Skip to main content

I am selling jewelry online that I purchased wholesale from overseas. Some of the items might be designers but I am not aware

Los Angeles, CA |

if it has no logo or trademark from a big designer can I sell it.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

This is a very smart question to ask. Especially because it sounds like you're suspicious the jewelry may be reproductions of other's designs.

SOME jewelry may lawfully be sold even if they are reproductions of another's design.

But some cannot because some jewelry is protected by a copyright, some by trade dress law and some by a design patent.

So, unfortunately, just because a piece of jewelry [or its packaging] does not display a "big designer's" logo or trademark does not mean that it can lawfully be imported or sold.

There's no getting around having to speak with your own intellectual property attorney to help you decide if the jewlery you're importing can lawfully be sold. Good luck.

The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

Maybe yes and maybe no. You buy fake ROLEX watches and have the ROLEX and "Perpetual Oyster" or other indicia removed. It is clear they are knockoffs. You wonder if you can sell those. The specific answer if yes, but you might get sued if you do. Your fakes likely violate trade dress. You likely use the brand name in your advertising. If you do either, I would expect ROLEX to sue you. Now, it may not be ROLEX watches you are doing, but you get the drift. What you are doing is really sleazy and either illegal or borderline legal. A judge is likely to order an ex parte seizure of your entire inventory, if the investigators can locate you, and they are very good at doing just that. I think you are lying about not being aware, as otherwise you would not be here asking. Asking shows you are clever and ARE aware and are worried, and you should be. You need to consider a good defense lawyer a cost of doing business in the fake brand name jewelry business and it would be smart of you to get one now so when you get sued, and you will, you have someone ahead of time minimizing the damages and quickly responding. I think you should contact Attorney Michael Doland, as you also have business issues to resolve in order to minimize your liability. I don't know if he accepts counterfeiters as clients. I know I don't and many lawyers won't, also.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

Thanks Bruce and Daniel. Unless you do a lot of work in the jewelry business you probably don't run across the Gold and Silver Labelling Act of 1976 (entered into force 1986).

It requires all gold, silver and platinum jewelry imported into the US to have three (3) marks: a Country of Origin mark; a quality mark, and a US registered trademark. If your jewelry is "precious metal" and does not have those three marks I am surprised it got through Customs, since the US Jewelers Vigilence Committee is very competent and persistent in protecting the rights of its members, who are generally US precious metal jewelry manufacturers and importers.

If it is not "precious metal jewelry" then you have the issues raised by my collagues.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

1 comment

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Thanks Michael. Useful information. My guess is the fakes are also fake gold [polished brass] or fake silver [polished nickel brass], "precious" only to the counterfeiter.