Policy Certification Tips on Amazon IP and In-Skill Purchasing
Annette Lee Sep 24, 2020
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In order for your Alexa skill to be certified, it must first meet our policy guidelines to maintain the high-quality catalogue of the Alexa Skills Store. Today, we will go over our top policy failures and ways to avoid them. For example, an Alexa skill can function smoothly, but if it does not meet our policy requirements, it will not be published. This blog post will help answer some of your questions regarding our policy for Alexa skill development. 

Amazon Intellectual Property


Prior to submitting your skill for certification, you need to make sure your skill content, invocation name, and skill name does not infringe on Amazon IP (Intellectual Property).  You are allowed to use Amazon IP in your skill as long as it is used in a referential manner that don't imply ownership or an official Amazon experience. Please visit this page for more information on Amazon trademark guidelines and requirements.

Here are some examples for what is allowed in skill names: 

ALLOWED
FAIL
Friend on Echo Show The Offical Alexa Skill
XYZ Thermostat for Amazon Alexa
Amazon's Skill
  Alexa Skill for Dogs

 

In your skill description, make sure you following these same guidelines. Skill description should only include Amazon IP in a referential manner and not imply sponsorship from Amazon. Here are some examples:

ALLOWED

FAIL

You can use this skill with Amazon Echo

This Amazon skill can be used with Echo

The XYZ Skill for Amazon Alexa connects to your smart home camera

XYZ and Alexa work together to bring you the best experiences

 

XYZ and Amazon present the best joke skill available

The same goes for your vendor name. If your name currently contains the name of an Amazon brand, product, or service prior to submission, use our contact page to request we change your name. 

During certification, we will also check your Account Linking/Privacy Policy/Terms & Conditions URLs to make sure they do not infringe on Amazon IP and to make sure customers know the URLs belong to a third-party. Often times, developers will unknowingly include Amazon IP in their URL when redirecting customers to their Alexa page. Usage of Amazon, Alexa, AWS, etc. are not allowed in the subdomain or domain root of URL, but they are allowed in the file path of the URL.

ALLOWED

FAIL

www.example.com/alexa

alexa.example.com

example.de/amazon

example.alexa.com

 

However, if you created your URLs using AWS services, there is an exception for Amazon IP to be in the domain or subdomain root.

Examples:

  1. https://cloud.auth.eu-west-1.amazoncognito.com/login?
  2. https://login-bridge.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/index.html?

In-Skill Purchasing

Having In-Skill Purchasing (ISP) in your skill in a great way to enhance the skill experience for your customers. This is a way for you to provide customers the option to purchase premium content in a seamless voice interaction.  


There are three types of In-Skill Products available that can be offered in your skill: 

 

ISP Type

Description

1

One-time purchase

An entitlement to a product which doesn’t expire, such as an expansion pack for a game.

2

Consumable

A product which provides content or features that customers can purchase, deplete, and purchase again, such as an in-game currency.

3

Subscription

A product which provides ongoing access to content or a service and charges the customer on a recurring basis, such as a monthly subscription to the “premium” features of your skill.

Currently, ISP is available for skills in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain. In order for your skill to have ISP, you must publish the skill in a supported Alexa Skills Store. Please note, some countries and regions in which we publish skills may have more restrictive standards around ISP.

If your skill has ISP, your skill is required to meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Must use the Amazon ISP feature
  2. Must include unique additional functionality or content
  3. There must be portions of the skill that are free or offer a free trial version of the premium content
  4. Must NOT tell the customer how to make an in-skill purchase in the skill description, example phrases, “What’s New?” section, or account linking landing page.
  5. Must NOT link purchases made on Alexa to external platforms
  6. Must NOT sell physical goods
  7. ISP in Kid skills is limited to the US. For details, see Build Premium Experiences for Kid Skills in the US (https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/docs/alexa/in-skill-purchase/isp-kid-skills.html).

Check Out Alexa Skill Policy Requirements Prior to Skill Submission

Prior to submitting your skill for certification, make sure you read through all of Alexa’s policy requirements. If you have any additional questions or need clarifications, please write to us through our contact page

Resources

·      Alexa skill policy requirements

·      ISP FAQ

·      Alexa Skills Contact Page

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