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To think you shouldn't be able to copyright nouns - eBay related

(6 Posts)
MoetEtPantsOn Sun 28-Oct-12 01:55:24

I'm selling some baby stuff on eBay at the moment. I've listed some of the stuff via the iPhone app, because it's nice and easy to upload the photos taken on my phone. The only downside is that it automatically capitalises every word in the title. I wouldn't normally write like that in an eBay listing but also couldn't be bothered to change it.

It got to the last day and most items had a bidder. All well and good. One in particular was going off as it was "brand new with tags" from a retailer that sells well on eBay. There were 14 watchers. All very exciting. little things that pass the day, you know Then, two hours before the end, the listing was pulled and I received a snotty and very legalistic email from eBay advising me that I had breached copyright and used a trademarked word in my listing and that it was misleading. I was provided with the email address of the company who had complained and it was suggested that I take a tutorial before selling again.

AIBU to be a bit irritated by all this? I've listed it again without the forbidden word. and they can go jump if they think I'm taking a tutorial But no watchers and no bidders yet.

FWIW the word was "onesie". I live in a country where that's quite common parlance to describe babygros.

NervousAt20 Sun 28-Oct-12 01:59:34

I've only sold on eBay a few times so don't really know the rules and regulations but that sounds pathetic to me

ScarePhyllis Sun 28-Oct-12 02:33:08

Can you list it with 'onesie' all in lowercase letters? The trademark name may only be the capitalised version.

I just had a quick look to see which company has a trademark on the word, and a whole load of pages came up with eBay sellers complaining about this - apparently the company (Gerber) is quite aggressive about pursuing this to stop erosion of the brand name.

The problem may be that the name is trademarked in the US and eBay is in the US, so it probably has to abide by US trademark law and stop any of its users, wherever they are, using the name.

It's really really silly though. You don't see Bayer prosecuting people for selling 'aspirin'. Sometimes you just have to accept that your product's name has become a generic name.

MoetEtPantsOn Sun 28-Oct-12 03:06:06

Thanks for that. I also had a look and you're right, it's not just me. Someone even got de-registered from eBay for doing this. I had a few other listings with that word in it-sometimes upper and sometimes lower case. Annoyingly they didn't get pulled; just the one that was looking quite lucrative!

Perhaps it was because it was new so could be confused with Gerber's products. Personally I've never heard of Gerber. The brand of the item is far more recognisable IMO. So there shouldn't be any confusion.

ScarePhyllis Sun 28-Oct-12 03:47:38

Gerber is very well known in the US for selling baby products - probably the best known seller of baby food. Didn't know they sold babygros though.

It's not worth getting deregistered for it - but it must be annoying as it will be harder for buyers to find it. I would just call it a one-piece babysuit or a babygro.

I always thought onesies was the name for those weird babygros for adults that have just started appearing everywhere.

CadleCrap Sun 28-Oct-12 04:17:45

Gerber is also a very well known brand of knife!

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