Who is VantageBP?
Leading brands have appointed VantageBP as their representative for online brand protection. VantageBP monitors listings across various ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, to identify product listings that appear to infringe rights held by those brands. Suspected listings that are flagged are then confirmed by VantageBP personnel before a notice is sent.
Why did I Receive a Notice?
Notices are sent out by VantageBP on the brand's behalf to determine both the authenticity of the merchandise listed for sale as well as the legitimacy of the distribution source. Brands reserve the right to seek confirmation that goods for sale are genuine and uphold the marketplace definition for goods to be listed as "new".
What are Counterfeit Products?
Counterfeit products are products that are created to imitate an authentic product without having been manufactured by that brand. These can also include fake products sold under an owned Trademark that the seller does not have the authority to use.
I am Certain My Product is Genuine. Don't I Have a Right to Sell it?
Many brands will not honor the manufacturer's warranty if their product is sold outside of an authorized source. In these cases, the seller is misrepresenting the product as “new” when in fact, the product is “materially different” because the product you are selling does not include the manufacturer’s warranty as a new product would.
If the product that you are selling is genuine, then you have a right to sell it on any platform, BUT if you are selling outside of authorized distribution channels, then your products are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and thus may not be listed as “new.”
Brands represented by VantageBP distribute their product through a select group of authorized sellers and only provide warranty service for sales by those sellers. Any sale outside of authorized distribution channels voids the warranty. Listing a product without the original warranty as “new” implies that the product is covered by the original warranty and is thus a false designation that violates false advertising and unfair competition laws. U.S. courts have also held that selling a branded product without the original warranty is a material difference and can be a trademark infringement.
Selling platforms are well-aware of this issue. On the Amazon.com website, for example, this is clearly spelled out in that platform’s “condition” listing guidelines, which define “new” as: “Just like it sounds. A brand-new item. Original manufacturer's warranty, if any, still applies, …” Amazon Marketplace Items Condition Guidelines, https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201889720.
Why is Policing Counterfeits so Important?
Brands invest a tremendous amount of resources into building a successful, well-respected brand name. Counterfeits undermine the brand by selling inferior products as well as not upholding expected manufacturer warranties. These material differences negatively affect the brand's reputation, and can oftentimes cause consumers to be wary about purchasing the brand from certain channels due to concerns around authenticity.
What services does VantageBP offer?
Global marketplace monitoring and enforcement for the following:
- Brand Protection: Counterfeit enforcement, Grey Market Defense and Investigation services.
- MAP Monitoring: Price monitoring and violation enforcement across Global websites and marketplaces.
- NFT Infringement: Detect and enforce against unauthorized non-fungible tokens (NFTs).