Offering for sale or selling products that infringe on the intellectual property rights of others is strictly prohibited on Wish. This behavior violates Wish’s Merchant Terms of Service and can expose Merchants to legal risks. Owners of intellectual property rights (Plaintiffs) can, and often do, initiate civil lawsuits against Merchants for offering to sell, or actually selling, allegedly infringing products. These lawsuits commonly result in the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or other injunctions.
Important Notes about TROs
Regarding TROs, please note the following:
- A TRO typically requires that some or all of the following actions be taken against a Merchant’s Wish account:
(a) suspend Merchants’ accounts;
(b) disable and remove all of the allegedly infringing products referred to in the TRO; and
(c) withhold monetary disbursals or payments to the Merchant, or take other similar actions related to Merchants’ accounts.
Please note, TROs can affect a Merchant’s entire Wish account, and often is not limited to actions related to the infringing products.
- A Merchant may take certain action when named in a TRO, and failure to do so could impact the Merchant’s business. For example, a court could grant a default judgment against the Merchant; this is a monetary judgment awarded against a Merchant for failure to appear in, or respond to, a TRO. Such default judgments can sometimes result in the award of a greater monetary amount than a settlement the Merchant might reach with the Plaintiff. Moreover, if a default judgment is entered against a Merchant, Wish may be required to:
(a) permanently disable the Merchant’s storefront; and/or
(b) release all funds contained in the Merchant’s Wish accounts to Plaintiffs.
- Although Wish Merchants are named as parties to TROs, Wish is not a named party. Wish therefore cannot provide legal advice to Merchants. The actions Wish may take regarding Merchant accounts are required by the terms of the court-ordered TRO. However, Merchants may choose to challenge the merits of the claims raised by the Plaintiff, which, if successful, could result in a Merchant’s dismissal from the TRO (or possibly lower or no monetary penalties). Merchants might therefore want to seek legal advice from an attorney. Alternatively, Merchants might consider contacting Plaintiff’s named attorney or representative directly.
- Wish will receive confirmation from Plaintiff’s counsel of any TRO settlement, dismissal, default, or other judgment entered by the court. Depending on the terms of any settlement or court order, Wish may then:
(a) disburse monies owed to the Plaintiff by the Merchant;
(b) reimburse the Merchant for any monies withheld, but not disbursed to the Plaintiff, if applicable;
(c) reactivate the Merchant’s storefront and financial accounts;
(d) permanently remove allegedly infringing products; and/or
(e) issue monetary fines against the Merchant for each allegedly infringing product listed on the Merchant’s storefront
- Merchants should carefully review their store’s product listings to ensure each product complies with Wish’s Merchant Terms of Service and applicable laws (including laws regarding the protection of intellectual property rights). Please be sure to review each product listing’s title, description, images, and all other product attributes to ensure that the product offered for sale is compliant with all applicable laws and is accurate, and disable any listings that are not compliant. Merchants can also learn more about determining whether a product infringes on intellectual property here, and can review guidelines on how to create legally compliant listings here.
For merchants who have been named as defendants in lawsuits related to alleged violations of plaintiff brands’ trademarks or copyrights, please note the following:
- You have legal rights to respond to such lawsuits, and an attorney may be able to help defend you. If you fail to defend yourself, the court might order Wish to transfer all funds in your account to the plaintiff brand.
- We suggest that you hire an attorney to help you in this lawsuit. For example, an attorney might help you:
- determine if you are still able to operate your store and make sales that are unrelated to the products listed in the lawsuit and court order.
- try to reach a settlement with the brand so that Wish may then be allowed to transfer future funds to you.
If helpful, please visit this article to see a list of attorneys who have represented other merchants in similar lawsuits in the past.
Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders Page on Merchant Dashboard
Merchants are able to view the details of each legal injunction and/or TRO that their stores receive by visiting the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page via Account > Temporary Restraining Order on their Merchant Dashboard. The Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page presents all legal injunctions and/or TROs that the court issued against a merchant’s store, so that merchants may be equipped with information to try to resolve each case promptly.
Merchants are able to view the following on this page:
- A list of legal injunctions and/or TROs that the store receives
Details of each legal injunction and/or TRO (if unsealed):
The type of court-ordered restrictions that Wish currently applies to merchants’ accounts (note that each injunction/TRO could have one or both types of restrictions applied) - e.g.:
- Suspended Store: store is disabled and merchant account is frozen (i.e., products no longer for sale and no payments disbursed to merchants)
- Payment Freeze: some of the merchant accounts are frozen (i.e., no payments disbursed to merchants)
- The current case status of the legal injunction and/or TRO based on information received by Wish from Plaintiffs’ counsel
- The case number, plaintiff’s name (in the example above, “Musicians, Inc.” is the plaintiff’s name), plaintiff’s legal counsel
- Messages from Wish and/or the court (by clicking “View messages" next to the plaintiff’s name)
- Intellectual property at issue
- Wish merchants’ problematic product listings
- The type of court-ordered restrictions that Wish currently applies to merchants’ accounts (note that each injunction/TRO could have one or both types of restrictions applied) - e.g.:
- Injunction-related resources such as the Temporary Restraining Order FAQ and Intellectual Property Guidelines on Wish Merchants Help Center that help merchants prevent future injunctions and/or TROs.
Note that if certain cases are filed under seal in court, merchants won't be able to see the above details because they cannot be released to merchants yet (the plaintiff's name will also be displayed as "Undisclosed"). These cases under seal will be made visible to merchants as soon as Wish receives instructions from the court and/or the plaintiff's counsel that the case is now public; this will allow Wish then to display them to merchants on the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page. Merchants will receive a notification once the case is unsealed and they are able to view case details.
As stated above, on the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page merchants are able to view the current case status of the legal injunction and/or TRO based on information received by Wish from Plaintiffs’ counsel. Below are the definitions of each case status that merchants might see on the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page and other information as to how restrictions on your account may be affected, if applicable:
- Ongoing: based on Wish's records, the case is still ongoing.
- Settled: based on Wish's records, the merchant and the plaintiff have reached a settlement agreement.
The merchant might not be dismissed from the case, however, because there may be other agreed-upon obligations (e.g., payment to the plaintiff) that will need to occur before the plaintiff officially dismisses the merchant from the case. Hence, injunction restrictions are often not fully lifted until the merchant is officially dismissed by the court.
Dismissed: the merchant is officially dismissed from the case by the court.
This happens in situations such as:
- Plaintiff drops the case against the merchant
- Plaintiff settles with the merchant and the merchant is formally excused
Upon receiving notice of a merchant’s dismissal, Wish confirms the dismissal with the court/plaintiff and releases the restrictions associated with the injunction, usually within 1-2 weeks.
Defaulted: the court granted a default judgment against the merchants because they failed to take action; default judgments can include monetary judgments awarded against a merchant for failure to appear in, or respond to, a TRO. Such default judgments can sometimes result in the award of a greater monetary amount than a settlement the merchant might reach with the plaintiff. If a default judgment is entered against a merchant, Wish may be required to:
- Permanently disable the Merchant’s storefront;
- Release all funds contained in the Merchant’s Wish accounts to Plaintiffs; and/or
- Take any other action as required by court order.
In addition, please note that Wish's actions, such as placing restrictions on a merchant's account, are strictly in accordance with a federal court order.
Aside from presenting details of each legal injunctions and/or TROs, the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page also aims to establish a clear communication channel between Wish merchants affected by legal injunctions and/or TROs, so that Wish merchants will have information that might allow them to resolve such legal cases as quickly as possible.
In particular, merchants may click the “Send update” button to send various types of updates to Wish related to each injunction and/or TRO:
With the “Send update” feature, merchants may promptly communicate with Wish and accomplish the following:
- Send an update to let Wish know that merchants have retained an attorney
- Send an update to let Wish know that merchants’ legal cases have been dismissed or settled (supporting document is required for this type of update)
- Send any other updates pertinent to the legal injunctions and/or TROs received by the merchants’ stores
- Reach out to Wish about questions related to the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page itself
We strongly encourage merchants to carefully review all information on the Legal Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders page, promptly take actions in response, and frequently communicate with Wish for updates.
Should merchants have any questions about the legal proceedings themselves, including how they may impact a party in or not in the United States, we strongly recommend that merchants retain an attorney to help advise them.