Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law questions? Ask a lawyer

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

We are an online retailer, selling through various

Customer Question
marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay...
We are an online retailer, selling through various marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay, etc, we resell liquidation merchandise, that means we buy lots of varied brands, eventually we are unable to list and sell certain brand items due to Intellectual Property rights, for this cases we need to contact the brand and request authorization to sell these items on the specific marketplace, I need a letter sample of how I can formally contact a brand/company, introducing our business and requesting authorization to resell the overstock items we have for their brand.
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
11/29/2017
IP Lawyer: Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Why are you unable to list and sell due to intellectual property rights? Who told you that?

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Amazon told us that! We sell overstock merchandise from hundreds of different brands, and sometimes Amazon stops us from selling determined brands, and they ask that we provide an authorization from the brand so we can resume our sales for that specific brand online.
IP Lawyer: Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I see. What brands are these?

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Levi's, Coach, Ralph Lauren, etc
IP Lawyer: Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I see. I don't actually handle drafting matters, but rather I answer questions. I had thought you had a question on intellectual property and legality of this, but I see that you're asking about the drafting of a letter. As this is more of a drafting question rather than legality of reselling, I will opt out and allow another expert to assist you further.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
IP Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,963
Experience: Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
Verified

Thank you for your question.

I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, but state law does forbid any attorney on this site from engaging in representation, so you would need to engage a local attorney to represent you and write the letter for you. If you merely would like the theory on which you would write your letter to Amazon yourself to inform them of your right to resell without permission from each company, we can provide that to you.

Let us know.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I just want a letter sample that I would write to the brand myself, introducing my company and requesting that they authorize us to resell the items we hold in our inventory.
IP Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Legally you do not need such authorization. Let me explain.

Under trademark law there is something called "the first sale doctrine," which cuts off a trademark owner’s rights after its product is first sold. Therefore, once a brand owner releases its good into the marketplace, its right to control the distribution of the good is exhausted. The resale of genuine trademarked goods, even if not authorized, does not constitute trademark infringement and does not require permission. Resellers can advertise they’re selling new, used, or reconditioned goods bearing the trademark as long as they do not say they are authorized sellers for the brand and no permission from the brand company is required.

The case is Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. eBay Inc.,***** 647 (2010) where the Supreme Court held that if someone legally buys legitimate brand merchandise, they have a right to resell that merchandise in its original condition (new, used) without permission or authorization from the brand owner and in order to stop resale the brand owner must prove the items are counterfeit items.

Again, I cannot write the letter for you, but you should have the information above to craft your own letter and I would be glad to review the letter you write if you would like in order to stay within the laws and rules we need to operate under.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Can you indicate another professional who could elaborate the letter for me, I don't need representation, I just need a letter elaborated in a formal way.
IP Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

You misunderstood completely I am afraid. None of the attorneys on this site can engage in representation. Writing a letter for customers constitutes representation under state laws, which is why none of the attorneys on this site can do so without violating state laws.

What you have been provided, if you simply read it, can easily be formatted by YOU into your letter that you are seeking, it is just simply no expert here can actually write the letter for you. If you want that, then you would need to go to a local attorney and pay their regular office fees for them to represent you and write the letter. Letter writing is indeed considered representation, which many customers misunderstand. I do apologize for any such misunderstanding.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I'm sorry not being very clear on my request! I don't want to clash against the brand by telling them my rights or so, all I need is the help to elaborate a letter asking for their authorization to resell some of their products.I'll explain again: I buy apparel lots from a liquidation company that sells overstock inventory, the lots come with different brands, and some of the items when I try to list them on Amazon to resell them, I'm informed by Amazon that I need to request the brand authorization to resell the items.Therefore all I need is the help to elaborate a letter to send to the brand in question, something similar to:"Dear Brand Owner,
We are an online retail company, operating in this market for the last 7yrs, upon attempting to list items related to this brand on Amazon, we have been asked to contact you and request authorization to resell your products.
We source your products with liquidation companies that sell overstock merchandise, and we'll be more than happy to provide any further information if needed."So basically, that's what I need to write, however, in a formal way, better elaborated, because I know I'm dealing with "big fish" therefore they would ignore my request if not being made in a professional way.Can you still not help?
IP Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

What I am telling you is legally you DO NOT NEED BRAND AUTHORIZATION to resell them under the law. Amazon is wrong about what you are being told.

However, if you want a letter written to the brand manufacturers seeking permission, which is not usually granted easily by these manufacturers, again, letter writing is considered legal representation so we cannot actually write the letter for you.

All you have to do if you do not want to clash with the brand manufacturer is you write them stating that you have purchased overstock lots of inventory of their brand and you are asking their authorization to sell the overstock lots you have purchased. It is not a long or complex letter, but from experience, in most cases the brand manufacturer will simply not reply or will deny the request (even though they have no legal right to deny you, because they lost their right after the first sale as explained above).

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an ip lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,963
125,963 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law

Law Educator, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Lawyer

18,161 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

561 satisfied customers

I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.

Thomas Swartz

Thomas Swartz

Lawyer

466 satisfied customers

Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

461 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney in private practice.

Wilton A. Person

Wilton A. Person

Lawyer

352 satisfied customers

MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law

BartEsq

BartEsq

Researcher

192 satisfied customers

Juris Doctor

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

178 satisfied customers

12+ yrs. of legal experience.

< Previous | Next >

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions
I'm contacting you regarding an intellectual property law
Good morning,I'm contacting you regarding an intellectual property law question which could also effect trademark law. To understand the complete scenario, please let me explain as follows. I have cur… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,452 satisfied customers
I'm currently an Amazon Seller focusing on Retail arbitrage
I'm currently an Amazon Seller focusing on Retail arbitrage - purchasing clearance products from companies like Target, Walmart etc. and reselling them on amazon to make a profit.I've recently receive… read more
Thelawman2
Thelawman2
Doctoral Degree
1,594 satisfied customers
We are a manufacturer of a sell phone case and we sell our
We are a manufacturer of a sell phone case and we sell our brand products on Amazon. We are a registered brand with Amazon and we have not other authorized seller besides ourselves that sells new prod… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
125,963 satisfied customers
I have my own online jewelry store business. Is it illegal
I have my own online jewelry store business. Is it illegal for me to buy jewelry from eBay and resell under my website? I also buy these jewelry pieces at thrift stores, retail stores, etc. Usually eb… read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
18,161 satisfied customers
We are a small seller on Amazon. A majority of what we sell
We are a small seller on Amazon. A majority of what we sell are consumer returns and shelf pulls from major retail stores. We are receiving several threatening emails per week stating that we are viol… read more
alex reese
alex reese
Intellectual Property Attorney
JD
2 satisfied customers
I have a trademark and I sell products on marketplaces directly
I have a trademark and I sell products on marketplaces directly under my own brand. Another seller listed the same item on eBay. I have asked eBay to remove his listing as they were infringing upon th… read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
18,161 satisfied customers
I want to know wheather its legal to sell compatibile repalacment
i want to know wheather its legal to sell compatibile repalacment gel pads for famous Brand selling toning belts Slendertone?… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
125,963 satisfied customers
I sell new products on Amazon.com. I received a letter from
I sell new products on Amazon.com. I received a letter from a cosmetics company telling me I had to stop and referred me to ongoing litigation by them against several other Amazon.com sellers. I buy d… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
138 satisfied customers
Those a copyrighted book listed at Amazon in the same page
Those a copyrighted book listed at Amazon in the same page with the original copyrighted book at a lower price constitute an infringement? Can the impostor book be removed from Amazon. Can it be done … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
18,161 satisfied customers
On this same topic about resale of Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic,
On this same topic about resale of Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, etc... and based on your previous notes, I would assume that it is also legal to resell items purchased at their outlet stores (and re… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,452 satisfied customers
I have made a big mistake I sold knockoff beats on ebay. I
I have made a big mistake I sold knockoff beats on ebay. I seid on the listing that they were not real beats. I thought that as long as I did not try to sell them as real beats and let the buyer know … read more
alex reese
alex reese
Intellectual Property Attorney
JD
2 satisfied customers
hi, I sell wholesale cosmetics to people that sell on amazon
hi, I sell wholesale cosmetics to people that sell on amazon and ebay. I sell brands like estee lauder, clinique , mac etc. Is it possible for estee lauder to sue me for selling their brand at a disco… read more
Kendell Kelly, Esq
Kendell Kelly, Esq
Kendell R Kelly, Esq
Doctoral Degree
601 satisfied customers
I bought like 100 NFL glasses at a hardware store. Would I
I bought like 100 NFL glasses at a hardware store. Would I be able to sell them without having to have a license? thanks… read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
561 satisfied customers
I am a cake designer and have made it very clear on my website
I am a cake designer and have made it very clear on my website and to my customers that I do not reproduce copyrighted/trademarked images, etc. This can be problematic at times to explain my position … read more
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
466 satisfied customers
Retail Commerce/Intellectual Property) I am considering
Retail Commerce/Intellectual Property) I am considering creating and selling unique gift baskets online that will feature favorite brands. For example there may be a Hersheys Chocolate gift basket wit… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor
3,071 satisfied customers
Beachbody P90x I am a online ebay seller of all sorts of
Beachbody P90x I am a online ebay seller of all sorts of things, I found a man selling 8 sets for $35.00 each on EBAY so I bought them and flipped them for about $85.00 each I honestly didnt think twi… read more
MShore Law
MShore Law
Doctoral Degree
1,233 satisfied customers
Hello, we have a business that we sell Bath & Body Works and
Hello, we have a business that we sell Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret products on. We only use those companies name in the title of the item, since it is part of the title. We also clearly id… read more
alex reese
alex reese
Intellectual Property Attorney
JD
2 satisfied customers
Does a trademark owner have the right to request items be taken
Does a trademark owner have the right to request items be taken down from an online marketplace (like eBay) if a seller on the marketplace has posted an item for sale that bears a picture which contai… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
125,963 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x