Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Product Partners' P90X lawsuits

Edit: Someone named Kevin Morgan has posted in the comments for this article that the case is about trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, not copyright infringement.  It appears from going to the links about the cases that it is in fact the Lanham Act which is being cited in these cases.

Many individuals who sell P90X DVDs online through dropshipping are worried about recent lawsuits over the counterfeit material and would like to know more about the subject. This blog entry is written with those people in mind.

For those of you who don't know already, Product Partners, LLC produces some very popular exercise instruction DVDs known as P90X, and it seems that lately these DVDs have become very popular for eBay sellers, webmasters, and others to sell or give away as a promotional item.

The problem for these sellers is that P90X DVDs are usually somewhat pricey, and the incredibly cheap or free copies that independent retailers are selling are turning out to be counterfeit copies which infringe the intellectual property rights that Product Partners holds over the original production of the videos.

This isn't just an empty copyright registration which goes unenforced. This year, Product Partners has been pursuing copyright and trademark infringement claims against numerous offenders. People as low level as eBay dropshippers have been filed against, as well as there being a lawsuit against an entity as large as Costco. There are multiple filings by Product Partners listed at these pages from RFC Express:

Product Partners, LLC v. Linda Brun et al
Product Partners, LLC v. Aaron Watts et al
Product Partners LLC v. Dana Alton et al
Product Partners, LLC v. Evan Leisersohn et al
Product Partners LLC v. Danette Faulkner et al
Product Partners LLC v. Robert Aucoin et al

If you happen to be in the business of selling counterfeit goods in violation of others' intellectual property rights, you ought to stop immediately. These cases prove that copyrights are not just simply empty threats but enforceable property rights, the owners of which can and will aggressively defend.

If you are one of the people unethical enough to steal another's work, stupid enough to violate the copyright or trademark of a resourceful company like Product Partners, and unlucky enough to have been discovered and served by Product Partners' lawyers with a claim or request for payment, my only advice if that you immediately contact a local attorney skilled in intellectual property law and ask that attorney whether you would be wise to simply settle.
I hope this article has been of use to anybody interested in the Product Partners lawsuits. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to leave a comment and submit it to your favorite social bookmarking site. Backlinks to my articles are always appreciated, as well. If you have any questions about cyber law topics, simply post them as a comment and I will do my best to respond.

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