Long story short: There is a possibility that we bought a couple of pallets of product from a US-based distributor that may end up having been produced without the brand owners permission. What should we do?
I received an odd phone call inquiring about the packaging of a product we sell on Walmart Marketplace. I googled the phone number and found it was a law office and after some prodding he informed me that he is the attorney for the brand owner and that they are in legal proceedings with the manufacturer whom they believe is producing unauthorized runs of the product. The attorney informed me they are not interested in my business or my distributor (which is an authorized distributor), just the manufacturer. They want to have a physical example of the product and packaging for their case against the manufacturer.
The attorney never said they were counterfeit, just that they are pursuing proceedings against the manufacturer for allegedly producing them without authorization. I did not receive a C&D or any official requests. I was not told to discontinue selling the product.
So here's my question to anyone that's experienced something similar: What should I do and what should I be prepared for?
Right now, I honestly believe that they are not counterfeit as they came from a respectable authorized distributor and I haven't received anything directly telling me otherwise. But, what are my options if they end up being fakes? Obviously I will discontinue selling them, but can I attempt to recoup costs from the distributor? What would your next steps be?