Brand Protection
3 mins

Amazon’s Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Program explained

Amazon’s Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Program explained

Amazon came up with the Neutral Patent Evaluation Procedure in early 2019 with the purpose to resolve disputes between Amazon sellers and parent owners.

Before the introduction of the system, Amazon used another method that didn’t prove to be as efficient as the new one.

However, the current system does the job in a more efficient way. Let’s find out more about the Amazon patent system and how it aids brand protection.

Summary

  • Amazon Neutral Evaluation program offers support for patent disputes
  • People can only join if they are eligible
  • Amazon developed this program for small and medium businesses to fight sellers offering counterfeit products

What is Amazon Neutral Evaluation program 

The program comes into play when a patent owner accuses an Amazon seller of selling patented products on the platform without the required permissions.

Under the program, the matter is investigated by a third-party evaluator with an understanding of utility patents and law.

The body investigating the issue is unbiased and neutral to ensure a correct judgment can be reached. Amazon itself doesn’t get involved in the process.

How does it work? 

It is very easy to understand the Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation procedure. 

Marketed as an invitation-only system and limited to utility patents, the program follows simple steps:

  • In the first step, the person or business that owns the patent has to submit an Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Agreement for the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) in question.
  • Once received, Amazon sends this agreement to each seller on the platform offering the ASIN. Those who receive a copy of the agreement will have two options: to have their products removed from the platform or to agree to move ahead with the agreement.
  • All parties involved in the case are required to pay the agreed fee ($4,000) to the evaluator who is selected by Amazon and is neutral. 
  • The amount submitted is with the evaluator and not Amazon. Once all parties have submitted their fees, the evaluator will set a briefing schedule according to the case. 
  • Both the patent holder and seller have to be quick to respond. The former gets three weeks to submit their first round of arguments, whereas the latter has two weeks to respond. 
  • Once a response from the seller has been received, the patent owner will have one week to submit a reply (optional). 
  • The evaluator gets 2 weeks to make a call and announce their final decision. The neutral body can announce the decision in the favor of either party based on the information submitted – i.e.: the patent owner proved that the seller infringed the patent or that the patent owner failed to prove the seller’s fault.
  • The evaluator will provide reasoning for his or her decisions only if the decision goes in the seller’s favor.
  • Amazon will remove the product in question if the evaluator gives the result in favor of the patent owner. 
  • In case the decision is in favor of the seller, the product in question will remain on the platform.
  • The winner will get their deposit returned and the amount deposited by the losing party will be paid to the evaluator.
  • The program doesn’t give either party the right to appeal; however, there’s the option to file a federal lawsuit.

Who is it for?

Amazon developed this process for small and medium businesses that do not always have the means to fight sellers offering counterfeit products. The system helps businesses save money they’d have to pay if they file a patent lawsuit that doesn’t only cost a lot of money but can also be very time-consuming.

The winner gets the amount refunded and the entire process is completed in about a month. If you see someone selling your products on Amazon without your permission then consider using this option if you’re eligible.

How can I enroll? 

Registration for Amazon patent dispute program is by invitation only. You will receive an invite if you’re eligible. Make sure to know how to check patents on Amazon so you can benefit from the Amazon Patent Infringement Program..

How much does it cost? 

It costs $4,000 and all parties have to deposit the amount. However, the winning party will receive their funds back.

How Red Points’ can help enforce your IP rights with tech

While Amazon is doing its best to identify and remove fake products, it can be hard to keep an eye on all sellers due to the platform’s huge reach. Red Points can help you find culprits not just on Amazon but all over the internet, including social media.

Our tool is fast, reliable, and easy to use. In minutes, you will be able to scan the internet and find products that are related to your Amazon patent.

Get in touch with us today to know more about protecting your design patent and how we can help you save and make money.

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