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Topic: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resolution")  (Read 32474 times)
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sweet_avalanche
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007 05:10:20 PM »

Another tactic - you could go on the offensive.   If this letter IS from a legitimate company, you could somehow let it be known far and wide exactly which company it is, and what schmucks they are for picking on the little guy.  I for one would be totally willing to boycott the company, even if it was my beloved Starbucks!!  Companies don't like bad PR.  This could be a huge nightmare for them if it blew up in their face. 

OR...   You could counter with a threat to do so, even if you didn't want to just jump in and do it.  Respond to their letter saying "Fine, you win, I won't sell any more of them.  But if you think you're getting product, or $5000 bucks from me, you're crazy.  And if you don't cease and desist your cease-and-desisting efforts and leave me the hell alone, I'll take it to the internet and you WILL regret it."

Phew.  I feel better now.  :-)  Good luck with this.  I'm mightily pissed on your behalf!

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junquette
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2007 06:06:38 PM »

I think the last post is closer to what I'd be doing. I would be contacting the newspaper and the television news team. There is usually  an advocate on your local news program. There is one here. I'd be showing them this letter and let them run with it. They will verify this letter was indeed written by the company and they will actually try and talk to them to see if this can't be owrked out amicably.

But I do think making it public will make them look really stupid and they wouldn't want the bad press at all. But I personally think this is one option.  It may well be a real letter from a real company but they will not want to look so bad coming after such a small crafter.

If it is indeed a real situation then they should be big enough to stand up and say maybe we were a little heavy with this person and will work it out with you personally and not ask for the money. If you stop 
using thier bottle caps then that should be enough. I would even go as far as spray paint over thier lable or logo whatever right on television. This way there is no way they can indentify thier product.

I on the other hand I would also go on the internet and find all of the bottle cap jewellery or crafts  I can just to show that recycling is important and that one person can do a little to help out the world. I'd even get the recycling groups involved showing how important recycling is to the economy and enviroment.

I guess this is me rambling but even if I am wrong I'd say so but I wouldn't go down quietly.
This is just another option for you. It may be totally way off.  But being a small business just trying to make a dollar using materials that you can pick up on the sidewalk or in any ditch.
Best of luck to you and please keep us posted.

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McJulie-O
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2007 06:30:38 PM »

I think the last post is closer to what I'd be doing. I would be contacting the newspaper and the television news team. There is usually  an advocate on your local news program. There is one here. I'd be showing them this letter and let them run with it. They will verify this letter was indeed written by the company and they will actually try and talk to them to see if this can't be owrked out amicably.

But I do think making it public will make them look really stupid and they wouldn't want the bad press at all. But I personally think this is one option.  It may well be a real letter from a real company but they will not want to look so bad coming after such a small crafter.

If it is indeed a real situation then they should be big enough to stand up and say maybe we were a little heavy with this person and will work it out with you personally and not ask for the money. If you stop 
using thier bottle caps then that should be enough. I would even go as far as spray paint over thier lable or logo whatever right on television. This way there is no way they can indentify thier product.

I on the other hand I would also go on the internet and find all of the bottle cap jewellery or crafts  I can just to show that recycling is important and that one person can do a little to help out the world. I'd even get the recycling groups involved showing how important recycling is to the economy and enviroment.

I guess this is me rambling but even if I am wrong I'd say so but I wouldn't go down quietly.
This is just another option for you. It may be totally way off.  But being a small business just trying to make a dollar using materials that you can pick up on the sidewalk or in any ditch.
Best of luck to you and please keep us posted.



Ditto. Please keep us posted. I can't see that they have a leg to stand on!
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chicago_essie
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2007 06:35:29 PM »

I'm not sure if this was already said, but if they are claiming you are in violation of a patent, make sure you LOOK that patent up.  It maybe in a LOT of legal jargon, but maybe you can get a picture of what they have legal boundary over.{if any}
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red_molly
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007 06:41:17 PM »

I read all the responses, and my cop-per senses are tingling---have your tried contacting the consumer helpline for the product? Businesses typically have a 1-800 number somewhere on the products themselves. Might take a while, but you could get answers from the actualy company.
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gypsysoul3
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2007 06:49:19 PM »

thanks again! you guys have all made me feel much better about this...i do think it's legit....so, we'll have to see what happens!

trust me, i'd really love to just "out" this company...for getting so down on the little guys (as, i'm a little company, i mean, i only even had 2 of these items, and was only selling them for $7, and my company would be lucky if it even made $5,000!!) but at the same time....well, you know how it is, we'll see just how far this goes!

thanks again for all of your support and i will definately be keeping you posted!
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zoster.i
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2007 07:17:09 PM »

you didn't say much about who the letter was from, but the demand for your *customer's* personal information, plus a wad of cash from you makes it seem like a scam to me.

Any time anyone asks me for anyone's personal information, my phishing sense goes crazy!
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agnesdei5
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2007 07:23:17 PM »

Yeah, seriously, what do your customers have anything to do with it?  Personally, I'd be crazy mad if a company gave my information to another person over something like that, I don't think that's right at all.
You'll get through this.
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Bananna_AnnA
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2007 07:26:57 PM »

you didn't say much about who the letter was from, but the demand for your *customer's* personal information, plus a wad of cash from you makes it seem like a scam to me.

Any time anyone asks me for anyone's personal information, my phishing sense goes crazy!

I agree.
And I do think it's really weird that they would buy it from you and THEN go after you.
I hope you find a lawyer or someone to talk to. I've been thinking about starting my own crafting business soon, and I'm a little scared of the legal stuff (especially since bigger companies don't care about going after the "little guy").
Good luck. I'd love to know how it works out.
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MirthFairy
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2007 07:39:55 PM »

Handing the keyboard over to my husband:

I am not a lawyer.  This is not pro bono legal advice. 

This may very well be a scam. If it isn't, it's an incredibly unprofessional letter.  I have actually heard of this scam before.  Seriously - like a previous poster said, verify the existence of this person, this company, and contact the company through other means - verify through other departments in this company that such an office exists; but don't go slagging the company itself until you are absolutely certain that the company in fact is extorting you.

It is entirely possible that the company in question could be attempting to just take money from you because they can.  It is also possible that some jerkwad attorney in the 
company is scamming you and the company.  The scenario that is most likely is that a jerk
-quite possibly even a competitor of yours- has fabricated this information in order to benefit themselves at your expense.

 If the company is large, then it is possible that their attorneys are pursuing copyright infringement - but - you are not selling an inferior or unlicensed product that is meant to ride the coattails of the popularity of the brand.  You are in effect selling trash - nothing wrong with that, as the company has made all the profit it is going to from selling that particular item. I should however tell you that it could be skewed to show that you were using the logo to sell the product.  Your personal viewpoint is not what will fly as evidence in this matter - the fact is that if the logo was visible in the pictures used to sell the item, that may hurt your defense.

In deeper reading of your message, I can safely tell you that, if they contact you again, you may tell them to bugger off, and advise them that ultimately copyright infringements are for a judge to decide.  The following red flags drive me to believe this:
1) Someone supposedly at this company purchased the items.  That's odd - sounds to me like someone is twisting your tail - perhaps they are disappointed with the quality?
2) They asked for the personal information of other purchasers.  Uh-uh. You don't give that to anyone without a subpoena; that is if you want to stay in business long.
3) They asked for $5,000.
That's chump change - hell that's pocket lint to a major manufacturer. But to a web scammer that can be a significant amount.

If it is an attorney, and this person really does represent this company, then I would suggest you raise the kind of Internet and TV hell that other posters suggest. But wait and verify before you do that; otherwise you can set yourself up to look like an idiot.
If it cannot be verified that this person exists through the company or as some others suggested through the legal firm he or she may purport to represent, then you should not contact this person directly.  If you have access to this person's purchasing information and billing and shipping information, I would report this as mail fraud if the letter was received physically and wire fraud if the message was received electronically  - with all available information to your local FBI office, or you can even report it by telephone or on-line.

  Some people are just real bastiches, but from the bottom-line perspective of most big-league businesses,they are not going to waste their time and money on little 'ol you.  I wish you luck, and I strongly advise you to at least let an attorney give you a consultation - bring the pictures of the items and their descriptions that were to be read by the customer, a copy of the letter ( the original should be placed in a secure place where it can lay flat or as it was when it came in the envelope ) and the purchaser's information, as well as anything you may have found out on your own about this company and this person. One consult isn't going to cost you much as much as it would to pay this unknown idiot with a C&D template 5,000 dollars.

  If it is for real, let us know so we can boycott them and spread the word.  Good luck.
And if it is not for real, let us know. So we can spread the word about this scam.
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