TRX Infringement Case – How To Protect Yourself – FBA Empire Weekly #25

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This week we look at a recent court ruling on trademark infringement that could have a huge impact on Amazon FBA businesses. The case was ruled in favor of TRX Suspension Trainers and will affect sellers of private labeled suspension trainers.

More importantly, this case may set a precedent that will impact other niches. Find out how you can protect yourself from a situation like this in this week’s video.

Video transcription: FBA Empire Weekly #25

[00:01]

Hey everyone, Nathan here. Coming back out this week from FBA Empire for another episode of FBA Empire weekly. This week, I really want to talk to you guys about trade mark infringement.

[00:14]

I don’t know if you heard, but this past week TRX Suspension Trainer just won a huge lawsuit and as a result of that lawsuit, they basically claimed the rights to any kind of suspension training systems – suspension trainer. It was a big win for them in the trademark infringement case.

[00:32]

I just want to talk a little bit about what this means for you moving forward and how to protect yourself against trademark infringement. What does this means? So if you own a suspension trainer, if you are selling suspension trainer system on Amazon right now, what does this mean for you? Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of great news for you. To be honest, I really don’t think you are going to have much of a leg to stand on, judging by the looks of this case.

[00:57]

Again, you may want to talk to a patent lawyer or get some legal advice, but from what I could tell, Amazon has been going through and shutting down all the accounts that are selling suspension trainer systems. The ones that are remaining have basically taken out the keywords, basically like suspension training system or suspension trainer and they are calling it something else. But I think it’s just a matter of time before those get removed as well. And I also think those listings realize that it’s just a matter of time before they get removed because their prices have been slashed to basically breakeven. They’re just trying to dump inventory by the looks of it.

[01:33]

So if you are in the market for suspension training system, now it’s probably a good time to  Amazon. You are going to get some good deals on the few remaining ones that are there. But if you are selling them, I am sorry. I don’t know, it probably won’t have much to like to stand on with Amazon. You might well get your products back from them, have them send them out of the warehouse. And from there you can kind of, you can take the risk. Right? If you want to risk trying to sell on eBay or other third-party sites, you can do that. But you need to know that TRX is being fairly aggressive with their legal stance and their legal team. So you may very well end up hearing from TRX themselves, not necessarily from Amazon, but regular lawyers coming at you from TRX. So be careful trying to dump them. Again, you could try at your risk, try selling them on craigslist, just trying to break that even, that breakeven basically. As well, if you have a listing on Amazon suspended, you may want to try. I mean, you could try just changing the words because TRX is a trademark case that basically like suspension trainer, suspension training like those types of keywords. So if you take those out and call it something different, maybe your listing will get approved again and you can start reselling and try to just slash your prices and dump your product like the other listings are currently on Amazon.

[02:48]

Other than that, I  if you want to fight it, get a lawyer, maybe they could help you. But yeah, it’s not looking great for the people who are selling suspended trainers and I know there are a few people that are. But hopefully, you guys can find a way to break even, get your inventory back, sell it on your own, bundle it up with something else and just try to be careful though. Just try to sell it. Try to break even, but watch out because TRX’s legal team has been aggressive. All right.

[03:16]

So how can we prevent this happening in the future? This seems kind of a unique case because there were plenty of people selling suspension trainers on Amazon. It almost looked like it was just a regular type of fitness gear. It is no different from sort of a yoga mat, I mean what you think of a being patent case for a standard yoga mat. So it’s kind of tricky. This one I could see how it got by people and again it took TRX a long time through court battles to win that. So I guess for me when you guys are looking for products, when you are looking to select a new product, what you’re going to want to consider is how new of an idea is this product, if it’s something like a garlic press or trampoline for swimming pool or something random like that, really has no new technology tied to it. The patents probably have expired and you are probably okay. I mean of regular things like that. Now if it’s a garlic press that uses to destroy, then you know what, maybe that technology has been patented and at least don’t go out and try to copy that particular garlic press. So take a look. That’s your first thing and sort of you assess the type of technology, the new inventions be rounded. If it’s that is fairly new to the market and it seems like a bit of an invention, then yeah, you know what, there might be some copyright issues or trademark infringement issues. So you need to consider that.

[04:43]

Next, you’re going to want to look on the US trademark registry. So you can go on to the US trademark registry and just Google that, and you could find if there’s patents or if there is anything pending there. Sort of what issues that you have, if there’s any potential issues with the product idea that you are using. So I’d definitely recommend checking with the trademark registry. Sometimes, it’s a little tricky to use, but overall it’s definitely a first step in the right direction. You also may want just to Google – Google your product and Google to see if there’s any open cases. Find the biggest competitor in that niche, the one who likely launched the product first, like TRX, and see if there is any open legal cases and open trademark infringement battles. And if there is, then you know what, I mean at least that risk into consideration. It doesn’t mean you have to knock it into it, but realize there’s risk that you could have your product listing removed and you could have all your, you know basically your entire brand gone because of trademark infringement issues. All right.

[05:45]
Again, do all the Google research as well. Just see if you can find anything that sort of ties a unique innovation or unique technology to the product that you are looking to sell. If you can’t find anything, and I mean it’s pretty standard, you don’t think there is any issues, you’ll be fine. And like I said, for the most part people are fine. They are not… most of these people are not having trademark issues. This was a big one, but for the most part people are not going through that. You are not going to usually see any sort of trademark infringement come down your way. Again, but use a little bit of due diligence and really try to do some research on this beforehand. Like, I know we always focus on BSR or price point or competition. But at the same time, at this day and age, you really need to focus a little bit of your effort and time on whether there are patents or are somebody else’s, whether they have expired, whether it’s a common product, and really avoid any kind of legal trouble down the road. All right?

[06:39]

So, best of luck to everybody who has a TRX system and they are suspension training system, and is trying to get rid of it. Let me know if you guys need any help with that. I am more than happy to bounce ideas off of you, try to find ways to dump that or at least protect yourself. Like you said you may just have to cut losses to avoid any sort of legal issues. So again you may want to talk to a lawyer, but yes, so good luck with that, and I am here if you guys need any advice, any help as well. Good luck with everything else, everybody.

[07:10]

So we will see you back here next Thursday. Michael will be back with another great video for you guys. So make sure, you just stay tuned for that. All right. Thanks a lot, and yeah, we will see you next Thursday.