Amazon Sellers News 10/24/19 with CJ Rosenbaum: Trademark Complaints by Health & Beauty Brands, VORYS Issues & Counterfeit Complaints
Trademark complaints yesterday were just through the roof and the trend that we saw was that there was a significant increase in trademark complaints in the health and beauty category.
Neutrogena by J&J, Tampax Proctor & Gamble, Dr. Scholl’s by Bayer, major health and beauty companies are asserting trademark complaints. Now, basic trademark law for sellers, you can’t use somebody else’s logo on your own products. That’s usually not the case with health and beauty. What you’re usually seeing are brands trying to stop sellers from selling gray market items. Now, it is only a valid trademark complaint if something about your sale takes the product outside of the First Sale Doctrine, which means that consumers are receiving something that has some material difference than if they bought it from the brand.
Vorys is at it again, sending threatening letters to sellers all over the United States.
The latest brand is Pandora. This follows Vorys letters regarding Kohl’s, the North Face, Skull Candy, Mandela, GNC, Licks and a whole host of other brands. Our experience shows that the vast majority of claims asserted against sellers by the Vorys law firm are absolutely baseless. But here’s the caveat. If they are claiming that you are interfering with the contract and they did the right steps, that claim may have merit against you.
Counterfeit complaints: if you never sold the product, if you’re a drop shipper, a counterfeit complaint by a brand is absolutely baseless and you may have some leverage against the brand to get the complaint withdrawn.
However, drop shippers, what your issues with Amazon are significantly more problematic because Amazon has been trying to weed out drop shippers for years now and you don’t have leverage against Amazon if you cannot show that you own the product or you violated their drop shipping specifics. Dropshippers are very problematic. Your business plan is still making money today. However, it is not a long term business strategy and you really should look into creating your own private label brand.
Upcoming events with CJ Rosenbaum.
Global Sources in Hong Kong next week, the 27th 28th and 29th, right at the Hong Kong airport. You don’t need a visa, you don’t have to leave the airport. I was just there last week and there were no protestors at all. Business was normal at the Hong Kong airport, which is exactly where Global Sources occurs. You never have to leave the facility and you could learn from some really great speakers, get inspired and also work on sourcing next year’s products from about 3,000 different Chinese factories. Also factories from Korea and Taiwan and other parts of the world.
Also our new book on How to Avoid Suspensions and How to Get Your Accounts Back, a Do It Yourself Manual. It’s going to be out in another week or so.
Inside Amazon Series.
I literally went to India, went to two of Amazon’s campuses and spent hours and hours speaking with Amazon staff during their cigarette breaks getting inside information. So on our YouTube channel, check out our Inside Amazon Series. Our information regarding brand registry should be live and you can learn what I learned directly from Amazon staff about the brand registry.