I make homemade cleaning products and want to sell them. Can I make those products using bought ingredients/products? 6 Answers as of May 18, 2012

I've seen lots of answers on this subject but I need specifics. For example: I make homemade laundry soap using borax, washing soda and bar soap flakes. Do I need to get permission for use from the three companies I buy these ingredients from?

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Ochoa and Associates
Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
This is a complex question to provide specifics for, and really needs to be discussed with an attorney to get more facts and relay the proper answer. Some homemade cleaning products can be protected and sold without concern.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/18/2012
Yang & Wang, P.C.
Yang & Wang, P.C. | Tommy Wang
It depends on how you are using the product. Also, for the companies you listed "borax", "washing soda", and "bar soap flakes" do you know if they are protected by patents? If so, how is your product different from these three products? It's one thing is you are combing these three products together to make your own cleaning solution (in which case if they have patents on these products, they may preclude your product onto the market). However, if you are combing these three products together to say, cure rheumatoid arthritis then you might have a better chance at it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2012
DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
No, you won't need permission. I suspect that there are dozens of home recipes on the internet for home-made detergent using these very basic ingredients.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/17/2012
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
As long as you are not using the manufacturer's name or trademark as part of your advertising or marketing, you should be able to use basic, generic products in your laundry soap without concern. If you are making a large volume of laundry soap and other products, you will most likely be buying in bulk from either the manufacturer or a wholesaler with the understanding by all parties that the materials will be combined and sold as a new product. However, if you are using a well-known product as the basis of your soap and merely adding coloring, scents, etc., you may be violating the manufacturer or owner's intellectual property rights to control the distribution of its product, whether you refer to the product by name or not. Other legal concerns: your recipe cannot duplicate one that is currently patented, copyrighted, or otherwise protected manufactured products intended for human use may be regulated by various federal and state government agencies such as the FDA
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/17/2012
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Probably not but you face many other related intellectual property and regulatory issues. You need to retain counsel. Otherwise you will probably make a financially disastrous mistake.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/16/2012
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    Generally, if you purchase products from the manufacturer you have paid for the intellectual property and can use or combine the items. Combining the items may infringe on a patent that claims the combination. The specific items you identified have been in public domain for many years and the patents have probably long expired.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2012
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