Amazon is dedicated to providing customers with the widest selection of goods on Earth and to creating an amazing customer experience. Amazon does not allow listings that violate the intellectual property rights of brands or other rights owners.
This page provides information about intellectual property (IP) rights and common IP concerns that might arise when selling on Amazon. This is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer if you have a specific question about your IP rights or the IP rights of others.
A copyright protects original works of authorship, such as videos, movies, songs, books, musicals, video games, paintings, computer programs etc. Generally, copyright law is meant to incentivize the creation of original works of authorship for the benefit of the public. To receive copyright protection, a work of authorship must be created by an author, and must have some amount of creativity. If you are the author of an original work, then you typically own the copyright in that work.
Law no. 9,610/1998 (“Lei de Direitos Autorais”) is the Brazilian federal law that governs copyrighted materials. It is applicable to copyrights only and not to trademarks or patents.
Copyright protection arises at the moment of creation of a work, without a need for a registration, certification or other formal act. There are optional registration systems available to creators (e.g. Biblioteca Nacional; Escola de Belas Artes da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Conselho Federal de Engenharia, Arquitetura e Agronomia), but registration has only evidential or administrative purposes.
A person who authors an original work usually owns the copyright for that work. If you take a photo of your product, you generally have copyright protection in the photo you took, and you can use that photo on your product product detail page to sell that product. However, if you find a photo on someone else’s website, you should not upload that photo to a product product detail page without the other person’s permission.
Example: The owner of the Pinzon brand took the photos of the sheets shown below and owns the copyright in the images of the sheets. If a seller were to copy these images to sell their product on another product product detail page, that seller could be violating the rights owner’s copyright in the images of the sheets.
It is important to make sure that the goods you are selling do not violate a copyright or you could lose your selling privileges and face potential legal consequences.
You might be able to sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon if you have received permission from the copyright owner.
A trademark is a word, symbol or design, or a combination of same (such as a brand name or logo) that a company uses to identify its goods or services and to distinguish them from other companies’ goods and services. Put another way, a trademark indicates the source of goods or services. Generally, trademark laws exist to prevent customer confusion about the source of goods or services.
A trademark owner protects a trademark by registering it with a country-specific trademark office (such as the Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute – INPI).
Generally, trademark law protects sellers of goods and services from customer confusion about who provides, endorses, or is affiliated with particular goods or services. A trademark owner may stop others from using a particular mark, or a confusingly similar mark, in connection with goods or services that are identical, similar or affiliated to those for which the owner has registered his mark, if using the mark is likely to cause a customer to be confused about whether the product being sold is the trademark owner’s product.
Trademarks are often displayed on Amazon’s product product detail pages in the form of product and brand names listed on a product product detail page. For example, the trademark “Pinzon” appears in the brand name or “byline” portion of the product product detail page shown below. The “Pinzon” trademark also appears in the product name portion of the product product detail page (“Pinzon Flannel Sheet Set – King, Sage”).
The Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute – INPI offers resources to learn more about trademarks.
Just because you are not the owner of a trademark does not necessarily mean that you cannot sell another company’s product. If the product is genuine, and not a parallel import (that is, if the product was sold in Brazil by the trademark owner or with his consent), you can as a rule use the trademark to market that specific product.
Example: If you are selling a genuine Pinzon sheet set and you are advertising the product as a Pinzon sheet set, you are not causing confusion as to the source or affiliation of the goods (i.e., Pinzon) and are not infringing on the Pinzon trademark (unless the product was subject to parallel importation).
Most other unauthorized uses of a trademark constitute an infringement; if you are unsure whether your use violates someone else’s trademark, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.
Typically, a seller can use someone else’s trademark in the following circumstances:
“Similar to” claims (such as stating that goods are “similar to Kindle” or “equivalent to Find”) may infringe trademark law, depending on the marketplace and circumstances. Seek legal counsel before making such comparisons.
If you want to indicate the compatibility of your product with a product of a different brand in the product title, build your product title as follows, taking also account of Amazon Brand Name Policy. If you do not apply this format to your product title, your listing may be removed as potentially trademark infringing.
Title format for branded compatible products
[Your Product’s Brand Name] + [Product Name] + "for"/”compatible with”/”fits”/”intended for” + [Brand of Main Product] + [Main Product Name] + (other product title elements, if applicable)
Title format for generic compatible products
"Generic" + [Product Name] + "for"/”compatible with”/”fits”/”intended for” + [Brand of Main Product] + [Main Product Name] + (other product title elements, if applicable)
Generic Replacement filter for AmazonBasics Waterfilter A3
It is important to make sure that the goods you are selling, and the content of your listings, do not violate a trademark or you could lose your selling privileges and face potential legal consequences. When you decide to sell goods on Amazon, ask yourself the following questions:
The table below shows examples of correctly and incorrectly branded listings under Amazon listing policy:
|Listing title||Brand||Status of listing|
|AmazonBasics Speaker||(blank)||Inactive listing due to incorrect Brand field. Because the Brand attribute is blank (not “AmazonBasics”), the listing title cannot imply that the product is an AmazonBasics product.|
|AmazonBasics Speaker||AmazonBasics||Active listing, with correct Brand field use and acceptable title.|
|Six foot USB charging cable, compatible with AmazonBasics speaker||(blank)||Active listing, with acceptable title and Brand field use, IF the charging cable is only compatible with AmazonBasics speakers and not also with all other electronic devices (if the cable is compatible with several brands but not all, it is acceptable to use the most important brand in the product title and list the others in the bullet points). Title indicates compatibility without implying that this is an AmazonBasics branded product; Brand field may be blank for generic product.|
|Wireless Speakers with six foot USB charging cable, compatible with AmazonBasics speaker||Wireless Speakers Inc.||Active listing, with correct Brand Field use and acceptable title, IF the charging cable is only compatible with AmazonBasics speakers and not also with all other electronic devices (if the cable is compatible with several brands but not all, it is acceptable to use the most important brand in the product title and list the others in the bullet points).|
If you are not sure, you should consult a lawyer.
Counterfeiting is a specific type of trademark infringement. A counterfeit is an unlawful reproduction of a registered trademark of a product that does not come from the trademark holder.
A look-alike item sold on a separate product product detail page without the improper use of a registered trademark is not a counterfeit, even though the item might look similar or identical to the trademarked product. However, lookalike products may infringe upon other intellectual property, such as copyright, patents or industrial design rights, or constitute unfair competition.
A patent is a form of legal protection for inventions. An issued patent grants its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing the invention into Brazil for a fixed number of years.
There are two principal types of patents in Brazil: Invention patents and Utility model patents.
Invention patents, the most common kind of patent, may be granted for a new machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, process, or improvement to any of those, and generally protect the structure and functions of a product rather than how it looks. Invention patent applications are filed before the Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute – INPI.
Utility model patents, on the other hand, may be granted for objects of practical use (or part thereof) susceptible to industrial application, which presents a new form or arrangement which results in a functional improvement in its use or in its manufacture. This is a form of legal protection for “minor inventions,” and the registration system is similar to the invention patent system.
A patent is different from a trademark in that it protects an invention (such as a new machine) or a utility model rather than a word or logo used to identify the source of the product (such as the brand name of the product). A patent is different from a copyright in that it does not protect the expressive content of a creative work like a book or a picture, but protects a specific invention, such as a new method of printing books or a new type of camera.
The Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute – INPI offers resources to learn more about patents.
The manufacturer or authorized distributor of a product might be able to assist you with patent-related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s patent, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.
An industrial design is a form of legal protection for an original ornamental plastic form of an object or set of lines and colors that may be applied to a product. An industrial design protects the appearance of a product and is intrinsically linked to a product.
Industrial designs are registered in Brazil with the National Industrial Property Office – INPI.
The manufacturer or distributor of a product might be able to assist you with design-related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s design, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.
The Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute – INPI offers resources to learn more about industrial designs.
Intellectual property rights owners (especially trademark, patent and industrial design owners) may prohibit you from importing or selling goods that incorporate their trademarks, patents or industrial designs in Brazil if you sourced them outside Brazil.
This prohibition applies if the rights owners distribute the same product type in Brazil or not, as long as they hold an intellectual property right in Brazil. Therefore, if you intend to list products protected by intellectual property rights on Amazon.com.br which you source outside Brazil, seek expert legal advice and make sure the rights owner does not object to such parallel import. Otherwise, Amazon may be asked by the rights owners to take down your listings on Amazon.com.br for intellectual property infringement.
Make sure only to sell products on Amazon.com.br which you have either imported yourself with the rights owner’s consent, or which you have sourced – directly or indirectly – from a supplier who has been authorized by the rights owner to import the products into Brazil (e.g. a subsidiary of the rights owner or an authorized distributor). Note that if the rights owner challenges your sales of imported products, you will have to prove that these were imported into Brazil with the rights owner’s consent. So make sure to keep the invoices, authorization letters etc. for these products.
If you receive a warning for infringement, you will have several options to appeal or dispute the claim:
If you have received multiple warnings of intellectual property infringement and you believe you are selling authentic products, appeal via your Seller Central account with the following information:
A list of the allegedly infringing ASINs and at least one of the following:
We will analyze your appeal and provide an answer timely.
If your account has been suspended as a result of rights owners submitting notices of intellectual property infringement against your products or content, you can provide us with a viable Plan of Action that includes the following information:
You should send your Plan of Action via your account dashboard or reply to the account suspension notification that you received. We will evaluate your Plan of Action and determine if your account may be reinstated. Note that Amazon terminates the accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances.
Sellers are expected to follow the law and Amazon’s policies. Amazon takes claims of intellectual property infringement seriously. Even if a seller is infringing on someone’s intellectual property without knowledge, we will still take action and the seller’s account might receive a warning or be suspended. You should consult an attorney for help to ensure that your business has the right procedures in place to prevent IP infringement.
If your products have been imported into Brazil with the rights owner’s consent, or if you have acquired it from a local distributor that imported them with the rights owner’s consent, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the rights owner to address the complaint directly and obtain a retraction. If the rights owner is unresponsive, you may appeal to us, by providing us with evidence that the specific products you sold were imported into Brazil with the rights owner’s permission. Invoices showing that you sourced from an authorized distributor of the rights owner may be one type of such evidence.