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Last updated on: October 14, 2022
With over 400 million registered customers, 150 million product listings, and 375k+ sellers, Flipkart is a major eCommerce platform and its popularity has made it a minefield for brand infringement issues. Scammers can easily fly under the radar considering the sheer number of product listings and sellers on the platform.
Skechers, the US-based athletic shoe brand, had filed a case against Flipkart, along with a few other eCommerce platforms, for selling fake products. The case was filed after Skechers raided seven warehouses in India with the help of the local police. There were over 15,000 fake “Skechers” shoes found in the raid, many of which were listed on Flipkart as original products.
While Flipkart promptly takes action to take down fake product listings and is vehemently against any kind of intellectual property infringement, the platform does not actively monitor listings for brand infringement.
Meaning that the responsibility falls on brands to monitor the eCommerce platform and report any infringements to Flipkart, hopefully before scammers can cause permanent damage to the brand’s revenue and reputation.
Founded in 2007, Flipkart is an eCommerce company that started its operations in India but now delivers products across 200+ countries around the world. With Walmart’s primary stake in Flipkart, followed by Tencent, Flipkart has become one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in India, positioning itself as the clear rival of Amazon.
It acts as an intermediary between sellers and customers. The platform’s product range includes everything from gadgets to books, clothes, toys, home furnishings, clothes, shoes, and more.
The platform clearly states that it has a zero-tolerance policy for sellers that are found violating IP rights, quality guidelines, or customer trust.
It also has the ‘Flipkart Assured’ model that allows sellers to keep their inventory in Flipkart warehouses. The eCommerce platform manages the complete fulfillment of orders right from packaging to delivery. The products sent to the warehouses by sellers go through rigorous quality checks to ensure customers always get what they ordered.
The sellers also get a badge labeled ‘Flipkart Assured’ that is displayed on all their product listings, which helps improve customer trust as it guarantees high-quality products and fast delivery. This, in turn, also helps customers distinguish between authentic and fake product listings.
Flipkart states that all sellers should ensure their product listings are genuine. If any sellers attempt to sell fake products on Flipkart, they can get directly blacklisted.
The platform prohibits sales of counterfeit products, replicas, imitation of original products, unauthorized products, and products that infringe on someone else’s copyright or trademark.
In case a product listing gets reported multiple times for an infringement or ‘Fake product suspected’ reason, Flipkart suspends the account for a limited time and sends the seller a warning email asking for either the purchase invoice of the products in the listing or a brand authorization letter within seven days. If the seller fails to respond or fails to provide the required documents, their account can get permanently blacklisted.
Here are the trademark-related rules that sellers need to follow on Flipkart:
Here are the copyright-related rules that sellers need to follow on Flipkart:
If you see a seller on Flipkart infringing on your brand’s intellectual property in any way, you can report the brand infringement to Flipkart to get it taken down.
An authorized agent of the brand or the intellectual property owner needs to directly email Flipkart at email@example.com. The email should include all the following information so that Flipkart can review the infringement claims and take action accordingly.
If you already have a Flipkart seller account, you can also report the infringement through the form that can be found on the Seller dashboard by following the steps below:
1- In the Seller Dashboard, select Listings and Catalog–> Report Infringement/ Fraud –> I want to report brand infringement.
2- Now click on the ‘Create a Seller Support Ticket’ button.
3- A new form will open up to create a support ticket. Add the description about the infringement and then click on the infringement form to provide details.
The template form will be in the form of a PDF, which you need to download, fill in, and then upload. You will also have to upload the copyright certificate/ trademark certificate/ brand authorization letter to prove you are the intellectual property owner or are authorized to speak on their behalf.
4- Finally, click on submit.
Flipkart makes it clear in its terms and conditions that it will only take down infringed product listings when you can prove intellectual property infringement. When you report a brand or Flipkart seller for infringement, uploading the copyright/trademark certificate as the intellectual property owner or the person authorized by the intellectual property owner is a big requirement.
That means that the easiest way to fight brand infringement on Flipkart is by registering your intellectual property. You can register for the copyright of your brand’s product images, descriptions, and designs. You can also register for the trademark of your logo, brand name, and brand colors. This will not only help you take down fake or counterfeit product listings on Flipkart but on other platforms as well.
A hijacked listing is one where another seller tries to take away the ‘Buy box’ by selling a product exactly the same as yours, except it’s a counterfeit version offered at a highly discounted price.
Similarly, a piggybacked listing is one where unauthorized sellers sell your actual products. In many cases, unauthorized sellers list products online that are old, low quality, or from a rejected stock to make quick profits.
Both hijacked and piggybacked listings can affect your business revenue or brand reputation as well since customers end up receiving low-quality versions of your products. In the case of piggybacked listings, many customers may not receive a product warranty either.
The easiest way to identify these listings is by purchasing products from suspicious sellers and inspecting them for counterfeit claims or unauthorized sales.
If the product is in fact a counterfeit, you can report it directly to Flipkart to get the product listing taken down. If the product is original but is being sold through an unauthorized seller, you can send them a cease and desist letter.
While you can’t completely prevent scammers and Flipkart sellers from trying to infringe on your IP, you can effectively shut them down before they can cause any major damage.
Instead of manually scanning through the Flipkart platform, which can be extremely time-consuming and challenging, you can use an automated platform to help monitor product listings. Red Points’ Trademark Watch Services can effectively find, track, and even remove counterfeit listings automatically. It scans the web for any kind of infringements with its bot-powered search and automatically reports Flipkart infringements to get the listings taken down.
Flipkart is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in Southeast Asia. Whether your brand is planning to expand in the region yet or not, you need to constantly monitor the platform to ensure bad actors aren’t trying to take advantage of your brand’s success.
See how you can track and take down counterfeits as well as report sellers on Flipkart with Red Points’ brand protection software.