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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44871
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Good Evening Im hoping you can help, me and my partner run

Customer Question

Good Evening I'm hoping you can help, me and my partner run an online business and we have received an email from another site in the past few days claiming we have stolen some IP on his data and image and text (9 instances). we have looked in to this and it does seem that we may have used an image that they use on there site but as for the text ours is similar but not the same. there are only so many ways you can right up about a product.

This person is putting some pressure on us to pay him and has now stated we only have untill 17:30 tomorrow to pay them or legal action will be taken.

Its seems strange to me that so much pressure is being applied and such a short timeline on them receiving funds.

Regards

Darren
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What would you like to know about this?

JACUSTOMER-ms3m2ybm- : I would like to know where we stand on the question asked. And do you feel we should be paying and if so why is there notice so short.
JACUSTOMER-ms3m2ybm- :

Begin forwarded message:

From: Zak Taylor <[email protected]>
Date: 18 December 2013 20:14:40 GMT
To: Purely Pet Supplies <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Without prejudice save to costs and subject to agreement offer

Dear Lauren,
I acknowledge your recent email.
Please be advised that the "standard rate" for one IP theft is typically £1,000 and this can be substantially more in some situations however I do not think this situation calls for such investigation or action, a court may disagree. You have breached our IP on 9 occasions and I have already taken into consideration the size of your business. I have also taken into consideration your compliance and acceptance of responsibility and do respect that you have removed our IP from your site.
Therefore, instead of requesting a sum of damages in excess of £9,000 we have been quite fair and reasonable in asking for £1,534.05 which includes the man hours taken to investigate your breaches and the time taken to communicate with you. The fact remains you have stolen something that doesn't belong to you and the creator of the original content deserves paying for these services unlawfully rendered to you.
We are contented to receive £1,400 in full and final settlement if said funds are received tomorrow (19/12/13) before close of play (17.30) into our bank account (see our bank details below). We do need you to confirm this in writing and agree not to use our IP in the future without written authorisation.
We would prefer not to, but if you would prefer to attend court, as we have made a "without prejudice save to costs" offer to you, you would likely be ordered to pay our legal fees from this point onwards upon loosing as litigation could have easily been avoided. You will have to settle your own legal bills and the courts time.
I trust you now understand our position and that we're actually being very reasonable given the circumstances. We duly await your response.
Kind regards

Zak Taylor
Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
0800 2289 147
www.chuckit-toys.com
Acc Name: Chuckit UK
Acc No: 00032540
Soirt Code: 11-09-04


Dear Mr Taylor
In response to your email dated 17th December 2013 at 18:10 together with your most recent email dated 18th December 2013 at 13:52, please find below comments on information you have provided in them said emails.
Firstly, I would like to again draw your attention to the fact that Purely Pet Supplies Ltd were not aware of the taking of said IP from Chuckit! Dog Toys UK, and as requested by yourself in your email dated 17th December 2013 at 14:27, the removal of your IP from our website was complete by the end of play that day. This was a deadline expressed in your following email, and as such the deadline provided by yourself was met.
With regards to the final figure you have provided for compensation of these breaches, we can assure you as a new business, Purely Pet Supplies Ltd has not gained significantly from the IP breaches brought to our attention on 17th December, and can confirmed that profit and turnover of Chuckit! toys at www.purelypetsupplies.com on the products in questions does not reach that figure.
Sales history and alike can be provided upon request to confirm the above facts.
I kindly request for you to reconsider your original proposed compensation offer taking into consideration the above information, particularly taking note that your request for the removal of the said IP breaches was complete within the deadline provided on your email dated 17th December 2013 at 14:27.

Kind regards
Lauren Triffitt

<sig.png>


Unit 4, Holly Farm, Thoroton, Nottingham, NG13 9DS
Office: 0115 824 0277
Mobile: 07415 517 246
Write: Purely Pet Supplies Ltd - The White Villa, 1 Boundary Close, Whatton, Nottingham, NG13 9BL
<Twitter:Facebook.png>
This email is confidential and you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use the information it contains unless you are (or are authorised to receive it) the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error please inform us and immediately delete all copies from your system. Whilst it is believed that this email and any attachments are free of any virus or other defect, it is your responsibility to ensure that your computer or IT system are not in any way affected and we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising.

On 18 Dec 2013, at 13:52, Zak Taylor wrote:

Dear Lauren,
We take the theft of our original work (IP) very seriously and would draw to your attention it is protected under UK copyright law. Please note we always pursue for compensation if any part of our website, design whether text or images, are found being used without prior authorisation in writing from ourselves which can often result in court proceedings. Despite our advertising of our works as copyright (at the bottom of each of our web pages) you have neglected to seek authorisation to use our original content (IP) and as such have stolen our IP for your own commercial gain. We now seek payment of damages from you for the financial loss we have incurred as a result of your actions.
I invite you to consider our proposed offer of £1,534.05 on a without prejudice save to costs basis and subject to your agreement. We have taken a purely commercial decision to offer this sum but must advise you that we shall withdraw this offer and claim substantially higher damages should you decline to settle out of court and in a timely manner. We require your acceptance in writing and payment of said figure by 31st December 2013 to avoid court proceedings against you.
Having received guidance we have estimated our short term loss to be £1,534.05 as a direct result of your theft and wrongful commercial use of our IP. This figure includes the man hours required to stop you using our IP. This figure does not include our longer term losses such as future business lost, customers you have gained as a result of you "passing off", investment costs for producing the IP stolen by you nor any current interest owed or due as a result of future losses to our business but we will reconsider these said losses should you decline our offer.
I trust given the facts that there has been nine breaches of our IP on your website (3 more discovered yesterday but since removed by you), that you have admitted liability for these breaches and have now acted to remove the IP breaches that you will consider our offer as fair and reasonable given the circumstances.
On a side note, we are expecting a response from you regarding my email of 17th December 2013 at 18.10 by 17.30 today.
I look forward to your response.
Kind regards
Zak Taylor
Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
0800 2289 147
www.chuckit-toys.com

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Re: IP Breach
Date: 17 December 2013 18:10:01 GMT

Dear Lauren,
I acknowledge receipt of your email confirming the removal of our IP from your business website. I trust any revisions made to these products will not contain any of our IP both images and text.
It is incredibly unlikely a judge will grant your business any leniency for the failure to remove stolen IP because you happen to be busy doing other things. You are a commercial competitor of the owner of the said IP and this situation is quite serious.
The facts of IP theft are simple - when you are aware you have breached someone else's IP you must stop everything to remove it immediately. Failure to do so means you further violate the said entity's IP and will profit from it until the IP is removed. It is not acceptable to delay the remedy due to workload in fact it's more of a reason to fix the issue immediately as you continue to profit during a busy period.
Furthermore, your last email confirms that you have continued to benefit from someone else's IP at the busiest time of year which is completely unacceptable.
We are grateful for your compliance in the removal of our IP from your website but I regret to inform you that we will be seeking damages from you for the several breaches of our IP on your website. I will come back to you once we have received advice.
We are happy for you to take a further working day to confirm if there is anything else on your website that may be our IP and request confirmation of your findings by 5.30pm on 18th December 2013.
Kind regards

Zak Taylor
Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
0800 2289 147
www.chuckit-toys.com


Hi Zak
Unfortunately I do not have the resources to action amendments to these listings with immediate effect, so I have removed these products completely from my website.
As you can understand this is my busiest time of year, and made up of a very small team it is not possible for me to stop everything I am doing in order to make these changes you have advised.
The 'Kick Fetch' was changed immediately as it was clear what the issue was with that one with the image, but I was unable to make any further amendments to the other products in question at that time as I did not have a full understanding of what the issue was.
Now this has been brought to my attention of the exact IP breaches, these amendments will be made in due course and products relisted onwww.purelypetsupplies.com when these issues have been removed.
To confirm, Chuckit! is no longer available to purchase atwww.purelypetsupplies.com until these IP Breach areas have been corrected.
Many thanks

Regards
Lauren Triffitt

<sig.png>


Unit 4, Holly Farm, Thoroton, Nottingham, NG13 9DS
Office: 0115 824 0277
Mobile: 07415 517 246
Write: Purely Pet Supplies Ltd - The White Villa, 1 Boundary Close, Whatton, Nottingham, NG13 9BL
<Twitter:Facebook.png>
This email is confidential and you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use the information it contains unless you are (or are authorised to receive it) the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error please inform us and immediately delete all copies from your system. Whilst it is believed that this email and any attachments are free of any virus or other defect, it is your responsibility to ensure that your computer or IT system are not in any way affected and we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising.

On 17 Dec 2013, at 16:31, Zak Taylor wrote:

Dear Lauren,
Thank you for your understanding and compliance. I also acknowledge your acceptance of responsibility for the breaches of our IP on your website.
We have identified our IP on your site and we have expressly provided details of our IP that must be removed immediately without delay.
Despite your acknowledgment of IP breaches, at present your company is continuing to advertise and profit from IP that is not yours. We observed you were able to edit one of your listings easily enough today (a Kick Fetch image) and it is therefore reasonable to expect you to remove our IP from your site immediately without cause for delay. I must point out at this stage that we have time stamped screenshots of your website pages using our IP.
I request for your confirmation of the removal of our IP from your site before close of play today. We are happy for you to take a further working day to confirm if there is anything else on your website that may be our IP.
Kind regards

Zak Taylor
Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
0800 2289 147
www.chuckit-toys.com


Good afternoon Zak
Thank you for your speedy and descriptive response, it's been really helpful to read through and has enlightened us of problems we were not aware we were involved in.
I will put this as high priority and get the listings in question reworded and examined throughout today and check all other Chuckit listings on our website to ensure there are no further IP Breaches.
Please Accept our apologies for these errors made.

Regards
Lauren Triffitt
<sig.png>

Unit 4, Holly Farm, Thoroton, Nottingham, NG13 9DS
Office: 0115 824 0277
Mobile: 07415 517 246
Write: Purely Pet Supplies Ltd - The White Villa, 1 Boundary Close, Whatton, Nottingham, NG13 9BL
This email (and its attachments) is confidential and you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use the information it contains unless you are (or are authorised to receive it) the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error please inform us and immediately delete all copies from your system. Whilst it is believed that this email and any attachments are free of any virus or other defect, it is your responsibility to ensure that your computer or IT system are not in any way affected and we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising.
Dear Lauren,
Thank you for your kindly email and cooperation in this matter.
Please see the IP breaches below:
(1) Kick Fetch page - I attach the image that is on your website and that is our IP. You do not have authorisation to use this image.
(2) Kick Fetch page - The paragraph "designed with your dog in mind..." is almost a direct copy of our wording with minimal words changed. You have used our IP in the for on the said image for this page and clearly written a very closely matched product description to our own. The opening bullet points are in exactly the same order as our description saying the same thing give or take a word change.
(3) Fetch Balls small + medium pages - Your bullet points contained within the product description are an exact copy of our IP. Both order of points and wording is identical and not written in your company's own words.
(4) Tennis Ball Large page - Your bullet points contained within the product description are an exact copy of our IP. Both order of points and wording is identical and not written in your company's own words until the very end of the bullet points.
(5) Tennis Balls Medium 2 pack page - same as point (4).
(6) Tennis Balls Medium 4 pack page - Same as point (4).
I note you are using a handful of other images that have been sourced from various social networks. We do not own this said IP but instead our clients do. Our clients have provided us authorisation to use their images. I am assuming as you have not requested authorisation for use regarding our IP you have not requested authorisation from the said entities. This could entail a number of claims of IP breach being made against your company.

We take our IP and breaches of it extremely seriously and therefore request the removal of the above said products from your website for review before re-publishing in your own words and using your own images.
Please confirm by return your acknowledgement of this email and your compliance with the removal of our IP from your website. We also require that you inform us of any other breaches of our IP that we may not have have been discovered by ourselves.
Kind regards

Zak Taylor
Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
0800 2289 147
www.chuckit-toys.com
<Kick Fetch.jpg>


Good afternoon Zak
I have been looking into this today and I am struggling to find where these active 'IP Breaches' are present in some of our listings?
If you could please provide more information we would very much appreciate it. All of our product descriptions are personally written, and are not simply copied and pasted from anothers website. If we are doing something wrong we are not aware of, your help would be welcomed.
Thank you

Regards
Lauren Triffitt

<sig.png>


Unit 4, Holly Farm, Thoroton, Nottingham, NG13 9DS
Office: 0115 824 0277
Mobile: 07415 517 246
Write: Purely Pet Supplies Ltd - The White Villa, 1 Boundary Close, Whatton, Nottingham, NG13 9BL
<Twitter:Facebook.png>
This email is confidential and you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other way use the information it contains unless you are (or are authorised to receive it) the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error please inform us and immediately delete all copies from your system. Whilst it is believed that this email and any attachments are free of any virus or other defect, it is your responsibility to ensure that your computer or IT system are not in any way affected and we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising.

On 16 Dec 2013, at 11:06, Zak Taylor wrote:

From: Zak Taylor <[email protected]>
Subject: IP Breach

Message Body:
Dear Sirs,

We trust this message finds your company well.

It has come to our attention that you are using our intellectual property (IP) without permission or authorisation from ourselves. We have identified 6 instances of IP breaches of our original material on your website which I list below:

(1) Chuckit! Kick Fetch images and text description (2)
(2) Chuckit! Fetch Balls (small) text description. (1)
(3) Chuckit! Tennis Ball (large) text description. (1)
(4) Chuckit! Tennis Ball (medium) x4 text description. (1)
(5) Chuckit! Tennis Ball (medium) x2 text description. (1)

We must demand the above IP is removed from your website immediately. I also note you are using images owned by some of our clients that have granted us permission for us to use only.

Please furnish me with any other possible breaches of our IP on your site and in addition please confirm removal of all our IP from your site within 48 hours of this email.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Zak Taylor
CEO Chuckit! Dog Toys UK
www.chuckit-toys.com
0800 2289 147

--
This mail is sent via contact form on Purely Pet Supplieshttp://www.purelypetsupplies.com
JACUSTOMER-ms3m2ybm- :

Full email chain

Ben Jones :

The law does not state how long a party should give another before they start with legal action. Whilst certain guidelines exist that recommend parties try and resolve matters between them and one gives another a reasonable time to act before suing, this is just a guidance and if someone wanted to, they can claim without giving any prior warning at all. It just means that when it gets to court it may look at that party's conduct leading up to the claim and question them why they did not try and resolve this directly with the other party before claiming but that is not a guarantee and left in the hands of the court.

Now when it comes to the fees sought, they mention that the standard rate for an IP infringement is £1,000. That is nonsense and I am not sure what 'standard rate' they are referring to. Each infringement will depend on the specific circumstances and it will mainly be measured by the licence fee the claimant would have normally charged for another to use the specific image. A licence for an image can cost as little as £50-100. The more exclusive the image is the higher the fee may be, for example a recent case considered an image of a celebrity taken and that was more near the £1,000 because it was an exclusive of a famous celebrity and the specific nature of the image and the fact it was an exclusive snap meant they could have charged a lot more than normal to issue a licence for its use. But for example an image of a product for marketing purposes is unlikely to attract such high licence fees so certainly do not just take their word that it is the amount they claim, ask for evidence to back that up.

Ben Jones :

I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:


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