Is it legal to purchase clothing at retail, modify the clothing, and sell the modified product online? 3 Answers as of July 13, 2017

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
It might be okay - but you need to review the following IP issues: Patent - is the clothing protected by an active US Design or Utility Patent ? If yes - you may need a license from the patent owner. The patent exhaustion rule says that the patent owner is fully compensated when the item is sold - and you as the new owner can resell the item in its original condition. Changing the item may be patent infringement. Trademark - the clothing likely has a trademark associated with it - and you cannot use that trademark without a license from the owner. Your best option regarding the trademark is to remove original tags from the modified clothing and not mention the original mark in your advertising. Copyright - the first sale of the item is copyright exhaustion - the owner is fully compensated when the item is sold - and you as the new owner can resell the item in its original condition. Changing the item may be copyright infringement - as only the original creator can make a derivative work.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 7/13/2017
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Generally, if you pay for a product you have paid for the intellectual property and you can modify the purchased clothing. If you modify the clothing to match another line of clothing you may be infringing on another company.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/10/2017
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Pretty much anything you buy legally, you can modify and resell on-line. You might want to avoid anything with a name on it, however, such as designer labels or clothes with a famous person's name on it, since that could raise trademark and the right to exploit one's name issues. Also, removing trademark or copyright notations is illegal.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/10/2017
Click to View More Answers: