Can I modify/alter an article of clothing and rebrand? 3 Answers as of September 22, 2017

I source and resell higher end designer and vintage clothing, shoes, handbags, etc. Often times, I run into a really good piece that is in rough shape or simply needs a makeover. Am I able to re-lable those items as my own?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Unless you really change the look of the item, you?ll probably want to keep the original label. Clothing design is not copyrightable (or patentable) in most circumstances but certain looks are closely identified with certain designers which may invoke their rights to publicity and the use of their names. On the other hand, if it's just a commercially made item, you can do whatever you want to with it and rebrand it.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/22/2017
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
Unless the makeover completely transforms the item into something that looks different from the original article, rebranding under your name would constitute reverse trademark infringement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2017
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Generally when you purchase an item from the original manufacturer you have paid for their branding an intellectual property. Because you paid for the rights to the products you can usually "makeover" the product and rebrand. A good example is purchasing a pair of jeans and then ripping the jeans and reselling selling them. You might have trouble if they are a knock-off. You should remove all labeling and not indicate that they were revised or endorsed by the OEM.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2017
Click to View More Answers: