Amazon Law Q&A (CJ Rosenbaum 3 of 3)
British Amazon Seller · 30 minutes ·

Amazon Law Q&A (CJ Rosenbaum 3 of 3)

Today we have CJ Rosenbaum with us to do answer some listen submitted answers. I recently sent out a newsletter requesting the listeners to submit their Amazon questions. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don't miss the next opportunity.

If you are interested in meeting CJ Rosenbaum and asking him some questions in person or simply enjoying a pint with him, he will be in London from 31 March to April 2. Sign up below so you can get the details.

It’s rare that you can ask a lawyer questions for free so let’s get started.
Q&A with Amazon Sellers Lawyer, CJ Rosenbaum
Clothing and Jewelry Copyrights
I keep hearing about so-called “generic designs” of clothes and jewelry. I keep hearing about it, but after researching into it, I seem to find this doesn’t exist. For example, at some point in time a piece of jewelry must have been designed by somebody. Are they given to the public like open-sourced software? Is there a database where I can check jewelry copyrights?

You can absolutely do a search. You can try it yourself. CJ isn’t familiar with the UK system, but in the US you can go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and they have kind of an archaic search engine, that you can use to try and find patented products when it comes to anything at all. If you’re not real skilled and you don’t have a lot of patience, you can hire someone to do a search.

Many designs are going to have been filed for protection and many will not. It could also be that you start selling a product that someone has already been selling for a number of years and since the US is a first to use rather than a first to file country, you may still have some problems.

On the other hand, it doesn’t mean you don’t want to get into that product. It’s all risk vs reward. If you think you can make a couple of hundred thousand of pounds in a short amount of time, with a fairly insignificant risk, it might be a good business decision to do that. Other people may avoid taking that risk. It’s a product-by-product and profit-by-profit analysis as to what you’re comfortable doing in terms of taking a risk with a certain product.

There’s one sort of follow-up part to this question, it says, does design copyrights just run out? And do factories in China just turn out thousands of replicas? Does it work that way?

There are certain IP rights that expire, they become part of the public domain. It really depends on how they’re filed. There are certain designs that are used that have what’s called trade dress, and that does not expire. In generalities, it can't be answered. You need to look at the product, look at the investment, and if it costs $300-$500 to get an opinion on that particular product, you decide as a business person whether it’s worthwhile to pay that. Or just make your savvy at checking the listings and seeing what the risks are.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about attorney’s fees. You can get good protection and a great amount of information, for a relatively small amount of money in most of the issues Amazon sellers face. It doesn’t hurt to call, they don’t charge to talk to you. You can find out and make the decision yourself. CJ tries to provide every client with a flat fee you know exactly what you’re going to pay and what you’re getting. That way you can make an informed business decision.
Who is legally responsible, in the worst case scenario, someone dies from using my private-label product?

As a trial lawyer, CJ Rosenbaum had a ton of trials and employee cases for many years. Responsible or not, if someone gets seriously hurt and you touched that product, you’re going to get sued. If someone gets hurt or dies and they have enough money that it’s worthwhile to the lawyer, you’re going to be part of the defendants. If you designed it, if you manufactured it, if you’re the middleman, you’re going to have some responsibility. Even if someone isn’t terribly hurt,

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