Hi @HotHeadstalls and fellow merchants,
I understand that some of you have recently received email notifications from Shopify's Trust and Safety team and have some questions about what this means and the next steps. While I don't work with that team directly and I am not able to confirm what products could be affected by your notices, I can share some general information with you.
Licensed, branded or trademarked products have legal protection to ensure that the unique brand's integrity is maintained. Some examples that we see frequently is products being sold with name brands like Disney, NFL/NHL/MLB etc and luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Dolce and Gabbana. Unless you are a licensed reseller you are generally not allowed to sell products under these brand names. Even second hand, you need a special reseller license usually to do so. To learn more about this, I would recommend reaching out to a local small business legal representative to better understand the laws in your area.
If you continue to sell licensed products on your store without the appropriate license or proof that you are eligible to sell these items then our Trust and Safety team may need to close the account to stop further sales. If you are unsure what products are being targeted you can reply back to the email you received. Keep in mind that our T&S team can take up to 2-3 business days to reply back and that regardless of that, action does need to be taken on those products and the attestation needs to be filled out by the deadline provided.
@Sjstyles - You asked if this was an automated message that gets sent out to all merchants and if this is in relation to Shopify Payments or the Shopify platform itself.
You will only receive this email if the systems we have in place believe that your store is carrying a product that you should not be. Please make sure to reply back to your email and fill out your attestation form!
This message is in relation to both Shopify Payments and the Shopify platform. If you are selling items without the proper license, that could be considered an illegal use of a trademark/copyright which we can't allow on the Shopify platform. Also, certain brand name items can be considered high risk sales and may not be supported with Shopify Payments as well.
Please feel free to ask any other questions you have about this email you received and I will do my best to assist you.
I am wondering how it is illegal to sell branded or trademarks online if I bought it legally and it is authentic goods? what happened to the "First Sale Doctrine" law??
it was clear that you are not required or need a reseller license or permit to resell authentic products you bought legally:
The First Sale Doctrine in Trademark Law
The first sale doctrine allows the resale of items bearing a trademark, such as a logo or brand name, after the trademark owner has sold those items, unless this is likely to confuse or deceive consumers. The U.S. Supreme Court applied the first sale doctrine to trademark law in Prestonettes, Inc. v. Coty, 264 U.S. 359 (1924).
The defendant in Prestonettes bought a product from the plaintiff, packaged it with other ingredients, and sold it to consumers. The packaging for the defendant’s product used the plaintiff’s trademarked name to indicate that the plaintiff’s product was included. The court held that this did not violate the plaintiff’s trademark rights.
As we understand you trying to protect consumers from fake products and protect yourselves from possible law suits from Trademark owners, This is very important topic for lot of stores that got affected by Shopify actions, , but please advise us regarding this matter with much appreciation.