If you have received a threatening letter from the VORYS law firm, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation:
We have addressed countless letters from VORYS. As far as we’re aware, we’ve addressed VORYS more than any other law firm in the world. This is because we help more Amazon sellers than any other law firm in the world.
If you have been contacted by VORYS, we can discuss the specific threats made against you.
Below is just a sampling of the threatening VORYS letters we have addressed for Amazon sellers:
VORYS is a law firm that sends letters to 3rd party sellers all over the world telling them that they cannot sell items. Sellers can in fact buy and sell practically every product with very limited exceptions.
We’ve seen many VORYS letters and have extensive experience dealing with their claims.
Many VORYS letters ignore the First Sales Doctrine, which is based upon consumers receiving the same products and benefits, regardless of who is selling them. We have the First Sale Doctrine in the United States, it is different in Europe.
Below are some of the baseless claims that VORYS has asserted against clients:
- Product Sourcing: There is no rule that says that you cannot buy products from a department store and resell them.
- Unauthorized Seller / Unauthorized to Sell on Certain Sales Channels: Unless outside of the First Sales Doctrine, there’s nothing that can stop you from buying a product and selling it without authorization. Generally, sellers do not need authorization to sell on Amazon. This also applies to reseller agreements. You don’t need a reseller agreement with any brand unless there’s something that takes the product outside of the First Sales Doctrine.
- Company Policies & Brand Confusion: Company policy is not a legal claim. As long as you are buying and reselling genuine products, there is no confusion or company policy you need to abide by.
- Violations of Trademark: The trademarks of branded items appear directly on the packaging. All you are doing is buying and reselling the same item that a consumer would get from any other seller.
- Arbitration: Unless you agree to it, you are not subject to arbitration. You cannot be compelled to arbitrate unless you agree to it.
More unjustified claims that VORYS has asserted against our clients:
- Unauthorized Websites: Under the First Sale Doctrine, you are protected on Amazon, eBay, as well as your own website. Under United States law, you are allowed to buy and sell products from where ever you want.
- Retail Arbitrage: Many sellers have made promises not to sell products in the past. If you have done this and it is not in writing, chances are that it is not enforceable.
- Authorized Claims: If you have the authorization of a brand to sell on a specific channel (Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc) and there is no contractual prohibition restraining you from selling on other channels, you are fine. This is yet another baseless claim being made by VORYS.
- Resale Policies Not Being Followed: These are not intellectual property rights issues.
- Brand Integrity: Brand integrity is NOT a legal claim. Buying and selling genuine products does not violate anything.
- Harming Brand Reputation: The only thing a seller is doing by buying and reselling an item is undercutting prices, which is better for consumers.
VORYS threatens third party sellers with lawsuits, the majority of which are completely baseless.
In their letters, they demand some of the following:
- Product Sourcing: This is something you do not have to provide. VORYS is not a court or a judge; you do not have to provide any information or do anything at all if you receive a letter from VORYS. You may feel more comfortable hiring an experienced law firm, such as Rosenbaum Famularo, PC to respond to them. Unless a judge is ordering you to provide information, you do not have to reveal information to anyone.
- Violating Distribution Agreements: If you don’t have a contract with a distributor, then you are not violating a contract. There are some exceptions to this, so a seller should should consult with an attorney just to be safe. There are some valid claims for interfering with someone else’s distribution agreement, but unless you have an agreement, you’re not violating any agreement of your own.
- Violation of Compensation Agreements: VORYS states that by buying and selling products, you’re violating compensation agreements. Almost all contracts bind only those who actually signed the contracts. If you didn’t sign anything, you’re not responsible for that agreement.
- Products Free from Tampering: VORYS states that by reselling products, consumers aren’t getting fresh, safe products free from tampering. Hard goods aren’t stored at particular temperatures or in any particular manner. Unless the product has been damaged or harmed, then you aren’t doing anything wrong.
- False Consumer Satisfaction Claims: If you’re reselling brand name products, consumers’ happiness will have nothing to do with you, but rather the product itself.
- Harmful Brand Integrity: First Sale Doctrine states that as long as you are delivering the same product that an authorized seller would, then you can resell anything you want without authorization / permission / distribution agreements, etc.
VORYS can also demand some of the below in their threatening letters:
- Violation of Specific Handling Provisions: VORYS has not once identified a specific provision to which a seller has failed to comply with in any of their claims.
- Threats to Obtain Sales Documents: The only way that VORYS can get these documents is to specifically request them from Amazon or actually start a lawsuit and subpoena the documents. In either case, we have not necessarily seen Amazon comply.
- Sellers That Don’t Provide Customer Services Claims: When buying online, a customer knows they’re giving up one-on-one training.
- Threats to Get “Vital Information” Regarding Sales: No one knows what this vital information is, but VORYS won’t be able to get it from Amazon amicably.
- Sales Outside of Authorized Channels Constitute Divergent Practices: This is not an IP claim under the law. You are protected from this under the First Sale Doctrine.
- Sponsorship & Affiliation Program Violations: If reselling genuine products, you have nothing to fear from this claim.
We have lots of content about the VORYS law firm and their threatening letters to sellers. Read more below.
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