Monday, August 5, 2013

Don't Call That Baby Bodysuit a Onesie - Unless Made by Gerber

Many eBay sellers have reported listing violations and even suspensions because of terminology used to describe this type of legless snap closure bodysuit for babies. Gerber has trademarked the word "onesie" and eBay is removing listings containing the word "onesie" that are not Gerber products. If you are listing this type of baby undergarment, and it is not made by Gerber, you are allowed to use any of the following synonyms:

  • infant bodysuit
  • creeper
  • crawler
  • snapsuit
  • onepiece 
Even though the word "onesie" is a common term for this type of baby wear, it is not allowed on eBay unless the item is made by Gerber. It seems somewhat silly to try and police the use of a word commonly used - such as substituting the word Kleenex for a tissue - but eBay and Gerber are vigilant about this issue.

Here is the official word on the subject by Gerber:

Gerber Childrenswear LLC, located in Greenville, South Carolina, is a leading marketer of infant and toddler apparel and related products, which it offers under several brands, including its licensed Gerber® brand and the Onesies® brand for one-piece underwear. The company distributes to volume retailers, department stores, and specialty retailers.

Gerber has used its Onesies® trademarks since 1982 in connection with infant and children clothing such as bodysuits and undergarments. Gerber is the owner of numerous trademark registrations that utilize the term "ONESIES", both in the United States and worldwide. As an example, Gerber owns U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 1,292,981, 2,549,557, and 3,488,401 for the Onesies® trademark. As a result of its protection, Gerber owns the exclusive right to use the mark Onesies®, and anything confusingly similar, in connection with infant and children clothing.

Gerber is a member of the eBay VeRO Program and reviews items for sale on eBay regularly. Gerber uses eBay's VeRO program to report the listing of any auctions that infringe its trademark rights. Your listing(s) was removed for one of the reasons listed below:

UNLESS the item is a genuine Gerber product, you do not have authorization to use the terms "ONESIES," "ONESIE," "ONSIE," "ONEZIE," "1Z," or anything confusingly similar to describe infant or children clothing. Genuine Gerber garments can be identified by the presence of the Gerber baby head tag in the neck area and a rectangular white tag with the word "onesies" in blue located just above the left leg opening of the garment. If you believe you are selling genuine Gerber products, please contact Gerber to discuss how you may use its trademarks. Otherwise, please revise any future listings to avoid use of the infringing terms. Suggested alternative descriptions include snap-tee, snapsuit, bodysuit, creeper, or one-piece underwear.
Due to the high volume of merchandise for sale on eBay, it is difficult to identify and remove every unauthorized item. The fact that others are selling products that infringe Gerber's trademark rights does not give you the right to do so.

As a seller, you have a responsibility to ensure that your actions do not violate the intellectual property rights of another. Ignorance that it is a violation of any country's trademark, patent or copyright laws is no excuse.

Other news:

The next Amazon Grocery class is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6 at 7 PM.

Watch a video about the class here.

Register for the class here.

Happy Selling!


FlamingoGirl said...

Oh wow ~ I had no idea re: the "Onesie". Thanks so much for this information. I just went and changed 4 of my listings.

FlamingoGirl said...

Oh wow - I had no idea "Onesie" was trademarked. Thanks so much for the information. I just went and changed all 4 of my "onesie" listings. Would hate to get a listing violation or worse yet, suspension due to something like that.

Elizabeth said...

Interesting! If Gerber doesn't take adequate steps to educate people and protect their trademark they can lose it. That is why it is so important for them to make these kinds of stands. (For example, copy something NOT Xerox it, tissue NOT Kleenex, acutal drug name not Tylenol/Benydryl/etc) Things that used to be trademark but have become general meanings include aspirin, zipper, thermos...)