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Repeated copyright violations on ebay, what should I do?
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:36 pm
Hey there guys, I have just stumbled upon this forum whilst looking for information regarding what I should do next. Basically there is a guy on ebay who keeps selling my product in a bundle with MANY other copyrighted products. I keep getting ebay to remove his listings (sometimes ban him) but he keeps popping back up with fresh accounts & continues listing my item. He is basically stealing mine & many other authors products. He boasts on his listing that the products combined would come to more than $250,000 if purchased off their respective websites. I have this guys name/address/work address but don't know what to do next. Should I send him a legal letter in the post?
I am in the UK if that makes any difference?
Any help would be much appreciated. Many thanks. C
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:00 pm
When you say he is selling 'your' items I assume these are copies of items that you have created, as opposed to re-selling items which you yourself produced. Also unfortunately you haven't told us what the items are. Certain manufactured goods cannot be protected by copyright. If they are functional or practical goods, designright provides a more appropriate form of protection.
However it would seem that one form of intellectual property or another has been infringed so a cease and desist letter would be entirely appropriate. If you feel confident about drafting one yourself this will save you quite a lot of money compared to getting a solicitor to draft one.
But if this person is doing this on an industrial scale - and it sounds as if he may be - than this could be a criminal offence and you should get Trading Standards in to investigate. If they feel there is a case, they will take over the necessary prosecution which should involve injunctions to prevent the other person from continuing to infringe your copyright. This won't cost you anything (other than your time as a witness) but equally it is unlikely to bring you any damages unless the court orders the offender to make restitution.
You mention that he is pricing his goods in dollars, does this mean he is not based in the UK? If so you have an altogether different problem because Trading Standards cannot act and are unlikely to involve their overseas colleagues unless this is a major international counterfeiting operation. You can bring a civil action in the country where this other person lives (assuming it isn't the UK) but it will be expensive and you will have to hire a local lawyer to take your case forward. If you decide to consider this option, try contacting some of the other companies whose goods he is counterfeiting, and see if they would be prepared to share the costs of a joint action.
If this activity is threatening your business you need to seek professional legal advice. You could start with this organisation: http://www.own-it.org/