I Had My Listing Removed!
I had been listing some items I thought would make nice gifts for Fathers' Day and had included in each listing title the phrase "Ideal Fathers' Day Gift" but when the deadline for posting had passed I ammended the titles and replaced all references to Fathers' Day in the listings with something more relevant.
Two of the items were rather excellent and attractive metal sculptures of custom chopper trikes featuring riders with nifty little horned helmets made by the german company Happy Metal.
Everyone who saw them said the same thing; Hell's Angels and that is what I added to the listing title.
The very next day I received a message from eBay saying;
Listing Removed: Trademark Violation - Unauthorised Item (xxxxxxxxx)
I read on and discovered, much to my surprise, the reason;
"because Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation reported it to us for violating their intellectual property rights. ...
Hells Angels is a registered trademark. Listed item is neither produced or endorsed by the registered owners, infringing upon US Reg. Nos: 1301050,1294568,1136494."
Now I have nothing against Hell's Angels (with or without the apostrophe!) I was a biker for many years, riding my beloved 550cc motorcycle on a daily basis - come rain, shine, snow or ice, I just didn't realise they were a corporation.
Over here in the UK we tend to use the term Hell's Angel to describe a biker of a particular type - I won't go into details, you know what I mean - but in America they are a Corporation, a bone fide business.
Not only is it a Corporation but it is a highly litigious American Corporation who aggressively protect their Registered Trade Mark.
What Can Be Done About This?
Although I consider myself a very honest person who respects other people's property my listing was removed by eBay. They said it had breached their policies and there were:
- No warnings
- No "please amend ASAP"
- No "can we have your comments please"
just deletion, plain and simple, followed by a very matter of fact note telling me it's gone along with my listing fees!
So, what can be done about it?
In short, nothing!
That's right, absolutely nothing!
Your listing has gone, completely, as if it had never existed, you can't even relist it. If you want to try again you have to enter all those lovely details again.
Had they contacted me I would have removed the offending phrase immediately but I was never given a chance.
The reason for that is quite simple, if eBay gave you an opportunity to correct the (alleged) infringement they may not get to keep your listing fees ... And a second lot when you are forced to list the item again.
Doing it their way gives them two bites of that very lucrative cherry!
Even the most honest person can fall foul of eBay's rather draconian policies so be very careful.
Who knows when an everyday word or phrase used freely in casual conversation will result in your lising being deleted, causing you inconvenience and costing you money?Regards