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MC999 Listing policy violation alert: Trademark Violation - Unauthorized Item

2216 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  kimura-mma
Hi guys, Just have a quick question about trademark. We've been printing a design we came up for 20 years. Yesterday some clown on ebay claims we are violating his trademark. He emails me his trademark which was registered Jan 21th of this year. Plus his wording is very different than ours, yet Ebay removes our listing which we've been selling on Ebay for over 10 yrs and we can prove it. How would you guys handle this?

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I have not posted on here in 6 years, but I will post this for you.

There is nothing you can do.

It does not matter how long you have been selling the design. It does not matter how long they have had their trademark. It does not matter what proof you can provide. You *will* lose if you try to fight them. Here's why :

1) Trademark disputes, unlike Copyright disputes, do *not* provide you with a dispute mechanism at EBay.

2) As far as the US Patent and Trademark Office is concerned you *had your chance* to oppose the trademark application. They gave you 30 days.

3) A petition to cancel their trademark can be filed (free by FAX, $300 by online) and the USPTO will absolutely consider your petition for approximately the length of time it takes them to copy/paste your address into a boilerplate "REQUEST DENIED" letter. It does not matter how strong your case nor does it matter how invalid their trademark may be.

4) You can try to sue the trademark holder in court if you enjoy wasting time and money. In order to get any relief you'd have to prove bad faith, and all they have to do is stick their lip out and say 'sorry Judge, I thought they were infringing." But it won't even get that far - their attorney will file for summary judgment and the case will be thrown out based on merit.

5) Call the trademark holder and beg them to take back the claim. They'll string you along, of course, and never actually do it. Why should they? If they do then their trademark will be weakened and could be undermined. Also, they have no reason to anyway.

Sorry, man. You're screwed.

I am not a lawyer.
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eBay will always err on the side of the trademark owner. So you are unlikely to get your listing back on the site unless you follow through with the legal issue.

As for the trademark, ownership is determined by "first use in commerce," not "first to register." So it's actually possible you may have rightful ownership of the mark. It really depends on exactly how you use the mark; and exactly how they use the mark. It also depends on the exact mark in question... you said the wording is different... are there other differences? Have you only used the mark as a t-shirt design? There are many variables, it's best to consult an attorney to understand your rights to the mark and the best way to proceed with action against the trademark owner and how to deal with eBay.
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