Temporary restraining orders in litigation (TRO) are usually sent by a brand to stop sellers from offering products that the brand feels they’re not authorized to sell on the Amazon platform.
Sellers receive notice of this kind of lawsuit usually through an email from Amazon, informing them that their money is being withheld due to ongoing litigation. What is especially frustrating for sellers is that not only is their money being withheld for that particular product, the entirety of their store’s funds on Amazon are being withheld. Regardless of how much the product in question reflects their store’s total sales, Amazon withholds everything they’ve earned until the litigation is resolved.
Temporary restraining orders are the unfortunate new normal.
We have seen an increasing amount of temporary restraining orders submitted across the Amazon platform in recent months. Chances are if you’ve received one, your funds are frozen, as you are subject to a lawsuit. You may have been named as a defendant in a lawsuit and the plaintiff has convinced the judge that unless they freeze your account, they’re going to suffer some sort of irreparable harm. You usually have 21 days to answer the document and appear in the litigation, so time is of the essence to approach a law firm to defend your case.
Recently, and as reported at law.com, we won a trademark infringement lawsuit made against The Primrose Lane, LLC, an Amazon seller of children’s clothing and accessories. The case was tried in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The accuser, Smart Study, which owns the Pinkfong & Baby Shark trademarks, sued Primrose for supposedly selling counterfeit Baby Shark products. They obtained a TRO that froze Primrose’s Amazon account and shut down its storefront. We saw this as a clear infringement on Primroe’s rights, and we secured a dismissal of the case, arguing that Primrose sold only authentic products under the First Sale Doctrine. We also convinced the court to award money damages to Primrose for lost sales.