Copyright and trademark

Shopify supports the protection of intellectual property and the Acceptable Use Policy prohibits posting or uploading content that infringes on the copyright or trademarks of others.

Important: The information provided on this page is for educational purposes and isn't legal advice. Your own legal counsel can provide legal advice and help with specific questions about intellectual property.

About intellectual property

Intellectual property refers to something produced as the result of creativity. This includes tangible and intangible works, such as books, text, code, images, videos, logos, and slogans. Copyright and trademark are two types of intellectual property.

Store owners need to protect their intellectual property, and make sure that they don't infringe on someone else's intellectual property.

Copyright protects tangible original works, such as photos on an online store.

Copyright laws vary by country or region, but generally copyright applies from the time the work is created. In many countries or regions, copyrights can also be registered with the government’s copyright office.

A copyright owner has the exclusive rights to copy, display, distribute, sell, or perform their works, or to create derivative works. A copyright owner controls how their works are used, and others who want to use their works need to get their permission. If someone uses copyrighted works without permission from the owner, then they might be infringing on the copyright.

Learn more about copyright on the U.S. Copyright Office website or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's Guide to copyright.

About trademarks

Trademarks protect unique symbols or words that identify and distinguish a business or product from other businesses or products.

Once registered, a trademark has certain protections under the law, and the trademark owner has the exclusive rights to use the claimed trademark for certain products or services. If someone uses a trademark without permission in a way that causes confusion about the brand, product or services, then they might be infringing on a trademark.

Learn more about trademark on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

Dropshipping and intellectual property

If you dropship products, then you can choose which products, services, and suppliers you work with. You should also consider the risks because some suppliers might list copyrighted, branded or trademarked goods. Learn more about copyright disputes or trademark disputes.

Some product categories that carry a higher risk of being copyrighted, branded or trademarked goods can include:

  • clothing
  • designer bags
  • watches
  • cosmetics
  • electrical items
  • toys

You can also refer to how to avoid counterfeit goods on AliExpress.

It is Shopify’s policy to expeditiously respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website, https://www.copyright.gov.

It is expected that all users of any part of Shopify will comply with applicable copyright laws. If, however, we receive proper notification of claimed copyright infringement, our response to such notices will include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity and/or terminating the user’s account.

In accordance with Section 512(i)(1)(a) of the DMCA, Shopify will, in appropriate circumstances, disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who are repeat infringers.

You can sign in to use the online form to report content on Shopify that you believe violates or infringes your copyright.

You can also report multiple stores that are infringing on the same copyrighted works in a single form submission. If you falsely report that content infringes on your copyright, then you might be liable for damages.

The online form is the most efficient way of submitting a copyright infringement notice. If you can't use the online form, then you can send a notice that has all of the information that’s required in the DMCA to Shopify's designated agent. Your notice needs the following information:

  • Your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Identification of the original copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed. Provide direct links to the original work. If you don't have direct links, then you can provide a detailed description of your work.
  • Links to the content you believe violates or infringes your copyright on Shopify. Provide a comprehensive list to each individual page with content you want removed and not just the main shop link.
  • The following statements:
    • I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
    • I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate, and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
    • I acknowledge that a copy of this infringement notice, including any contact information provided above, may be provided to the person that posted the content being reported.
  • Your physical or electronic signature.

Shopify’s designated agent

Shopify Trust & Safety
Shopify Inc.
151 O’Connor Street
Ground floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 2L8
Canada

legal@shopify.com

If your store receives a notice of copyright infringement, then Shopify's Trust and Safety team will email the store owner to let them know what content was taken offline.

If you have a good faith belief that the content was taken offline as a result of a mistake or misidentification, then you can submit a counter notice. The email includes a link to a counter notice form.

If you can’t use the counter notice form, you can send a counter notice to Shopify's designated agent. Your counter notice needs the following information:

  • Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
  • Your name, address, and telephone number;
  • The following statements:
    • I consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which my address is located or, if my address is located outside of the United States, I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the District of Delaware;
    • I will accept service of process from the party who submitted the DMCA Infringement Notice or its agent;
    • I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the affected material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled and that I am the merchant subject to the DMCA Takedown Notice or I am authorised to act on behalf of that merchant.;
    • I acknowledge that a copy of this counter notification, including my full name and contact information, will be provided to the party that submitted the DMCA Takedown Notice.; and
  • A physical or electronic signature.

You can reply to the email from Shopify’s Trust and Safety team with any questions that you might have.

Trademark policy

It is Shopify’s policy to expeditiously respond to clear notices of alleged trademark infringement. Our response to such notices may include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity and/or terminating the user’s account.

Shopify will, in appropriate circumstances, disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who are repeat infringers.

Reporting trademark infringement

You can sign in to use the online form to report content on Shopify that you believe violates or infringes your registered trademark.

You can also report multiple stores that are infringing on the same trademarks in a single form submission. If you falsely report that content infringes on your trademark, then you might be liable for damages.

Trademark notice requirements

The online form is the most efficient way of submitting a trademark infringement notice. If you can't use the online form though, then you can send a trademark infringement notice to legal@shopify.com. Your notice needs the following information:

  • Trademark owner’s full name.
  • Your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Include the following information for each trademark at issue:
    • a description of the trademark;
    • the countries it is registered in;
    • trademark registration number; and
    • the category of products and/or services covered by the registration.
  • Links to the content you believe violates or infringes your trademark(s) on Shopify. Provide a comprehensive list to each individual page with content you want removed and not just the main shop link.
  • Description of how you believe the content violates or infringes your trademark(s) on Shopify.
  • The following statements:
    • I have a good faith belief that use of the trademark as described above, in the manner I have complained of, is not authorized by the trademark owner, its agent, or the law.
    • I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate, and that I am the owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the trademark rights described above.
    • I acknowledge that a copy of this infringement notice, including any contact information provided above, may be provided to the person that posted the content being reported.
  • Your physical or electronic signature.

Responding to a notice of trademark infringement

When a store receives a notice of trademark infringement, Shopify's Trust and Safety team will email the store owner to let them know what content was taken offline. If you want to dispute the notice, then the email includes a link to a dispute form. You can reply to the email from Shopify’s Trust and Safety team with any questions that you might have.

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