Amazon Sellers’ News 10/14/19: Sellers receiving Cease & Desist Letters from VORYS law firm & Apple IP Complaints

If you sell any North Face based products, there’s a very good chance you’re going to receive a cease and desist letter from the VORYS law firm.

Now, if you’re selling genuine North face products, you’re probably thinking, ‘what’s their basis for getting me to cease selling this product?’ VORYS law firm tends to stick to a few key arguments…

While the first sale doctrine does permit your reselling of authentic items, there are certain exceptions that apply. The exception is if there’s a material difference in the product you’re selling versus what The North Face is selling.

With that, if you’re thinking, ‘I get this product from a major retailer and it’s genuine.. how could there be a material difference?’ It usually comes down to two factors. One, whether or not the warranty for The North Face applies to unauthorized sellers. If the warranty doesn’t apply, that means that your product only comes with the Amazon 90-day guarantee. If there’s a significant difference in the coverage of this warranty, it may be enough to amount to a claim that there is a material difference, thus eliminating your protection under the first sale doctrine.

In addition, there’s lots of claims that the quality controls are different, which could also amount to a material difference. If you’re confused and want us to assess whether or not it’s applicable, or whether or not these claims are valid, feel free to reach out and we’ll review the cease and desist for you and see in fact, if these claims are plausible.

In addition to the two exceptions, which eliminate the protection under the first sale doctrine, VORYS will assert that they’re holding you liable for tortious interference of the contract for one reason. Their distributors are strictly told and are contractually bound not to sell to individuals who are going to list these products in any ecommerce platform such as Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc.

By sending you this letter, they’re giving you knowledge that their distributors are not supposed to be selling to ecommerce sellers. If you then go out and source your products again from these authorized distributors and for whatever reason The North Face finds out and they terminate their contract with that distributor, you could potentially be held liable for the damages associated with that terminated contract. That again is brought in through a claim of tortious interference with contract. None of this is affirmative, but their claims could be plausible.

Increase of intellectual property complaints being filed by Apple.

Make sure you just review your listings just to make sure that you’re not on any Apple listing or any duplicate listings that use the Apple trademark or any of their copyright material.

Apple is going around. We’ve seen a huge influx in complaints filed by Apple. If you’re selling any Apple products, if you haven’t gotten a complaint yet, it may not be a bad idea to reevaluate and recheck your listings to make sure it’s not infringing any content owned by Apple.

Make sure to contact us for a free consultation!
(212) 256-1109

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