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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I have been selling replacement toothbrush heads on

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have been selling replacement toothbrush heads on eBay, these are generic (unbranded) but compatible with Oral B toothbrush handles. I had listed them as -
**Bargain** 4 x Oral B compatible 'Dual clean' replacement toothbrush heads
This listing was reported by the rights owner and subsequently removed by eBay. Having browsed other sellers selling the exact same toothbrush heads, I then made a slight change to the wording of my listing, removing the word 'Compatible'. My listed thus read -
**Bargain** 4 x replacement toothbrush heads for use with Oral B Dual clean. Again this was reported and removed by eBay.
I am becoming frustrated and would like to continue to sell these products, especially as there are other sellers selling the exact same model. The rights owner has replied very vaguely regarding the breach as follows -
Your eBay listings have been removed as the products you have advertised infringe one or more patent and/or design belonging to our client, the Procter & Gamble Company, Ohio, USA, or one of its affiliates. The specific IP right identified in our original message is granted/registered in the UK, where your products are being offered for sale. Infringement of this right is independent of whether or not the products you are selling are branded. Should you require further information on this, we advise you to seek advice from a patent attorney.
Obviously they are looking at this from a very technical point of view and Im sure I just need to make a couple of changes. But am not sure what they are. Also, most of the main sellers of these replacement heads a re selling from Hong Kong and China and delivering to UK.
Any suggestions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know is it they object to the word Oral B ?
Customer:

Hi

Customer:

Im not sure as they have given me a vague response

Customer:

Sorry a late 'Thank You'!

Alex Watts : Indeed. Where are they based, UK?
Customer:

The rights owner? I believe in UK, but not sure

Customer:

*****@******.***

Alex Watts : have you had a letter from their lawyers?
Customer:

They are working on behalf of Proctor & Gamble, owners of Oral B

Customer:

No, its just the email which I pasted into the question I provided

Customer:

eBay advised me to contact the rights owner by email at the given email address, to which they responded -

Customer:

Your eBay listings have been removed as the products you have advertised infringe one or more patent and/or design belonging to our client, the Procter & Gamble Company, Ohio, USA, or one of its affiliates. The specific IP right identified in our original message is granted/registered in the UK, where your products are being offered for sale. Infringement of this right is independent of whether or not the products you are selling are branded. Should you require further information on this, we advise you to seek advice from a patent attorney.

Alex Watts : Well unless they have jursidiction in the UK and say you are Infringing here I can't see how you have.
Alex Watts : You are not selling their product, just something that can be used with their product.
Alex Watts : That would be for example like apple stopping anyone else selling iPhone compatible chargers. As you know there are lots.
Alex Watts : you should write back and ask for details exactly how you have infringed, the exact details.
Customer:

Exactly but -

Customer:

The specific IP right identified in our original message is granted/registered in the UK, where your products are being offered for sale.

Alex Watts : Ask them also for a UK adreess for service of court proceedings.
Alex Watts : If they don't give you a suitable answer you could issue proceedings by way of an injunction to stop them contacting ebay removing your listing.
Alex Watts : You would need to complete form N1
Customer:

Other sellers are selling the exact same brushes here in the UK and from abroad

Alex Watts : http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf
Alex Watts : And n16a
Alex Watts : http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf
Alex Watts : the court would then list the matter for a hearing and decide whether to grant an injunction stopping them removing ebay listings
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything for you about this?
Customer:

Ok, so first I need to find out how I have infringed, the exact details

Alex Watts : Yes.
Customer:

if other sellers are selling the exact same items, am i correct in assuming this is not a design right violation?

Customer:

but rather a listing policy violation - as mentioned in the eBay violation alert

Alex Watts : yes but they can't get ebay to remove that is its not violating their IP as they all edge
Alex Watts : alledge
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

Yeah, there must be some listing violation in teh first place otherwise eBay would not be removing it

Customer:

Ok

Alex Watts : only if p&g ask them to, but there is no reason.
Alex Watts : see my example re iPhone chargers
Customer:

Yes, I kinda figured that out

Alex Watts : ok
Customer:

but thank you for your response

Alex Watts : Does this answer the question for you today?
Customer:

To an extent yes

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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