Occasionally, we hear from members or prospective members with questions about various trademark issues and design rejections. Some are curious to know what we do to check our ready-to-upload designs. Once in a while, we hear from customers that have had designs rejected by Merch by Amazon. I wanted to fill everyone in about how we handle copyright & trademark issues and design rejections.
First of all, we very much respect copyright and trademark laws. It’s important to both the copyright/trademark holder to not infringe on their work. Likewise, we recognize how important is to not put our members at risk by selling designs with problems. The last thing we want is for anyone’s account to get suspended on Merch by Amazon, or any other print-on-demand platform.
Trademark/copyright issues are complex. There’s certainly not a failproof way to check each design with 100% certainty. Further, Amazon has their own policies which are neither entirely consistent and go beyond typical intellectual property laws. That being said, we do our best to make sure all designs are ok for use by checking all designs three times.
- Initially, we begin by checking a list ideas before they go to our design team. That list contains phrases and ideas for the designers. These phrases are checked on the USPTO site.
- All designs are then checked again after the designs are created. In this case, the graphics are checked on TIneye. Phrases are checked again at this point, in case of any changes or typos.
- Designs are then set to publish to the site, where we have a third check in place, in case we’ve missed anything. Members are able to “report” products that they believe have a copyright/trademark issue, If the report is deemed valid, the member receives a credit to use on a new order.
Even with these checks in place, designs occasionally get rejected by Merch by Amazon. If that happens, we are more than happy to help our members. Email us with your order number, design number (if multiple on order), and a copy of the text in Amazon’s rejection email. Occasionally, we are able to resolve with a minor change. (Keep in mind that both the text and design can cause a rejection.)
If we can fix it, we’ll do that, and give you a credit for another design. In some cases, we’ll just give you two codes for new designs. In both cases, the extra design credit will apply to the same purchase as the original, including any copywriting.
We do not guarantee that all designs will be accepted and are 100% free of trademark and cannot take responsibility for your own account. Outside of hiring a team of lawyers, increasing prices by about 25x, we believe this is the best way to handle copyright & trademark issues and design rejections on Merch by Amazon.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave a comment below.