5 min article

Intellectual property and the VeRO program

We take protecting intellectual property rights, and maintaining a safe environment for our buyers and sellers, very seriously. As such, certain types of items, such as bootleg recordings, are not allowed on eBay, and others, such as celebrity autographs, have a range of restrictions around how they can be sold.

To provide further support in this area, our Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program offers intellectual property owners a way to report listings that they believe infringe on their rights.

Please see our full guidelines below for more details on the VeRO program, and the rules we have in place to help protect intellectual property rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I list with a disclaimer that I don't know if some of my items are authentic?

No, replicas, counterfeit items and unauthorized copies are not allowed, even with a disclaimer. You're responsible for the authenticity of the items you list so you should contact the manufacturer to check your items' authenticity. 

Someone's using the descriptions from my listings word for word. What can I do to stop them?

As the intellectual property owner, you can report the infringement. Complete a Notice of Claimed Infringement - opens in new window or tab and send it to us - we'll investigate and remove listings that are in violation of our policy.

What is copyright, and how do I know if I am violating someone's rights?

Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship, such as books, music, videos, photos, paintings, and software. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works, and the work is protected as soon as it's in a tangible form – on paper or on video, for example. The copyright prevents others from using the work without permission.

Under copyright laws, the owner of a particular, authorized copy of a copyrighted work is generally entitled to resell the particular copy they own. For example, if you buy a DVD movie, you're allowed to resell that particular DVD. However, you can't duplicate and sell, or even give away, unauthorized copies of the DVD, unless you're the copyright owner or have permission from the copyright owner to do so.

What is a trademark, and what might be considered trademark infringement?

A trademark is a name or logo used by a company to identify its goods or services. For example, eBay® is the name of our company, and it's also a trademark used on our site and on various eBay products and services. Trademark laws are primarily designed to protect people from confusing one company's goods or services with those of another.

Trademark infringement usually involves using someone's trademark on goods or services in a way that may confuse others about the source or affiliation of those goods or services. For example, if a seller unauthorized by or unaffiliated with Nike® sells sports clothes called "Nikestuff," the seller is probably infringing Nike's trademark.

Learn more about copyright and trademarks from Copyright.gov - opens in new window or tab and the United States Patent and Trademark Office - opens in new window or tab.

Read our full policy

Rules about intellectual property - overview

We're committed to providing a safer place to buy and sell items, as well as protecting intellectual property rights. Using intellectual property, such as copyrighted material and trademarks, in an unlawful way is considered infringement, which is against the law and eBay policies.

Before listing items on eBay, be sure to read and follow our rules below and our Listing policies.

What are the guidelines?

Rules that affect what you can list on eBay

 

Restricted Allowed in some situations

The following items are restricted or prohibited because they may infringe on intellectual property or other proprietary rights of third parties.

 
Not allowed Not allowed

The following items aren't allowed on eBay.

 

Rules that affect how you can list items on eBay

 
Restricted Allowed in some situations
 
Not allowed Not allowed

In a listing or product, eBay members cannot:

  • Encourage or enable others to infringe copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights of third parties.
  • Improperly use eBay intellectual property, including use of the eBay name or logo and linking to the eBay website.
  • Include authenticity disclaimers or deny responsibility for the items offered in their listings.
 

eBay VeRO Program: Reporting violations in listings or products

We created the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program so intellectual property owners could report listings or products that infringe their intellectual property rights. It is in eBay's interest to ensure that infringing items are removed from the site, as they erode the trust of our buyers and good sellers.

Here are some of our basic guidelines on what to do:

If you're an intellectual property rights owner

Only intellectual property rights owners can report eBay listings that infringe their copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights. If you are a rights owner, you can learn more about the VeRO program and file a report from the Reporting intellectual property infringements (VeRO) page - opens in new window or tab.

If you're not the rights owner

Even if you're not the rights owner, you can still help by getting in touch with the owner and encouraging them to contact us.

Some rights owners who participate in the VeRO Program have created a participant page so you can find out more about their products and legal positions. Though not all VeRO participants have a page, those that do can be found at our VeRO participant pages - opens in new window or tab

If your listing or product was removed

If you believe your listing or product was removed in error, learn more about how eBay protects intellectual property (VeRO) - opens in new window or tab.

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