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Is this for real? Trademark violation

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by johnnyhart, May 13, 2013.

  1. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    I bought some phone cases from dhgate a while ago and started selling them on eBay. I was naive to think I wouldn't run into problems selling branded products. After listing around around 15 auctions for the cases, 2 sold for around £10 each and 13 were removed for trademark violation. After that happened, I took it as a warning and never sold any branded stuff again on eBay. 1 month later, I receive a letter in the post addressed to myself stating that I have violated the company's trademark. The letter was not sent by signed for post, just 1st class. The letter looks real and it's from a reputable law company. I've checked the details on the letter and, as far as I can tell, it is real. In the letter, it states that I must pay £350 in legal fees (for sending a letter..?) and compensation on top of that. No figure is stated for the amount of compensation I have to pay.

    My questions are:
    1) Should I respond to the letter?
    2) Should I seek professional legal advice?
    3) How much is the compensation likely to be?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. nadav_r

    nadav_r Registered Member

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    Sounds crap to me.
     
  3. Izzma

    Izzma Regular Member

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    What "mark" did you infringe on first of all?

    1) Do not respond to the letter right away.
    2) If it is legit you should seek a free consultation with an IP Attorney.
    3) Depends upon how much you "damaged" their mark. Personally I doubt you will have to pay at all.

    Normally companies send out C&D's Via Email, unless you used an email address you never check.

    More information from your side would be helpful.
     
  4. carlikito

    carlikito Regular Member

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    Ignore it......if real and they really want to push it they'll send you another one for sure.
     
  5. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    Thanks for the quick reply, Izzma. The company owned a trademark that the product was listed as on the ebay listing. It was a copy of their product. I just checked my email now and I have also received an email regarding the matter. I forgot to mention that the letter stated I have 7 days to respond. The letter is 5 pages long and I'm sure it is real. The issue now is how to deal with it. Should I just ignore it or reply?
     
  6. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    But they made a threat that they would take it to high court if I didn't settle. They also mentioned that I would incur thousands in legal fees if this happened.
     
  7. Izzma

    Izzma Regular Member

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    Alright then.

    If I was in your shoes. I would do the following to avoid any "BS" in between.

    1) Take down the product(s) you are selling on eBay with the infringing mark displayed.
    2) Contact them Via, email. State you have removed the infringing material located at http:// [Inset Link Here]
    3) Wait for a response.

    All they want is for you to stop using their mark. What is the mark you are infringing on? As long as you are "taking action" to resolve this conflict you will be granted additional time.

    However, It would be nice to determine if they do indeed have the full rights to enforce their trademark. IE: they have a registration number and not an application number.
     
  8. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    All of the products I was selling on eBay with the infringing mark were taken down by eBay a long while ago. I only actual sold 2 of them. After they got taken down, I never tried to list them again. Yes, they do have a registration number and it is included in the letter.
     
  9. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    Hmm. I just checked the registration number and it seems that it's registered for something else, not what they're claiming it to be. I checked it on this website: ht t p : / / tess2.uspto. gov / bin/gate.e x e ?f=searchss&state=4802:hzg5ax.1.1
    (without spaces)

    EDIT: Just checked it on another website and it's the actual trademark.
     
  10. Izzma

    Izzma Regular Member

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    When did you receive this letter? Also why would they send a letter to you if the infringing links were already removed?

    Them doing this seems a little fishy to me. Just contact them stating all material has been removed.

    If they try to push this issue, contact an IP Attorney and explain the situation to him/her. I am not an IP Attorney, I learn as I go as I have been down your road a long time ago.

    Best of luck to you resolving this issue without to much BS :)
     
  11. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    Thanks for all your help Izzma. I think I'm going to contact an IP attorney before replying to their letter/email. Once again, thanks :)
     
  12. nadav_r

    nadav_r Registered Member

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    just a quick question, how can they tell 100% your item was fake? did they order it and checked it or what?
     
  13. carlikito

    carlikito Regular Member

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    They all say that! thats the point. They want to scare you into settling.

    In any case to help you sleep better, contact an attorney.
     
  14. Russian-Czar

    Russian-Czar Regular Member

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    I don't think eBay will just give out you information to third party, So the original trademark owner might have purchased your item and got all your info.

    Ask them what they are talking about and where they got your contact information. If they are a costumer then say you used a dropshipper or some other excuse and that you cannot disclose the information due to legal complications.
     
  15. Crackus

    Crackus Registered Member

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    I wouldn't really consider people with real offers pushing it. Rather spammer push it than real offers. Real offers just come once in a while. But generally keep a serious business email and a spam email. Do not distribute anywhere the business email unless it is a serious contact (Not on random websites). This way you can keep track of serious and fake offers. I would rather say you should not trust any email, or ask them for their credentials if you want to go after something, and call them.
     
  16. Russian-Czar

    Russian-Czar Regular Member

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    You can also report to your local Police department for extortion. That's what they are doing, they can't just mail stuff and make treats if you don't pay you will be sued.

    PS. It might be just a scam, try to google the exact phase of the letter(a few sentences)
     
  17. systematic

    systematic Regular Member

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    Do not reply to their messages. Replying to their messages can be construed as you conceding guilt in certain situations.
    If they continue to pursue you, and you honestly feel threatened, then get legal representation. Chances are they might send a few more letters or emails, but they are likely not going to go after some small potatoes guy like you.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. johnnyhart

    johnnyhart Newbie

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    I forgot to mention that I'm 16 and my PayPal account is now limited as a result of not being able to verify my details (I faked my age). I'm about to start writing an email to the lawfirm. Should I include this in the letter? Could it convince them not to pursue this?

    Thanks again.
     
  19. ashash7

    ashash7 Registered Member

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    Right. This sounds like it's trying to be a cease and desist letter. Just remove the items and go on with your life. I they contact you again, tell them you removed them.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  20. ashash7

    ashash7 Registered Member

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    There you go. They bought the item to make sure it was theirs then sent the letter. Good thinking.