One of the worst things that can happen to a creative person is finding out that someone else is infringing on your trademark or copyright. After spending countless hours developing a work or branding your business, finding that another has pirated your intellectual property and good will can be disheartening. Preventing online trademark and copyright infringement on eBay is one of the more difficult problems an intellectual property holder can face because infringers will often create new accounts and relist or reuse infringing materials. Thankfully, eBay has finally taken steps in the right direction to stop infringement with its new Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program. The VeRO program is the first step in protecting your intellectual property rights on eBay.
"the best way to remove infringing materials from eBay, or any other site, is to retain a competent intellectual property attorney or law firm that is familiar with this area of the law."
"Sending a trademark cease and desist threat letter without knowledge of the law can jeopardize your rights and harm you in any future infringement suits."
The VeRO program gives participants various benefits. The first of these is an actual, live eBay customer support representative. Program participants also get priority in email responses, information about the infringing users, and updates on the program. To participate in the program, an intellectual property holder must fax a Notice of Infringement form to eBay staff that specifies the infringing material and your rights to your intellectual property. Members can also use eBay’s Favorite Searches feature to look for infringing materials and store names. This system will give intellectual property holders updates every time their trademark or copyrighted material appears on eBay.
Of course, the best way to remove infringing materials from eBay, or any other site, is to retain a competent intellectual property law firm or attorney that is familiar with this area of internet law. Sending a trademark cease and desist threat letter without knowledge of the law can jeopardize your rights and harm you in any future infringement suits. Additionally, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act proscribes penalties for takedown letters that are sent to non-infringers, so it is best to contact an attorney familiar with internet law and can give you a cost benefit analysis of the IP protection options open to you.