Daily Management Review

Samsung Sellers Before Holidays Mistakenly Suspended by Amazon


12/29/2016




Samsung Sellers Before Holidays Mistakenly Suspended by Amazon
For sellers of Samsung products, Amazon.com has been a rough place this holiday season.
 
Due to apparently mistaken claims of infringement, a number of online sellers of Samsung phones, chargers, cables and TVs were booted from the e-commerce site in mid-November, just ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush.
 
Notices of inauthentic sales that were sent to Amazon from the e-mail address samsung@enforcements.marketmonitor.com and the suspensions were based on those notices. MarketMonitor is a digital brand protection agency.
 
But Amazon got it wrong.
 
"Upon further investigation, we have determined that samsung@enforcements.markmonitor.com did not submit the report", the Seattle-based company told third-party sellers by e-mail as recently as last week.
 
"Rather, Richard Nelson of Sideman & Bancroft LLP (rnelson@sideman.com) submitted the Intellectual Property complaint on behalf of Samsung," the e-mail went on to say.
 
It incorrectly identified the source of an infringement complaint that led to multiple seller suspensions, during the busiest shopping season of the year, Amazon is admitting. Nelson, a San Francisco-based attorney who specializes in IP and fraud enforcement, had made the claims, the company is now saying.
 
"How could sellers be so badly misdirected to the wrong agent?" said Kelly Johnston, a former risk investigations manager at Amazon who now helps sellers with compliance issues on the site. "From an operational perspective, this is a massive failure."
  
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment, and a representative for MarkMonitor didn't respond to a request for comment. An e-mail to Nelson requesting comment was forwarded to Samsung. The company never provided an explanation.
 
Several clients who were suspended from Amazon because of the Samsung issue are represented by her firm, Cascadia Seller Solutions, Johnston said. Not all of them have been reinstated. he was shut down until after Cyber Monday, and knows of other Samsung sellers who were just readmitted last week, said one merchant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from Amazon.
 
The issue further illustrates the chaos that merchants are experiencing trying to navigate Amazon's rapidly growing marketplace even while this particular matter only affected a small number of sellers out of the millions on the platform. Amazon has aggressively clamped down on infringers by responding to complaints and shutting down accounts in response to an influx of counterfeit products and the negative publicity that followed.
 
by expanding its use of so-called brand gating — forcing third-party sellers to pay a fee to sell big brands after first proving the inventory was properly sourced, is another way Amazon has tried to clean up the site. In August, showing the purchase of 30 items within the last 90 days, sellers of brands including Nike, Adidas and Hasbro had to start providing invoices from manufacturers or distributors.
 
As companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft try to weed out fakes and unauthorized sales, certain categories like electronics and software are increasingly risky for third parties. The crackdown isn't just on Amazon. Earlier this month, New York police seized more than $7 million worth of inauthentic Samsung and Apple items after they raided a warehouse in Brooklyn.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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