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Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3424
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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I have a case where i started importing a product ....we had

Customer Question

I have a case where i started importing a product for resell ....we had a company reach out to us saying that we are infringing on there design ... not a patent we asked for a registration number and they kept giving us the run around, so i just told them
ok we will stop selling but we kept selling since they couldnt provide us with proof that its there design .... fast forward a month later they found out were selling it again ... they emailed us saying thought you were going to stop if you have a problem
we can get our lawyer to send a cease and desist letter ... what do you think?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

well it does not sound like a legitimate patent issue since they have given you no patent number and by avoiding the question and not referring to other rights they do not seem to have legitimate rights

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this is what i emailed her last monthHi Christy,
"saying you're the owner doesn't make it so.
I am not trying to find a roundabout to infringe on your copyrights. We are fully aware that creation means copyright, but registration means you can actually vindicate that copyright but I want to verify that it is truly yours, ***** ***** why I’m asking for the registration numbers (this way I can independently verify with the US Copyright Office these copyrights).
Here is the law for you to verify:
In any action under this title, other than an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author under section 106A (a), an action for infringement of the copyright of a work that has been preregistered under section 408 (f) before the commencement of the infringement and that has an effective date of registration not later than the earlier of 3 months after the first publication of the work or 1 month after the copyright owner has learned of the infringement, or an action instituted under section 411 (c), no award of statutory damages or of attorney’s fees, as provided by sections 504 and 505, shall be made for—
(1) any infringement of copyright in an unpublished work commenced before the effective date of its registration; or
(2) any infringement of copyright commenced after first publication of the work and before the effective date of its registration, unless such registration is made within three months after the first publication of the work."
17 USC section 411 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/411) which bars most civil actions unless registered.
Please let me know so we can both close this case….
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this was her replyMaking a claim to violation of Intellectual Property rights is a very serious matter. You have taken our property and that hands down is a violation no questions asked. You have and are using pictures and verbiage that is ours and we have records and proof of its creation. I am well aware of everything legal you have posted here. As I mentioned we have consulted with our legal team and know what our rights are on the matter. We have documents and files dated back for the creation of this product, its manufacturing, the pictures....everything to claim our ownership.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that's when i just changed the topic made believe that I was interested in purchasing from her products than just stopped answering her
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i dont think its a patent issue ... its a jewelry style you cant patent that correct?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

you can't patent a jewelery design...it could be protected by copyright/TM but that is not easy to do

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you were in my shoes what do you recomend i do?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

for copyright protection, the work must be original & creative AND you must be actually copying it (as opposed to independent creation)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
should i reply back to her?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

direct use of text and images (photos) is definitely a copyright issue (infringement)....but to file a copyright lawsuit you need to have a registered copyright (although that could be done before filing suit).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we changed the photo so that it's not infringing on hers anymore ... but we used the same description .... which just describes the product, is that an issue? I am not getting a clear answer from you ... what do you recommend i do?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

You should stop using the photos and any text should be altered....direct copying of anything can be considered illegal. Without admitting guilt, you can respond that you have altered the text and are no longer using the photos

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