Our supplier is selling their trademark. Can the new owner stop us selling our existing stock?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by springchicken, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. springchicken

    springchicken UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    We've been buying trademarked, branded stock from our European distributor for years.
    We have been informed that someone would like to buy the UK trademark for this product. Our supplier is eager to sell and unfortunately, we cannot afford to purchase the trademark, despite being offered to place a bid.
    We have quite a large amount of existing stock. Could any new trademark owner prevent us selling our remaining stock online generally? Could they prevent us selling on eBay and Amazon? Any help would be much appreciated.
     
    Posted: Feb 5, 2018 By: springchicken Member since: Feb 5, 2018
    #1
  2. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,396 Likes: 236
    Check your contract. If the original supplier provided you with that permission then that permission will continue to stand.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #2
  3. springchicken

    springchicken UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    Thank you ver much for your reply Nochexman.
    Unfortunately, we don't have a contract with him, we only have invoices and there is no terms and conditions on them. He tends to email us the payment terms, depending on the amount we order from him.
    I think we just have to appeal to his better nature to send us one. It'll be complicated as he wanted us to bid on the trademark, but we just cannot afford that at the moment :-(
    He is playing hard to get right now. When we asked him how does the sale of the trademark will affect us, can we carry on with the selling the product, he answered it will depend on the contract with the new owner..... it's a gutter, because we invested thousands in the stock...
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: springchicken Member since: Feb 5, 2018
    #3
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 5,182 Likes: 504
    He can agree with the new owner for existing retailers to do whatever.
    He helps define what is in the contract with new owner.
    He can also do a contract with you.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #4
  5. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,396 Likes: 236
    For the stock you already hold it would appear you have a tacit understanding with the supplier for you to sell the goods; so, no issue there.

    Going forward with new stock from a new supplier would be a different matter.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #5
  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 5,182 Likes: 504
    Tacit understanding won't help much if the new owner demands amazon remove this seller who is selling without written permission.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #6
  7. springchicken

    springchicken UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    Thank you very much for your help. I think we have to think hard now how to get out of this situation.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: springchicken Member since: Feb 5, 2018
    #7
  8. LiveNetworks Ltd

    LiveNetworks Ltd UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 124 Likes: 26
    Totally out of my comfort zone, what grounds would a trademark holder have to stop a legitimate retailer selling a product bought wholesale for the purpose of retail sale?

    I'm very aware of grey imports where a brand will restrict the markets available to a retailer to protect each market but without any prior restrictions from the wholesale supply chain/trademark holder I would have taken it that they'd struggle to retrospectively withdraw an assumed / implied right?
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: LiveNetworks Ltd Member since: Jan 31, 2018
    #8
  9. springchicken

    springchicken UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    That is what I thought, too. I think we would be ok to sell on our own website as we can prove it at court from our accounts that we paid the authorized distributor for our stock.

    However, most of our sales comes from eBay and Amazon and as Mr D pointed it out, Amazon is very quick to take down your listings.

    Right now a customer accused us to sell fake items because certain range is made of a slightly different material and Amazon just took off our listing and threatening to close the whole shop.
    We sent our invoices to show that we bought it from the authorized distributor, but they told us that the invoices appear to be modified and they stick by their decision. We gave them the contact details of the distributor to confirm we are a genuine wholesaler, but nobody contacted him from Amazon and the removal decision still stands.

    We are dreading the situation when the new trademark owner contacts them that he hasn't authorized us to sell the product.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: springchicken Member since: Feb 5, 2018
    #9