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What is eBay VeRO (Verified Rights Owners Programme)?
- Last update: 23.02.2024
- Published: 08.02.2024
- Read in: 6 min
Intellectual property protection is a very important topic in the e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce industry. Many sellers have encountered offers containing counterfeit versions of their original, manufactured products. Moreover, this practice has become frequent and widespread, prompting marketplace platforms to take action against it.
Previously, in one of our articles, we described the Amazon Brand Registry program, which focuses on sellers with a registered trademark. Similarly, an initiative on the eBay platform is called VeRO — Verified Rights Owner Programme — and this is what we describe in the article below.
From this article, you will learn:
- What is eBay’s VeRO intellectual property protection program?
- Who can benefit from the VeRO program on eBay?
- What can be the reason for a report within eBay’s VeRO?
- How to send a report of intellectual property infringement in eBay’s VeRO?
- What are the consequences for those who break the rules?
- How does eBay’s VeRO serve the e-commerce industry?
VeRO Rules — Who can join the program?
The basis for joining eBay’s VeRO program is intellectual property rights. This means that sellers who want to enroll in the program must have:
- a registered trademark,
- patent rights.
What is eBay's VeRO intellectual property program (eBay’s Intellectual Property Policy)?
eBay’s VeRO was created to allow intellectual property rights owners the opportunity to protect their goods and combat unfair competition.
In this regard, the copyright or other intellectual property right owner, or their authorized representative registered with eBay’s VeRO program, has the ability to monitor and manage the use of their proprietary property. If they believe something constitutes a copyright infringement, they can report such a situation, which may result in the removal of the auction. It should be remembered that it is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the auction does not infringe on the rights of others and complies with eBay’s and VeRO’s regulations (so-called VeRO policies).
Reasons for reports and VeRO policies
There are several causes of intellectual property rights infringement on eBay, including:
This involves improper and/or unauthorized use of someone else’s registered word, name, or symbol.
The sale of counterfeits, fake products, and unauthorized replicas is prohibited on eBay. More information about prohibited products listed on eBay can be found on the marketplace’s website.
Unauthorized use of brand names
Sellers can infringe on intellectual property rights if they unlawfully use brand names in their auctions, which is only allowed for authorized distributors or sellers of items compatible with the brand’s products. However, phrases such as “compatible with” or “fits” must be used in such cases.
Unauthorized use of a logo or creating a logo that resembles the original is also prohibited.
Offers that contain incorrect warranty information, violating trademark regulations, can also be reported. If you want to include a warranty description in your offer, be aware that consumers should qualify for it, and it should not violate general insurance conditions.
eBay’s VeRO also includes protection of design rights, however, only in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. It refers to the external appearance of a product or its part, resulting from the contour, colors, shapes, textures, or materials used in their production. It is worth noting that design rights do not refer to the functionality of the product.
Patent rights are also protected in the VeRO program. As a result, products that infringe on these protection rights can also be reported.
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How to send a report of intellectual property infringement?
If you are a member of eBay’s VeRO program and want to send a report of intellectual property infringement, you must submit a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI), the form for which is available at this address. Additionally, forms dedicated to Australia, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy are also available.
The completed form should be sent to email@example.com or by fax to (801) 757-9521.
Another way to report intellectual property infringement is to use the DMCA — Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which will be sent to eBay’s dedicated agent. When choosing this form, remember to include in the report information such as:
- identification of the copyrighted work;
- indication of the location on eBay’s site that allows the indicated work to be found;
- address, phone number, and email address of the person reporting the copyright infringement;
- a statement that the intellectual property rights owners did not authorize the sale concerning the reported infringement;
- a statement that the information contained in the report is accurate, and the sender is the copyright owner or has authorization from the copyright owner.
Consequences for violating intellectual property rights
The eBay VeRO program not only helps protect intellectual property rights but also entails consequences for those who violate these rights. Among these, we can distinguish:
- removal of listings — eBay’s administration may immediately remove reported listings if they are deemed to be infringing,
- account restrictions — after reporting infringements, sellers receive warnings and reminders to comply with the regulations. However, if the situation occurs more frequently, their accounts may be restricted, which may involve, for example, limiting the number of listings or banning the sale of a particular category of goods,
- account suspension — if a seller continues to violate the regulations despite warnings, their account can be temporarily suspended or permanently blocked,
- deterioration of reputation — listing offers that infringe on intellectual property rights can result in negative ratings and reviews, which will translate into a bad reputation on the site,
- legal consequences — in particularly severe cases, intellectual property rights owners may hold the infringer legally responsible.
eBay's VeRO in the e-commerce industry
The VeRO program plays a key role in the e-commerce industry when selling on eBay. It provides sellers with tools to protect intellectual property and deters those contemplating abuses with potential consequences.
Moreover, the VeRO program and the provision of this tool to sellers show care for the entrepreneur and the desire to provide them with appropriate protection measures against unfair competition, resulting in a safer trading environment on this platform and greater assurance of purchasing original products.
Furthermore, by implementing the VeRO program, eBay educates those visiting the platform on intellectual property rights.
What is eBay's VeRO? - Summary
The eBay VeRO program is a very important tool in protecting intellectual property rights. It not only helps sellers by offering them a tool to fight unfair competition but also ensures that consumers have greater assurance that they are buying original products.
Therefore, sellers who want to sell through eBay should familiarize themselves with the rules that apply on eBay (so-called eBay policy) and comply with them. Otherwise, they may face penalties, with the most serious being even permanent account blocking.
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