The first thing you should do is hire an intellectual property attorney who can review the letter you received and facts of the matter in order to best advise you on the next steps to take. It sounds like you are selling very similar goods (ie clothing), and you really should not reveal much more information on a public forum like this. It's not clear if Abercrombie believes you are selling counterfeit clothing or clothing bearing a name or logo that is "confusingly similar" to the Abercrombie name or logo.
The attorney you choose to hire can respond to the letter you receive in any number of ways, depending on the specific facts of your situation.
Hi there- get an attorney. You need to know what they want you to stop. Will need a lot more information.
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Yes, they can - if your clothing is violating their trademarks or copyrights in some way. You should take the letter and samples of the goods you sell to an IP attorney for review.
Without knowing more about the goods you're selling - where they're from, what modifications, if any, you've made, and so on - and what the letter actually wants you to cease and desist doing, I can't even begin to tell you why you might have gotten that letter. My best guess is that you're selling knock-off clothing that infringes their trademark rights - that's a pretty common cause of this sort of behavior from big corporations.
No information you obtain from this answer is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your situation. No attorney-client relationship is formed by my responding to your question.
Everything depends on the facts, none of which you should reveal here lest they be used against you in both civil and criminal cases against you.
You need to supply the letter to a trademark lawyer at once, and be thoroughly interviewed. And for the moment you should in fact cease and desist to keep from running up damages.
Licensed in Maryland with offices in Maryland and Oregon. Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.
There are very particular rules about infringement, and the letter likely alleges your product is the same, or confusingly similar to the A&F brand. Invest in an hour or so of lawyer time to review the letter, interview you about the conduct of your business, and to chart out a response. You must deal with the letter or you may next receive a federal court summons.
We'd need more information and to see the letter to know more. They could be objecting to how your eBay store looks. They could be objecting to some, but not all of the products you are selling, or some of your advertising language. You'll need to consult an attorney right away - you've already attracted their attention, you cannot simply wait and hope the problem goes away on its own, especially if this is your livelihood. It may cost you some money now, but peanuts compared to the cost of being successfully sued by Abercrombie and losing your business.
The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Dan's expertise lies in the electronic entertainment (video game) industry, as well as complex internet law issues, electronic free speech, entertainment law, copyright and trademark law, and computer fraud. He primarily represents game developers and founders of emergent internet technologies.