Folksy Ltd

Trademark infringement what to do

(Eileens Craft Studio) #1

if you are taking part in a thread where you help by promoting each other’s items and you find there are Trademark infringement items in the thread.

Do you promote them which could end up with you getting into trouble with the Trademark owner

Do you just not promote that item and ignore

Do you let the person know via a private message why you can’t promote their item.

I never know quite what to do

(Diane Burton) #2

Personally I would just ignore that item unless I knew the person would take a private message as friendly advice, some people don’t care that they’re in the wrong as long as they sell their stuff and might be nasty about it (and annoyingly trademarked characters sell big time even if they’re not official products) If it happens repeatedly then maybe just place a link on the thread to one of the many articles about copyright/trademark infringement with a message along the lines of ‘I’ve just been sent this link and thought I’d share so no-one gets caught out by mistake’

(Sasha Garrett) #3

On a similar vein there are a lot of ‘slogan’ or ‘quotes’ items around at the moment - what do you do if you don’t agree with the sentiment of the slogan? In both cases I’d drop them a private message and say that you aren’t happy promoting their item because of … If it turns out that they have permission to use the trademark (long shot I know) you can then promote that item or they might have an alternative item you could promote instead that you have no issues with.

(Roz) #4

Surely its not up to you to check that a maker is working according to trademark law before you like an item. I know there are a lot on here and other selling platforms that do infringe copyright but do you really have to research every item you like to check? Is the same true of items not meeting CE standards?

(Leanne Woods) #5

Personally I would just skip it, precious few get to plead Iignorance and are fully aware that they’re merrily dragging themselves along on someone else’s coattails … they don’t need me behind them giving them a push too:)

(Liz Clark) #6

Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable promoting anyone’s items that I felt infringes copyright/trademark (or hasn’t been CE tested). If people have permission copyright/trademark wise I think this should be declared on the listing, same with CE marking.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #7

If you promote a Trademark infringement item on any social media site and the Trademark owner comes across it they will slap you with a Cease and Desist letter and if you get too many the social media site can limit your account. It happens to people using pinterst a lot and I don’t want to end up having my pinterst account suspended. :frowning:
So yes you do have to be very careful.

(Leslie Morton) #8

This is my personal bugbear. I sometimes feel like I am on a one woman campaign against IP theft. That is what it is; theft of other’s property and I would not hesitate to report to the mark holders anyone I found infringing someone else’s trademark or copyright.

I have to say that I am surprised at the number of comments that basically say live and let live. I will not apologise for not wishing to be on a platform where there are people committing an illegal act.

I would definitely send them an email explaining that I wouldn’t be promoting their shop for this reason. If they send me back a nasty email - so what? I am not concerned that they do not like what I have said. It is definitely my problem too and don’t want to be associated with thieves. It cheapens all of the other shops.

I have spent my working life defending the rights of others and I am certainly not going to stop that now.

I should add that I do not search this site or any other to find those who used protected items… However, if I see them in my meandering around Folksy or they post in the fora and I see the post, I will report.

(Ronald Koorm) #9

I think that if you knowingly promote an item which infringes trademarks or copyright then you might be vulnerable in law.

The originator of the dodgy design, using someone else’s copyright without licence, or unauthorised use of trademarks or infringing trademarks is the prime culprit, and as such is subject to legal action directly by the trademark holder/copyright holder and their lawyers.

I am not a lawyer, but from my experience so much law is about ‘…knowingly…’ acting in a certain way. A customer buying an item at a craft fair or in a shop where there is an infringement seems, in my opinion, to be protected from action assuming it is for their personal use, or to give as a gift to someone.

However, even the suspect goods, bought by a member of the public, could be confiscated and destroyed if the originator of the design or trademark wished to go down that route, and had proper evidence.

However, a trader or dealer buying such items , particularly in bulk exposes themselves in law, I believe, as not only will those goods en masse be confiscated and destroyed if found out, but they could be done with heavy fines by trading standards, and the original designer too, through the courts.

Just as in pollution law, the polluter pays…, the trademark holder or Trading standards will want to go for the source of the infringement first, then after the dealers who try making money out of the sale of goods. But we have to put this into context, and a lot depends upon the profile of the item or goods, and the scale of the infringement.

It is almost impossible for designers to completely control this, and many top designers employ lawyers / investigators to search the shops and the web constantly for infringements. The smaller designer cannot afford to, or hasn’t got the time.

(Lizzie Gillum, Bedfordshire, Uk ) #10

As far as CE testing goes, the seller should display their CE Certificate on their product listing.

(Liz Clark) #11

From my own experience of CE testing, you don’t get a certificate as such from self certifying your own product. What you should have is a technical file showing what tests you have carried out, but you should have certificates of the component parts (i.e. fabric, stuffing) in that technical file.

(ElizabethanRuby) #12

This seems to be a universal problem, Folksy appears to have less of it happening at the moment than other hand-made only website’s that I’ve looked at.

(Jan Ryan) #13

Personally I wouldn’t ‘promote’ a shop that sold what I believed to be copyright items but I wouldn’t email them either.