Color and Trademark protection

The e-commerce sector in India has bloomed into one of the highest
revenue generating area over the past few decades and during the
lockdown we saw a high dependence on such online portals as frequent
lockdowns left us with no other option than buying essential or non-
essential things from sellers like Amazon, Flip kart, e-bay, Myntra and
so on. The hard times also lead to many becoming sellers at such online
portals for additional revenue or main income as many lost jobs in the
pandemic. However, not all products are genuine or original. There are
many who impersonate the right holders products by copying their image,
title and go on to sell similar/ identical products. The author
discusses in brief how can the original owner be protected in such
online platforms.

Law relating to copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957.
Copyright is generally granted for artistic, musical and dramatic works
and thereby includes computer programme, performer’s rights, sound
recordings, chorographical works and cinematographic works. It is the
protection granted to the expression of ideas. Such kind of protection
enables the original authors, writers, directors, composers, designers
and others covered under copyright to retain their originality and also
encourages many others to create or work upon their ideas. Copyright
being one among the other intangible rights protected under law does not
entirely create a monopoly and restrict the distribution of the works.
It, however grants protection to the original copyright owner over
others in case of piracy or duplicity. For the protection of designs,
there is the Designs Act, 2000. It grants protection for the appeal and
not for the functional utility.

Over the past few years copyright infringement in Amazon has seen a
steep rise. Infringement can be of designs, physical products, image in
description page or title. Now what can be done if a seller notices
identical products being sold by someone else at a cheap rate or similar
price and the customers are mislead. Thus losing revenue to the other
seller. Here, Amazon itself has created certain rules and Redressal
mechanism with regard to intellectual property rights. If the seller is
a rights holder he can enroll himself in the Amazon Brand Registry. It
provides the enrolled sellers to have image and text search to find out
if there is any infringement or increased authority over product
listings under your brand name. Then if such violation is found out, the
original seller can cause to send a notice of IP infringement with
contact details. Otherwise one can submit a report through Report a
Violation (RAV). So, those who do not have their brands enrolled in the
Brand registry can opt reporting via RAV. In India, one can even contact
the grievance officer through a mail.

Now, while submitting the report the following information is to be

  1. Specific identification of one’s IP along with copyright, trademark
    or patent registration number,

  2. Written description of the work or link to the copyrighted work,

  3. Specifying the ASIN or listing the product which is the subject
    matter of the violation.

  4. Nature of infringement i.e., image, physical product, packaging,
    image on product detail page or text which is infringed,

  5. List of infringing products and their ASIN or URLs,

  6. Any other information which is necessary,

  7. And finally the original owner’s contact details.

The violation reported after due enquiry is found to be true then the
infringed seller may be de- listed from Amazon or the account can even
be suspended.1 Even though such violations can be reported by rights
holder, it is not necessary to be a registered holder to sell products
in it. However, getting your products registered makes it possible to
report violations.

When it comes to designs, as already mentioned earlier, the Designs Act
2000 grants protection to the designs. To meet the criteria the design
must be original, undisclosed to anyone in India or other country by
publication or used in any manner, must significantly distinquish one’s
design from that of others and must not contain any obscene or
scandalous matter. So, once the seller is registered under Designs Act,
he gets copyright protection for 10 years. Even if you are not a design
holder but a copyright holder, one can get protection.


Amazon has a strict policy when it comes to intellectual property
violations. It has introduced the ABR- Amazon Brand Registry for the
purpose of preventing infringement of logo, designs, patent and
copyright of original seller’s products. This was created after repeated
complaints from sellers about counterfeit products. This also ensures
that the seller claiming to be original owner provides with accurate
data from the date of listing. However, infringement cannot be reported
for frivolous claims. It cannot be filed for generic products or with a
motive to prevent others from selling the common and generic products.
ABR requires the seller to submit necessary information to prevent the
same. One also needs to be careful while listing their products on
Amazon to prevent possible infringement of others because that may lead
to suspension of the account. To sum up, every seller must ensure to
list original products and also register at the ABR to prevent
infringement allegations as the consequences can be harsher than what
one expects. It is also advisable to have a legal attorney to get timely
advise and warn against such malpractices.

  1. Amazon Intellectual Property Policy,