Is it legal for a business to advertise and market an offer to give away a product for free that is not available to the public? 2 Answers as of February 16, 2012

Is it legal for a business to advertise and market an offer to give away a specific product for free even though the free specific product is not yet for sale on the open market and has not yet been released for sale to the general public and has no manufacturer date of release to the open public for purchase?

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Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
I'm not sure I understand the question. When you offer the product, it is available to the public, by you. If the product violates one or more valid patents then you could be sued for patent infringement. A patent gives the patent owner the right to prevent others from the making, use or sale. Even if you give the product away there is still the making and using that might violate the patent owners rights. If the product is marked with a logo that is trademarked, or copy written there may be additional violations even if you give the product away.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/16/2012
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
Sure, you can make the offer to give away your own product for free even if it is not yet available for sale, as long as you provide a disclaimer that is specific and that is not misleading. You should be careful of third party trademark rights if you are planning to give away another company's product. Again, a detailed and accurate disclaimer should conspicuously accompany such offers.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/16/2012
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