eBay has become renowned for being the go-to place for bargain hunters, however, this, unfortunately, means that it is also the ideal place for criminals to sell their dodgy, IP Infringing products. Unlike many of the other platforms, eBay does not have its own dedicated platform to remove fakes, istead they have what is known as their Verified Rights Owner Programme (VeRO).
eBay Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Programme
Launched in 1998, eBay’s VeRO programme enables Intellectual Property Rights holders to report products and listings that they believe infringe their IP. The programme is open to all IP right owners and reports can be made only by the rights holder themselves, or an authorised representative. To join the programme, rights owners must complete and submit a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) form.
What can I report?
- Counterfeits or copycat products
- Items that clearly infringe your registered IP such as trademarks
- Unauthorised use of your copyright in either the listing or the product page
You can’t report a product if your purpose is to control the price point of an item, for selective distribution, for contractual issues or if your issue is regarding regulatory compliance issues.
So, how do I actually do it?
Once you have sent your initial NOCI you are technically ‘registered’ on the system. From here on you can send your take down requests to the specific email for the territory within which you want to enforce. For example, in the UK you would send your takedown email to firstname.lastname@example.org For the US you would send it to email@example.com For Germany you would send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
In your email, you need to include the following things:
1. Firstly, a description of the infringement that you think has taken place. For example “The seller/s reported here are selling items which are protected in the EU by registered design number: XXXXXX.” You should include as much detail about the specific IP here as you can, we also suggest adding a link to where the official product can be found if possible.
2. Secondly, outline your claim. Make sure you state:
- Intellectual Property Owner – usually the brand that is being infringed
- Your Name and Title
- Your Company
- Your Address
- An email address that eBay will contact you on
- An email address that you are happy to give to the infringing seller
- Your phone number
- Your website
3. Next, you need to tell them the reason code that you think the item infringes. The various codes can be found on your original NOCI form.
4. The Intellectual Property Registration number and the territory within which it is registered, such as EU.
5. The item number(s) of the infringing product(s). This can be found after the item description in the URL and contains 12 numbers. If the same IP is being infringed in the same territory you can submit as many item numbers here as you want.
6. A declaration that you believe that the information provided is correct – you can use the one from your original NOCI.
7. Your signature and the date of submission.
8. Finally, ensure that you provide, as an attachments:
- The Infringed IP
- A certificate of incorporation
This sounds like a lot, I know, but once you’ve done one it gets easier. We recommend saving your initial submission in your emails and using it as a template if you need to make another takedown request.
However, if this does feel overwhelming to you, don’t worry – we can help. Our team of experienced and friendly brand protection experts are on hand to seamlessly defend and protect your brand online. Simply get in touch or request a demo today.
By Rachel Jones