POD Weekly #36: Print on Demand Business & Intellectual Property



In an article on Tamebay about Merch by Amazon launching in Europe, there’s an interesting take on the reason for Amazon’s platform being the most notable among the dozens of print on demand business services available.

“The Amazon offering is likely most notable because of how it protects the trademarks and intellectual property of your artwork and that of big brands too. Other less stringent services are available.”1

Amazon’s review team is certainly quick to reject items for any perceived copyright infringement of big brands intellectual property. Typically, big brands in print on demand business have gone through all the paperwork to show ownership and have lawyers ready to defend their IP.

For small brands, it’s a different story. Without the funds to establish and defend ownership, it’s much easier for their t-shirt design ideas to be copied.

Policing intellectual property infringement is a difficult problem for any print-on-demand platform, especially when working with hundreds of thousands of listings. As print-on-demand e-commerce grows, the problem is likely to exacerbate for both print on demand business owners and the platforms like Merch by Amazon.

We’re curious to hear:

  • What do you think about how Merch By Amazon handles intellectual property/design rejections?
  • How could print on demand business platforms improve upon their handling of intellectual property?
  • Where do you see the future of intellectual property and print-on-demand products?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.




Each week, we share content from a variety of sources intended to help print-on-demand sellers. Get even more links by following us on Facebook or Twitter


— Learn how this entrepreneur turned her passion for Tudor history into a profitable business with print-on-demand inventory. It’s certainly not a common niche. She sets herself apart from any would-be copycats with passion and knowledge. There are markets for nearly any niche. 

“3 years ago I got serious about turning my passion project…into a business, and now I see 5 figure monthly revenues”

3 essential steps to turn a passion project into a business
Ladders | Business News & Career Advice

“With Shopify you can sell a huge variety of products through various fulfillment companies:

AliExpress imports goods from China
Printful offers clothes and posters
Gooten has tote bags and phone cases
ArtsAdd offers everything from clothes to home decor
Art of Where does some very cool clothing
Galloree even offers custom printed skateboards
Beeoux offers laser-cut sterling silver jewelry in designs you provide”2


—  Glen and Yong discussed Amazon’s launch into the UK and Germany marketplaces on this week’s Merch Minds podcast. 

“While the new marketplace has the potential to bring in more income we all have to be careful.”

Merch Minds Podcast – Episode 092: Discussing the UK and Germany Marketplace
Merch Minds Podcast with Glen and Yong

“As we all know Amazon is notorious for making policy changes without making any official announcements. So this episode is a reminder to keeping checking the content policy on a regular basis. Let the boys know if you have the international marketplace yet? If so how is it and have you started making sales yet?”3


— Did you know about embroidery-on-demand? Just like printing, some platforms, like Printful, offer embroidery on shirts and hats. Here’s a guide to getting started. 

“If you’ve only been doing prints, branching out to embroidery might seem a little daunting”

Fashion Trends: Getting Started with Embroidery
Ilze Folkmane Blog – Printful

“Here’s what you should know about embroidery before you get started on the designs:

Embroidery files have their own requirements, and we have detailed guidelines under each embroidery product that you need to follow to create the perfect file.
If you’re not sure whether embroidery’s for you, don’t be afraid to order some samples for yourself.
Don’t have the designs yet? Our design services team have created some pretty sweet sample graphics that are yours to use however you wish. You can test them out for yourself, or even add the graphics to your store with or without making any changes.”4

— Back-to-school shopping peaks this month. Check out this article for design inspiration. 

“Back to school shopping season tends to last from July 22nd through August 25th with sales peaking in early August”

Teespring’s Back to School Design Inspiration & Tips – Teespring Community
Teespring Community

“Total spending for both school and college combined reached $83.6 billion in 2017— a 10% increase compared to 2016. It’s the second biggest shopping season of the year with 29 million households participating in the US alone. Apart from school supplies and electronics, clothing and accessories will account for over 55% of each family’s spending this year.”5


—  There’s a new print-on-demand platform available on the Shopify app store. They’ve already powered nearly $100 million in sales on other platforms in the last 12 months. Let us know if you check out the app

“GearLaunch’s 3,000 merchants generated close to $100 million in product sales last year”

Industry-Leading E-Commerce Platform GearLaunch Now Available Via Shopify Marketplace

” The GearLaunch platform offers a variety of high-quality and customizable products including apparel, home decor and other accessory products. GearLaunch’s products ship on-demand from many locations around the world including the United States and are backed by GearLaunch’s multi-channel customer service team.

The integration allows all Shopify merchants to instantly access GearLaunch’s capabilities and scale their businesses. All Shopify merchants can select GearLaunch within the Shopify app store to sync up and gain access to the integration.”6


—- Edit a number of products quickly – even across multiple print-on-demand sites with the Merch Along Chrome extension. 

““What’s the fastest way to check and edit all of the products I have to change?”

How can you quickly find where you’ve uploaded them on different POD sites? ”

Is there a way to quickly batch edit your Merch by Amazon products?
Merch_Along_Admin Merch Along

“This can be frustrating to edit because you have to go into each of your designs that might have that trademarked word, delete it from the product, go through each step to confirm it’s your own work and then save it. Long story short, it takes a lot of time.
We’ve seen this as a big problem so we wanted to create a way for you to be able to quickly remove content or Merch Along helps keep you organized.”7


Order custom t-shirt designs with free revisions to take advantage of these opportunities. 

Sat, August 4    Coast Guard Birthday
Wed, August 8    International Cat Day
Mon, August 13    Left-Handers Day
August – Sept – Back-to-School Shopping
Sun, August 26    National Dog Day
Sun, August 26    Women’s Equality Day
Mon, September 3    Labor Day
Sun, September 9    National Grandparents Day
Sun, September 16    Wife Appreciation Day
Sun, September 23    September equinox / fall starts
October – December  Holiday Shopping
Mon, October 1    International Coffee Day
Wed, October 10    World Mental Health Day
Wed, October 31    Halloween
Sun, November 11    Veterans Day

Bold entries are new since last week

Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

  1. https://tamebay.com/2018/08/merch-by-amazon-launches-in-uk-and-germany.html
  2. https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/50000-in-5-months-3-essential-steps-to-turn-a-passion-project-into-a-business
  3. http://merchminds.libsyn.com/episode-92
  4. https://www.printful.com/blog/fashion-trends-getting-started-with-custom-embroidery/
  5. https://community.teespring.com/blog/back-to-school-inspiration-2018/
  6. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180731005355/en/Industry-Leading-E-Commerce-Platform-GearLaunch-Shopify-Marketplace
  7. https://www.merchalong.com/is-there-a-way-to-quickly-batch-edit-your-merch-by-amazon-products/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.