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montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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I need help i was contact by clement & ho professional

Customer Question

hi. i need help i was contact by clement & ho professional law firm in fullerton ca. for selling otterboxs from ebay. the amount i sold are around 70 pieces. the money total i got from these otterbox are around 1000-1500 which includes fees and shipping. so profit wise its not more then 500 after fess and other expenses .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
Hello, Thanks for your answers.Here is a plan many take that works well.(1) If they are not sure of the authenticity of their goods they stop selling them;(2) If they have significant product remaining they sell them locally (flea market, yard sale, etc.);(3) They do not respond to the letter, especially if they have little or no assets; and(4) If possible, they stop using that e-bay account. The above is risky as they could file a complaint but they have to serve on the defendant (you) if they can find you. Then, even if they find the defendant, if the defendant answers the complaint and denies everything they have to prove everything - which is expensive. The defendant also lets it be known the defendant has no assets and little money. Thus, the law firm would realize they are simply turning a $500 loss into a $50,000 loss. A very dumb business model. The above sequence of events is why it is unlikely the will file a complaint. They might but such seems very unlikely.If you still have questions, please ask.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(1) If they are not sure of the authenticity of their goods they stop selling them;
i purchased them in flee market. the guy sold me the stuff and offer a price which i took. i did not ask if there were real or fake case. they look identical to me, i have seen such items in walmart, bestbuy.(2) If they have significant product remaining they sell them locally (flea market, yard sale, etc.);
after i was contact by ebay that what i was selling was fake. ebay took off my listing and i stop. ebay also close my account.(3) They do not respond to the letter, especially if they have little or no assets; and
my assets, i have few hundred to a thousand in my bank. im also co-signer of my fathers house.(4) If possible, they stop using that e-bay account.
ebay has suspended my ebay account with vero listing.i have more question. i use my girlfriends ebay account to sell. because she was a new ebay user with 30+ feedbacks. and i wanted to get her score up by selling it on her account. my personal account which had 700+ feedbacks was also suspended after ebay said we had the same ip and computer we could be the same person. both ebay account are tied to my personal paypal. so when clement & ho send the letter it was address to me and my girlfriend . ( cease and desist ) i have no later then may/15 to respond. please help
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
They typically ask for something crazy like $15,000 to settle. I can take a look at your specific facts but not on this forum as it is not confidential. I will send you a "offer for additional services" then we can have confidential communications.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hello. i have been reading some of the other post in justanwser.com most of the people here are advising to ignore the letter these company send out. i am in no where to pay any money. the money i mad in profit like i said prior are close to 300-500 maximum. i like to know what would happen if i ignore the letter?
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
(1) Most likely: They will send a few more nasty letters and then go away.
(2) Possible: They (the law firm) file a complaint and serve you with such compliant. Then you would need to file an answer. I can help you with that issue if it comes up.
If they get a judgment against you they will try to collect on such judgment. If they can't find you they cannot collect. IF they find you and you have no assets, they cannot collect. After 10 years the judgment goes away (unless they renew which they almost never do). So, in the end they will have spent 1000s of dollars to try to collect $500 in loss thereby turning a $500 loss into thousands.
Again, the above is why it is unlikely they will file a complaint. Possible but not likely.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hello. are clement & ho most likely to file against meand my girlfriend as we have sold no more then 70 and range 1000-1500 in sales. do they have such info from ebay and paypal?let me explain. my girlfriend has nothing to do with this. i was on the computer 100% of the time and she did not even know what i was selling. i told her i can bring her points up by selling some on her account. i had no idea these are fake otterbox
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
I would expect the law firm has all the information e-bay has as e-bay surely gave them that information. I do not know about paypal.
They may send letters to your girlfriend but in the end they will unlikely be able to recover anything from her via a court order.
That said, such information does not change my previous statements.
You have three choices:
(1) you pay what they are asking;
(2) you negotiate with then to try an pay a lower amount; and
(3) you ignore them and risk them filing a suit and serving a complaint on you.
If receiving a complaint will cause you to freak out and pay best you try to settle with them now. If you own a lot of personal assets then settling now is the lowest risk but likely the more costly path.
If you are a risk taker (and the risk is likely low) ignore them and see if they will file a complaint. This is a particularly good option if you do not have assets for them to collect on to pay off a judgment.
If you have more questions just ask.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This reason is that. They claim in letter they have purchased the item from my ebay store and checked out to be counterfeit. They have evidence on me. I have no money but a few hundred in my bank account. I may choose to ignore as I have no choice . What is recommend I do? I have no assets
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
I cannot give you a direct recommendation.
The best I can do is say that if I were in your stated position (with little assets) I would ignore the current letter and all letters that come after the current letter. If they filed a complaint I would respond and cost them as much money as I could. If they get a judgment, I would file for bankruptcy (assuming the judgment amount was enough to justify bankruptcy) or just ignore their attempts to collect on the judgment and try to make their collection efforts cost them even more so that at the end of the day they will have turned a $500 loss into $20,000 Plus.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the part I don't understand . How do I let them know in a smart way that I'm an individual with little to no assets . Going to court with me will cost them more money they can recover. Of course they will not believe me if I just tell them
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
YOU STATED
"Of course they will not believe me if I just tell them"
COMMENT
Such may very well be true.
That said, as noted above, you only have three options each option having some room for variation:
(1) you pay what they are asking;
If they are asking for a reasonable amount, and you are very confident the items you sold are counterfeit, then your actions did cause them a loss. What would you do if you owned PRODUCT-X and invested huge amounts of money to develop and market Product-X and people started selling Chinese knock-offs at half your sales price? You would do what OtterBox is doing. Apparently OtterBox is getting hammered by counterfeit goods from China being sold on ebay.
In my opinion, the honorable thing to do (if one knows for sure one has caused damage) is pay for the damage one causes. Sometimes the honorable thing to do is also the best legal strategy as well.
And you generate good Karma. I am a big believer in "Karma", "You reap what you sow", "What goes around comes around" (name your metaphor). I get to see lots of people when they are having "issues" and what I notice from their stories is that it was just a matter of time until their actions caused a problems. Restated, their actions had bad Karma.
That said, IF you are not sure the items you sold are counterfeit, then such is different in my mind. I say skip to (2) below.
(2) you negotiate with then to try an pay a lower amount; and
If you are not sure the items you sold are counterfeit, regardless of their evaluation of your products, then I would negotiate for a more reasonable amount. I would tell them you do not believe their evaluation and that you are not going to pay them the full amount they are asking without a judgment. Further, if they do get a judgment and it is too high you will simply file for bankruptcy as you cannot pay them and your other debtors and it is not fair to your other debtors. So you will let the bankruptcy court decide who gets my $500-$1000.
However, just make the issue go away now, I will pay you $100 (or whatever amount you can afford) to resolve the issue now. Tell them $100 (for example) represents %50 of the money you now have in the bank.
(3) you ignore them and risk them filing a suit and serving a complaint on you.
If you are not sure your items were counterfeit, then one legal strategy is to simply ignore them until they go away. Again, if I had no assets and I thought it was more possible than not the goods I sold were authentic and I had only sold 1000 units, then I would
(1) stop selling the suspect goods on eBay;
(2) simply ignore the law firm until they went away or sent me a complaint
(2a) if they sent me a complaint I would answer the complaint and comply with discovery requests [all this costs them money but not so much you];
(3) if they received a judgment I would either file for bankruptcy (to protect all my creditors) or I would ignore their request for payment of the judgment (it disappears from your records after 10 years unless renewed).
If you have significant assets then all the answers above change.
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
If I have answered your questions AND you are satisfied with my answers, please rate the answers.
If have more questions OR you are not satisfied with my answers, please ask more questions and let me know your issues with the previous answers and I will endeavor to provide better answers.
Thank you

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