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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Buying Trademarked Goods and then Reselling Them Abroad

    Hi,

    I run a small business as a sole trader buying and selling goods. I buy genuine goods from retailers in the UK/Europe, sell over the Internet and export to exclusively to Taiwanese customers. I received a cease and desist letter from a manufacturer stating the following:

    - They note that purchases brought above and beyond personal use and that they would not sell any further products to me. Not a big deal and they are within their rights to do so.

    - They mention selective distribution network, prestige of trademarks etc ... quality through selective distribution agreement.

    - Asked me to respond with assurance of cease and desist of selling their products, to resolve matter amicably, otherwise they would consider legal options.

    - I don't have or have not signed any agreements with the manufacturer and have not responded to their request yet.

    As I understand, there is a first sale doctrine in Europe which ensures that once I buy a genuine product, I can resell it without comeback from a copyright owner. Also as far as I understand, Taiwan supports international exhaustion of trademark rights (although want this confirmed) and therefore this is not an infringement occurring abroad. I do realise that some manufacturers have prevented import into the UK from outside of Europe, but as I am performing the reverse and operating within law I don't believe there is an issue.

    What I need to understand is:

    - Am I doing anything illegal, I do not believe so as goods are genuine.
    - If so assume there legal options are non-existent if I comply with law.

    - I use their logo and pictures of the products on our website that we re-sell from.

    - How should I respond to their original email / letter, or should I not respond.

    I'm a small reseller and don't want to get stuck in dispute, but also don't want to be bullied when I am within my rights and operating within the law. Also, should I be highlighting this with any government departments as its essentially a threat and looks like its boarding on market manipulation if I am operating within my rights.

    tate of:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,780

    Default Re: Commercial / Trademark

    Now that you have received a cease and desist letter you have two choices:

    1 - Cease and desist whatever you are doing that they don't want you to.

    2 - Continue to do what you are doing and risk a trademark infringement lawsuit which will cost you a ton of money to defend and likely put you into the poorhouse.

    How you respond to the letter is up to you but I suggest you consult an attorney first.

    As for your comment about market manipulation, baloney, it's just a manufacturer rightfully protecting their business. You won't get anywhere whining to government agencies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Engaging in Gray Market Sales of Trademarked Products

    You will need to address your question to a lawyer who is familiar with the laws of the E.U. and your undisclosed nation. This is a U.S. board, and you aren't in the U.S.

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