Brand Protection on Amazon: How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter to Stop Unauthorized Sales
A cease and desist letter is a written demand for an individual/business to immediately and permanently stop an alleged illegal activity.
The letter sometimes serves as a warning that if the recipient does not discontinue the conduct described in the letter, or take certain actions in response, that party may be sued or receive a formal complaint. Amazon brand managers should understand the value of a precise and articulate cease and desist letter, and how it can be used to most effectively to remove unauthorized sellers from Amazon quickly, while gaining valuable information to better protect your brand.
First, a cease and desist letter to an unauthorized Amazon seller should identify a valid reason why the seller cannot legally sell your products.
For example, the letter should describe exactly how the seller is violating your intellectual property rights, or why the resale of your product is not protected by the first sale doctrine.
Next, your C&D letter should clearly offer the unauthorized seller an opportunity to amicably resolve the matter, simply by discontinuing the sale of your product.
Every time you or your brand protection lawyer files a complaint on Amazon, you put the accused seller at risk of losing their entire Amazon account. As such, many third-party sellers will gratefully accept an opportunity to resolve the matter immediately, simply to avoid putting the rest of their Amazon business in jeopardy.
A quick amicable resolution with an unauthorized seller is prudent for your business because the unauthorized sale of your product stops immediately. The more swiftly you can persuade an unauthorized seller to stop selling your product, the sooner you will reap the benefit of increased sales, while having spent very little time and money on brand enforcement. Further, by providing an amicable resolution that benefits both parties, you are thereby protecting your brand from the hostility and retribution that sometimes results from filing an Amazon complaint, due to the damage it can cause to the accused seller.
Finally, an effective cease & desist letter should provide the unauthorized seller a means to contact you directly.
Sometimes the seller will simply reach out to ask if they can sell their remaining inventory to recover their investment. Oftentimes, the number of remaining units they wish to sell is very small. In exchange for the opportunity to do so, the unauthorized seller will often provide valuable information or reveal the source of their inventory. You may discover that your distribution agreements were violated or you may find the source of counterfeits in the stream of commerce.