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The online world is constantly evolving. New websites, apps, and platforms emerge every day. For businesses that are trying to connect with customers, strengthen their image, and sell products online it can be difficult to manage your brand across a diverse variety of platforms.
One key platform for U.S.-based businesses is the popular online marketplace Zazzle. To ensure you are making the most of the opportunities presented by Zazzle you need to know how to identify, report, and tackle any trademark infringers that may use the marketplace to take advantage of your brand.
In this blog, we explore how to report a trademark infringement on Zazzle by highlighting a number of topics, including:
Zazzle is an online marketplace where millions of people sell made-to-order customizable products. It is a global marketplace serving hundreds of countries and facilitating sellers who want to make and distribute their unique designs.
Founded in 2004 by brothers Robert, Bobby, and Jeffrey Beaver, Zazzle has grown to become one of the leading online spaces for designers looking to sell and market their own products and designs. Today, Zazzle claims to have more than 300 million unique products on its site. This tremendous variety attracts millions of customers looking to find interesting designs and products. Unfortunately, scammers and fraudsters have also become attracted to Zazzle – some of whom have been using the marketplace to take advantage of brands and Zazzle users.
Trademark infringement occurs when an individual or organization uses, alters, sells, distributes or otherwise disposes of trademarked content without the authorization of the trademark owner. Trademarks can cover words, letters, logos, designs, shapes, and many more distinctive elements.
In the context of online marketplaces, trademark infringement often happens when individuals try to list and sell products that include content that has been trademarked by someone else. On Zazzle, consumers can buy clothing products, home décor, crafts, art, and accessories – all of these kinds of products have the potential to include content that can be, or has been, trademarked.
Zazzle’s User Agreement states that by using their sites, users must agree not to, “upload, download, post, email, message or otherwise transmit any Content that may violate or infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual or proprietary right of any party.”
In their general guidelines on content, they also state that “no text or images that infringe on any intellectual property rights including, but not limited to copyrights, trademarks and rights of privacy/publicity” is permitted on Zazzle. Any products or content that violates these guidelines will be removed from their marketplace.
One of the first steps you can take is to use Zazzle’s own product search function to find your trademarked content. Use keywords and keyword phrases associated with your brand and your trademarks to look for products on Zazzle that seem suspicious. Once you have found products or accounts, you can search through their bio and profile to learn more about the potential infringer.
You can also search engines like Google Lens to conduct reverse image searches that may lead you toward infringing listings on Zazzle. Upload an image of your trademarked content and then browse the links that appear. Some of these will be legitimate links to your own products but you may also uncover links to products posted without your authorization on Zazzle and other marketplaces.
Engage with your customers to find out if they have encountered any of your trademarked content on Zazzle. Unless your business operates in Zazzle, clarify that your brand is not affiliated with the platform and that any products or designs bearing your trademark there are likely unauthorized. Establish communication channels to gather information on specific instances of potential infringement.
You can report trademark infringement on Zazzle to their Copyright Agent. While there is no online form to fill out, you can submit a detailed report via email to email@example.com.
This email should contain information about your brand, your trademarks, and the potential infringing product or piece of content.
Step 1: Gather evidence – record evidence related to the incident including a description of the potentially infringing material and screenshots.
Step 2: Put together your report – write your report in the format described above for Zazzle’s Copyright Agent. Ensure that you have included all the necessary information.
Step 3: Submit your report – send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for a response. You can also send a report on the product page. Use the “Report Violation’ link and include the same information you would put in an email report.
Step 4: Follow up – If you haven’t heard from Zazzle within a few days make sure you follow up your report with another email reminding them of your report and the potential trademark infringement.
After you report the incident of trademark infringement to Zazzle they will review the evidence you have submitted and send you a response. During weekdays, Zazzle usually responds to customer service messages within 24 hours. We can assume that an initial response to an intellectual property query will be returned in a similar amount of time.
However, it may take longer for you to receive an in-depth response addressing the legal implications and steps that need to be taken to address the potential trademark infringement. If they reject your report you should review your own report to see whether any key information is missing before submitting the report again. Be sure to include all the pertinent evidence about the incident, as well as all the necessary information about your business and your trademarks.
The manual methods we outlined above can be effective but usually only on a small scale. With the amount of new marketplaces and social media platforms popping up every day it would be impractical and expensive to manually pursue trademark infringers across all of these sites. That’s why you need to start thinking about a specialized automated solution.
Red Points’ Marketplace Solution will help you detect, validate, and remove trademark-infringing listings in over 5000 marketplaces. By monitoring top marketplaces and processing approximately 30 million listings per day, we are able to deliver time-saving and cost-effective results for a variety of brands.
Here’s how it all works:
Our bots scour over 5,000 marketplaces to help us identify potential trademark infringements. We can monitor incidents on specific marketplaces and perform targeted searches that help you discover infringers on platforms like Zazzle.
You can instantly start the enforcement process for a variety of infringement types. Use our automation technology and workflows to speed up the process of validation and removal. Then you will be in a position to request takedowns automatically and remove trademark infringers from Zazzle as soon as they appear.
You can then use our performance dashboards and reports to measure the impact of your brand protection actions. You will be able to leverage real-time data and deep analysis to learn how your brand is being targeted and the steps you can take to implement effective protection. This will help you plan for the future and understand how infringers may be operating on marketplaces like Zazzle.
Zazzle’s Creator License Agreement is in place to protect Zazzle, any Zazzle shoppers, and legitimate brands. It is a formal document that, among other things, tries to ensure that people who upload content to Zazzle respect intellectual property laws. However, not everyone on Zazzle abides by this agreement.
Ultimately, it is important to be proactive and informed when it comes to trademark infringement. Make sure you are actively notifying consumers if you find that your products are being sold via unauthorized channels. Zazzle, like other marketplaces, has an internal system to help you report trademark infringement. However, this avenue is limited and may not be effective when dealing with large-scale infringements.
This is where a dedicated and automated solution can help your brand. To learn about how we can help you report trademark infringement on Zazzle and other marketplaces, request a demo here.