The merchant says that Amazon’s prohibition of descriptive language makes it impossible for customers to understand the products his business sells. As he said:

We are having ASIN’s removed, not just our offer blocked but the product detail page removed from the site due to alleged inappropriate use of brand/trademark in keyworks used in titles and/or descriptions. In this case, we are having a large number of listings removed for simply having the keyword ‘3m’ in the title and/or description with Amazon saying this is a brand/trademark and we cannot use it. This is ridiculous because we sell cables and as a result, a large number of them say 3m simply to advise the length of the cable as 3m.
– Amazon merchant

Speaking to Tamebay, the seller explained what he has done to resolve the problem – he opened a case with Amazon to ask why the products’ listings were removed. However, giving a response that doesn’t line up with the situation, Amazon possibly had their agenda to serve. According to the marketplace’s explanation, the seller breached “intellectual property rights of others” by using ‘3m’ a brand name. Commenting on Amazon’s response, the merchant noted that ‘3m’ was only used in the title description of the products.

We removed your listings because of concerns that your product may not respect the intellectual property right of others. We see that the product sold by you currently have an invalid Brand Name. Please update the complete/correct Brand name. You are listing ‘3M’ licensed products with an unlicensed brand. ‘3M’ products can only be listed by licensed brands. Please know that you may be subject to additional approvals depending on the brand name.”
– Amazon seller support

It is not only the lack of clarity Amazon gives to sellers’ when removing their products “for no [valid] reason,” which frustrates the seller, but also the inability to promote products.

What if someone registers 1m, 2m, 5m, 10m, etc as trademarks? Will we have all our listings removed simply for describing the length of cable to customers? Amazon are saying the ASIN’s will only be reinstated if we remove 3m from the title/descriptions. But this cannot be done as we need to inform the customers of the items length in an industry standard way and using 3m is, of course, the expected method.”
– Amazon merchant

We’ve currently only heard about this situation happening on Amazon Spain but it could start to impact merchants on other Amazon country sites.

Source: Tamebay