Would you use Amazon’s Neutral Patent Evaluation to enforce your patented technology embodied in products sold on Amazon?
COVID accelerated the trend of more and more of us shopping online. What about those online sellers providing a product you believe infringes one of your Patents – What can you do?
Now Amazon provides you, the Patent Owner, a low-cost method to verify if one or more products sold on Amazon infringe one Claim in one of your unexpired Patents. If you believe a Blood Oxygen Monitor or a Heart Rate Monitor sold on Amazon likely infringes your patent, for the cost of a $4000 deposit plus your lawyer’s time-expense you can access the Amazon service to find out if ONE of your Patent Claims is infringed by multiple devices sold on Amazon. The vendors of those devices must agree to participate in the evaluation process and pay their $4000 deposit or their accused product will be removed from sale on Amazon.
Unfortunately, this Amazon APEX process have become subject to some abuse that needs to be addresses to protect small businesses selling on Amazon as described in this January 2023 article: Is Amazon’s APEX the Top Option for Patent Rights? | Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts (wjlta.com)
To see the details of how exactly this APEX works, I have listed several public Law firms and IPWatchdog articles that explain the whole process and give a history of one detailed example:
An underhanded tactic used for some time by shady Amazon sellers has been to file a bogus patent infringement claim against another seller, taking them out of action for several weeks or months while they resolve the claim.
A new beta program (now fully available) that Amazon has devised called the Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation program works to resolve this issue whereby a utility patent owner and accused seller can have their case investigated by a neutral third-party evaluator with expertise in law and utility patents. So far it looks like an effective change to the current system which is prone to misuse….
https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/11/navigating-amazons-neutral-patent-evaluation-real-life-part/id=118736/ This article is Part 1 of two articles By Angélique McCall recounting her experience using this Amazon program for an anonymous Patent Owner named “Bill”:
If both parties agree to participate in the neutral evaluation, Amazon selects a neutral third-party patent lawyer and requires each party to pay the evaluator a $4,000 deposit…. The prevailing party in the Patent Neutral Evaluation Process is refunded their $4,000 deposit.
https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/06/03/navigating-amazons-neutral-patent-evaluation-real-life-part-ii/id=122107/ This article is Part 2 of two articles By Angélique McCall recounting her experience using this Amazon program for an anonymous client Patent Owner “Bill”:
In part one of this series, I outlined the preliminary steps I took on behalf of my client “Bill” to initiate Amazon’s Neutral Patent Evaluation Process. In part two, I
will describe the substantive procedure of the evaluation process and its successful resolution.
Here are several other more recent law firm articles about this Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation process:
Pete Fenner, President & Founder