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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I buy plastic bags from a uk manufacturer who sells me them

Customer Question

I buy plastic bags from a uk manufacturer who sells me them unbranded in bulk. They also sell to loads of other reseller like me in the uk.

I repackage the bags in small packs and add my brand logo.

I sell these branded packs through Amazon.

Another seller, who buys from the same supplier, but who obviously does not have my branding on his small packs, is selling the packs on amazon also on y listing that clearly states they are my brand and the image shows my packaging.

My brand logo is NOT yet trademarked.

Do I have any legal rights to this rebranded small pack at present (without the trademark) and if so what action could I take.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.
Alex Watts : Do you have a contract that states copyright is retained please?
JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :


JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

I simply buy these plastic bags in bulk, and break them down and repackage them in a brand that i created but have not yet copyrighted.

Alex Watts : Are you a Limited Co or anything please?
JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

Yes, we are a limited company. The company name is ND Online Retail Ltd, and the brand we have been using is called Octopus Crafts.

Alex Watts : Ok. You can prove you have been using this logo for x period?
Alex Watts : Have you ordered from him to see if you get your logo product?
JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

No, to both.

JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

The scenario is that I am looking to protect a product i am selling on Amazon, so to stop another seller saying they are selling the same item, I want to brand the item with my own designed 'Octopus Crafts' logo. I want to do this from, say, Monday onwards. At the same time i will apply for trademark but this will take 4-6 months to register.

JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

So, to summise...

From Monday i will rebrand my product
From Monday i will update the product image to show my branded product
From Monday, no trademark will be in place, but it will have been applied for

From Monday, my competitor will still sell what he calls the same product from the same Amazon listing, but...
he will not have my branded product, so it will be materially different

Alex Watts : Ok. So he is selling a similar product and you want to stop him, but as yet you have not used your logo?
JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

That is correct.

In Amazon, only 1 listing should exist for each different product, but within that listing various sellers can sell that product - but only if its the same product.

My issue is that if I brand the product, then i am hopeing nobody else can claim to sell the same product, even if they are supplied by the same manufacturer.

JACUSTOMER-2wrxse93- :

Can I claim to have sole rights to my branded product, even though the underlying product (plastic bags) are manufactured by someone else and available to everyone else. And, can i make this claim even if my trademark has not yet been fully registered.

Alex Watts : It's bad news I am afraid - given that you do not own the copyright and he would not be selling your product you can not stop him.
Alex Watts : In reality you want to stop someone competing which you can not do. It would be for the manufacturer to decide who he wants or does not want to supply.
Alex Watts : Further it appears that he would not be selling the products with your logo so there would be no breach of copyright. What you appear to be unhappy about is someone selling the same product - but if this new person does not use your logo you can not stop the,.
Alex Watts : i know this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give, but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything about this for you please. Alex