How can I resolve a trademark dispute with an e-commerce platform's legal team?

FerryPaws
Tourist
5 0 8

Hi all, 

I am in the midsts of a trademark dispute. We have a trademark application under way and dispute that we have infringed upon a trademark. 
Unfortunately, the person claiming we have infringed upon their trademark has contacted shopify stating that we have infringed upon their trademark. The legal team therefore has terminated our account  without hearing our side of the story, nor have they given us any opportunity to rectify this by changing our name, domain name etc in order that we are not infringing upon the trademark.

Shopifys policy states:

 

When a store receives a notice of trademark infringement, Shopify's Trust and Safety team will email the store owner to let them know what content was taken offline. If you want to dispute the notice, then the email includes a link to a dispute form. You can reply to the email from Shopify’s Trust and Safety team with any questions that you might have.

 

The above was not sent to us, nor have we had the chance to discuss with the legal team anything.
The only contact we have had was an initial email on the 31st January stating there was a complaint of infringement and a takedown notice has been applied.

I subsequently have bee in trying for 8 days to get a response from them, to no avail.

Luckily today, a shopify customer service agent (Nics) was able to persuade the legal team to contact me by email.
They did, however it repeated that ‘multiple’ complaints have been received and that my account will be terminated.

I have had no chance to state my case, or discuss options going forward.

 

Has anyone had similar issues getting answers from the legal team?
Has anyone managed to call/receive a call from the legal team?

Does anyone know if I am able to start a new store or if I am banned forever?

Would buying a new domain on my (soon to be) terminated website solve the issue?

 

Thanks all, look forward to hearing from you.

Replies 21 (21)

Shay
Shopify Staff
2830 442 577

Hi @FerryPaws 

 

Thank you for sharing your experience here. I can recognize that this has not been an easy situation to deal with, and I know that having access to your business restricted on the platform is never a great place to be. 

 

I can't speak directly to the decision of our Legal team in this matter as I don't have insight into your tickets or account to review. I did want to let you know though that our Legal team and our Trust and Safety team will only be able to reply via email. They do not have live chat or phone support available. The reason for this is so that communications regarding these sensitive matters will be accurately recorded and tracked. 

 

Hopefully other merchants who may have been in a similar situation can share some additional insight with you into the outcome. 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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FerryPaws
Tourist
5 0 8
Click to expand...
Click to expand...
 

It is frustrating that no real dialogue has occurred, and the claim that multiple reports have occurred when in fact we have only received one notice of complaint is equally frustrating. 
We are willing to rebrand/rename etc as a solution to keep our existing site but as of yet have had no communication other than ‘your site will be terminated’ which is extremely disappointing.

Raina_Lalchand
Shopify Partner
5 0 7

I am facing exactly the identical situation here. I Have sent 8-9 emails to the Trust tea, BUT THERE IS NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and I received the email again today as though they have never read my emails providing proof that there was NO INFRINGEMENT. How could they just out their customer's store offline based on a third party complaint without hearing out side.

 

SOMEONE PLS HELP AND COMMUNICATE WITH THE TRUST TEAM TO READ MY EMAILS I HAVE BEEN SENDING SINCE 15TH OF FEB.

 

MY TICKET NUMBER IS e3a9e0cd-247b-4139-9ea3-758c584bef14

 

  

Raina_Lalchand
Shopify Partner
5 0 7

Did anything happen after this? Did anyone help? I cant believe how Shopify customers are teated after working with them for so many years with a database of over 3000 products and a busy running store. This is shocking!  

FerryPaws
Tourist
5 0 8

After repeated emails to the legal department, I have still only had two emails from them - the initial one plus another one stating that my store will be terminated. No discussion or acceptance of any evidence provided to them. It has been disappointing to say the least.

We still have no direction regarding our monthly subscription fees being refunded or the domain name being refunded.

JM_Korrupt
Tourist
6 0 6

Same. 

User_AP444
Tourist
4 0 3

You're not alone! I am going through the same situation. I have had very few replies or help from the Shopify Trust and Safety Team. They barely respond and honestly don't seem to care too much about helping period. 

 

I've read on another online forum that Shopify has a bad reputation for pulling the rug out from under businesses without explanation. In their payment terms and agreements, it states something along the lines of they can ban you WITHOUT any notice in the event that they THINK you have violated their terms and agreements. ADDITIONALLY, they can withhold any money remaining in your payouts account for as long as they see fit. If you do use Shopify I recommend turning on DAILY PAYOUTS for your hard-earned sales! If you read the payment terms and agreements, you'll see quickly that you've agreed to allow them to shut your business down at any given moment without explanation.

 

I highly recommend moving your store to another e-commerce platform, and to anyone else reading this if they're thinking about joining Shopify - I highly discourage you. Read all the terms and agreements before you join! 

TheW962
Excursionist
18 0 2

This is happening to me to did anyone find a solution?

Raina_Lalchand
Shopify Partner
5 0 7

There is no solution unfortunately as they are very rigid and unprofessional. I have discontinued working with shopify, They are ridiculous, they have suspended my account for reasons unknown, for some random complaint made by some random person. How can I trust a company like this? I have shifted my platform and would not recommend any business to work with shopify.  

JM_Korrupt
Tourist
6 0 6

Still happening. Saying we’ve somehow violated a trademark related to Netflix. 

And then there’s the fact that Netflix and Shopify have started to do some significant business together:  https://about.netflix.com/en/news/introducing-netflix-shop

 

a clear conflict of interest, which would encourage the assertion of as many infringement accusations as possible, since doing so now supports mutual interest?

JM_Korrupt
Tourist
6 0 6

By the way —even tho the website is suspended, they still made sure to charge us our monthly subscription fee! lol 

eniman
Tourist
3 0 1

I face the same issue, even with proof that I'm allowed to sell my merch and after having sent the documents proving that I hold the licenses to the legal team, I receive no reply at all!

backlashdesigns
Visitor
1 0 0

I am in a similar situation. Was given a 3 day notice to remove or show documentation for copyright. I have done everything they have asked yet they still are shutting my website down. Was told I did not remove all copyright but I am. This is very frustrating as a small business and shopify takes over 24 hours to respond yet only gave me 3 days to resolve this issue

fads
Visitor
1 0 0

I currently have a similar issue, in which my store was terminated, but I have been given 7 days to access the admin page and download any store details. But that is not my area of concern. My area of concern is my balance on Shopify. 3 days before my account got a notice of termination I had my payouts on hold until I provided required documents in which I did. The email I received stated that 'any pending payouts should be transferred to the bank account on file in 2-3 business days.' But my payout is not scheduled. However individual transactions are supposedly pending, but are they pending to my bank account or to Shopify's payment processors? I am seriously worried and scared as to whether or not I am going to receive my outstanding balance. I have contacted Shopify directly as the reply time from Trust and Safety team is slow, and apparently they don't reply once they've sent you an email regarding the closing of your account. Could someone please help?

the-sew-op
Visitor
1 0 0

HI Everyone, Three days ago I received an email stating my account was suspended until I could prove that I am an authorized reseller of a trademark item in my shop.  I have submitted all necessary documents to risk-management and legal but I have not heard back from them.  They did not just take down this item but shut down my online and POS business without warning.  I will issue a claim due to loss revenue but my customers are losing faith in us and that can not be corrected.   Anyone know how to reach them?   My Ticket number is Ticket ID: ea47e9d3-4664-44b9-8a88-74bf20a602b8

juansebastian90
Visitor
1 0 0

Did you receive any response from Shopify Legal? We’re in the same situation and nobody reply due to this matter.

FerryPaws
Tourist
5 0 8
Hi there,
The legal team are only contactable via email and I found them very
difficult to speak to/get answers from. The help desk help as much as they
possibly can but cannot transfer you to the legal department which would
solve so many issues if they could.


broudiloops
Visitor
1 0 0

Hi! We got the same issue for over 10 months now... our admin account is suspended and since then we cant change anything , its reall urgent, we have sent the Legal Team this reply mail to the initial email:

 

 

Hi Shopify Legal Team,

I hope this email finds you well. We appreciate your prompt notification regarding the Trademark Infringement Notice related to our Shopify store, tarcstudios.myshopify.com.

We want to bring to your attention that due to the alleged trademark infringement, our admin account has been suspended since the incident occurred. This suspension has hindered us from making essential changes to our shop for over 10 months, including updating payment methods. As a result, customer payments are currently being directed to a non-existent bank account, causing significant problems for both our customers and our business.

Upon thorough investigation, we have determined that the listed content, which allegedly infringed upon the Complainant’s intellectual property rights, was mistakenly included in our online shop. We want to assure you that these links and products were not intended for the online shop, and we have promptly removed them to rectify the error.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and assure you that we take intellectual property rights seriously. Moving forward, we will be more vigilant in ensuring that only authorized and non-infringing content is featured on our platform.

In addition to addressing the trademark concerns, we urgently request your assistance in reactivating our admin account. This will enable us to make the necessary changes to our shop, including resolving the payment redirection issue. Despite our attempts to resolve this matter through the support ticket (TicketID 43066248), we have not received the necessary assistance. We have been paying for Shopify as a service for the past 10 months without being able to fully utilize it, and the lack of support has exacerbated our challenges.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to a swift resolution to both the trademark concerns and the reactivation of our account.

Best regards.

 

Lemonaid
Visitor
1 0 0

I’m going though something similar I have just got my notice today and replied I’m waiting for the response

 

jorgehp1
Excursionist
53 0 9

Hello, did they reply you? I'm in the same situation, it's been a week since they have terminated my account

FerryPaws
Tourist
5 0 8
Hi there,

Unfortunately it is nigh on impossible to get in touch with the legal team. Every contact we had over the phone with an agent was limited as they couldn’t direct us to them, transfer us to them or give any contact details for them. We had to start again from scratch unfortunately.