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trademark infringement items on eBay

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by rye111, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. rye111

    rye111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Just got busted on eBay for selling fake sewn NFL jerseys. Received a letter from a law firm representing Adidas demanding that I surrender all illegal jerseys, provide my wholesaler, and pay a $750 fine in a week. What are my rights here if I have any? I know I was selling fake jerseys, but how does Adidas know that? There is no way of knowing from the picture of the items. There are many other sellers doing the same thing and they have thousands of feedbacks supporting this. I mirrored my auctions from these seller's auctions. Same type of wording and pictures. I think I sold a total of 20 jerseys over a 10 day period. Wouldn't sending in the jerseys and paying the fine admit to my guilt and possibly set me up for a lawsuit down the road? What do you guys think? Thanks.
     
  2. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    If you are selling fakes, I would tell you to stop.

    As for the letter you got, it is nothing more than a shakedown. They pulled your listing because of a photo of a jersey. They have no proof that you actually sell fake jerseys.

    Mailing them the jerseys is the same as self-incrimination. Who is to say that they won't forward the items to the authorities?
     
  3. jason268

    jason268 New Member

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    I just got the same letter...actually came in my e-mail on January 31 and said I have until January 7 to respond! How professional is that? Anyway, I too am wondering what I should do. Do I ignore the letter and stop selling jerseys on eBay? Do I respond to the letter and send the money and list of suppliers? I have no problem not selling the jerseys anymore, but I don't want to get in any more trouble...but I also don't want to respond if I will be incriminating myself. I could use some real legal advise here as well as hear from some others who have received this letter and what they have done.
     
  4. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    I would advise you to stop selling these jerseys. Clearly the photos you show bear some trademark of the rights holder (Reebok). This is why they are pulling them. If the photos of the jerseys did not bear the Reebok logos, then they wouldn't have been pulled off EBay.

    What I think? This law firm is lazy. They want you to do all their work for them by forwarding the fake jerseys and a money order. However, they have the burden of proof to show that the jerseys are indeed fake. Unless they bought a jersey from you, it would be impossible for them to verify that the jersey you are selling is fake.

    If you are selling fake jerseys and you are sending them to them, you run the risk that they will turn over the jerseys to the authorities. You have a right not to self incriminate yourself.

    If this firm was truly interested, they would crack down on the rampant suppply of fake jerseys in Asia.
     
  5. jason268

    jason268 New Member

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    So, what happens if I don't respond at all and just stop selling the jerseys?
     
  6. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    They will probably follow up with another letter, reiterating their demand, and then they probably would drop it especially if they had you suspended from EBay.

    At the end of the day, they're not going to sue without thr proof that your jerseys are fake.
     
  7. jason268

    jason268 New Member

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    They probably won't have me suspended from eBay especially if I stop selling the jerseys. What if I get one step ahead of them and close my eBay account?
     
  8. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    I would just stop selling all the jerseys. If you don't sell, you won't get suspended and you complied with their C&D letter by not selling the infringing items.
     
  9. rye111

    rye111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    eBay suspended my account and removed all my jersey auctions. I have stopped selling because of this and the email from the law firm on Friday. I have until this Friday to give up my wholesalers, send them the remaining jerseys, and 750 bucks. If Adidas (Reebok) is going by the pictures from my auction, why haven't they busted all the power sellers with the same pictures showing the Reebok logo? You can go the eBay and do a search on "Eli Manning 52". There are sellers with the same kind of photos with thousands of seller feedback for the same items. I am going to wait until I hear back from the friend that practices law. She said that they would draft something up if I comply with their demands that they couldn't come back with a lawsuit.
     
  10. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    There may be many reasons why you were picked off and other get scot free. If you're from New York, that could be a reason because if the law firm is from New York because they have easier time to harass you with a threat of a lawsuit. It also could be that the other listings hide the Reebok logos from the auctions. That is why most of the listings show the back only, or don't show the sleeves.

    At the end of the day, they have nothing on you. They say your items are fake. Unless they got a jersey from you, they have no proof. Since you're suspended, they got what they wanted.
     
  11. rye111

    rye111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I mirrored my auctions from sellers that had thousands of feedback. Same pictures and words. Just looked one of the sellers up, he/she has 1000+ feedback from last month from selling jerseys. I think eBay has their hands in this some how. If they kill the power seller's auctions, then they lose money from the auctions and PayPal transactions.
     
  12. jason268

    jason268 New Member

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    I find it odd that they are requesting 750 bucks from you, but I've read from other people that they are requesting different amounts from them...350, 450, etc. How do they determine the different amounts? 750 is the highest I've seen them request. I'm not saying the letter isn't legit, but it just seems very fishy. Were you selling a lot of jerseys?
     
  13. rye111

    rye111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have found some other posts about the same subject and it looks like they have increased their fine over time. I wasn't selling for more than 2 weeks before getting shut down. Probably a total of 20 jerseys sold over a week. I had probably 30+ auctions when eBay pulled them. Probably another seller turned me in. Jason, when did you get the email, on the 31st of Jan.? I got mine on the 1st of Feb. I haven't received a first class letter like it states in the email. Have you done anything yet about this? Have you talked to a lawyer?
     
  14. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    It's true that the PowerSellers have some protection. They'll only suspend them after they are being pulled a number of times.

    At the end of the day, this law firm is fishing for you. They have no bait, are you willing to give them the bait? You are suspended from selling jerseys, therefore you have ceased selling them.

    Giving them anything is the same as an admission of guilt and does not preclude them from taking you to the authorities.
     
  15. jason268

    jason268 New Member

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    How could they be increasing their fine over time? Mine was 450 and I got the letter the day before you. Something isn't right about this. I haven't received anything in the mail either.
     
  16. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    There is no rhyme or reason as to what they do because what they are doing is a shakedown.

    They have you worried about being sued, so you forget that they have no proof that you sold anything fake.

    They need to justify to Adidas that they are policing counterfeits when they are really not.
     
  17. rye111

    rye111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I think it is a shakedown after you put it like you do. I send in the jerseys and they have me. I don't think I am going to do anything until I get some kind of official letter. If I receive one I am going to take it to a lawyer and see what they think until then I am out of the jersey business.
     
  18. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    Like I stated before, you shouldn't be selling fakes.

    They see a small photo on EBay and some college kid at their office sees that it's a fake. Whether you actually sell that item in the picture is one point. The fact that they have none of the jerseys you sold is another.

    They are telling you that they know what you're doing, but they want you to implicate yourself by sending the infringing items and a payoff to them to pay off the legal fee that Adidas is being charged for.
     
  19. jessedee

    jessedee New Member

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    so has anyone paid this? I got another letter telling me to comply or I will be sued for more then 350. I dont get it? I got the jerseys from people who are activly and still selling jerseys on ebay???
     
  20. whitefish72

    whitefish72 New Member

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    They are banking that you will panic and settle for $350.
     

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