What are the laws regarding buying an item, placing that item with other items and then selling the set as one item? 8 Answers as of October 23, 2013

I am wondering what the laws are regarding buying an item, placing that item with other items and then selling the set as one item. For example, say I bought a shirt from a department store, placed it with pants, shoes, jewelry and then sold the entire outfit as one. Is this okay? If not is there a license that allows you to sell goods that you've bought? Thank you.

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
Patent and trademark exhaustion should allow that.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/23/2013
Mohr Intellectual Property Law
Mohr Intellectual Property Law | Joseph Mohr
The business model you have proposed may well not infringe any intellectual property rights. However, you should speak with a patent attorney and a trademark attorney regarding the doctrines of first sale, passing off, and reverse passing off.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/23/2013
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
In general you should be able to do anything with a purchased item including reselling it. However, depending on whether or not the product is covered by patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc., then you must see if the purchase/sale contract retains certain rights for the owner in which case you may not be able to do as you please.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/23/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
The danger you face is that by combining these items into a package, you could be accused of a trademark infringement including reverse passing off. The arrow shirt people might be unhappy if their shirts were sold with wrangler jeans. They might accuse you of brand dilution and tarnishment. You need a license from each trademark owner before combining the goods together in this manner.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/23/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
You are free to create the package you describe as long as you don't state or imply that the individual items came from you. This is essentially what personal shoppers do for a living. For example, you could match a Ralph Loren suit with a Hermes tie but you couldn't sell the outfit under the name Joe X Couture. You'd need to acknowledge the original trademark on each item and you'll need permission from the marks' owners to use the marks publicly. If you are just doing this occasionally and selling the items you personally have bought to someone else, you don't need the companies' permission. But it you're thinking of doing this as a continuing business, you will probably need a license from each company. Plus, purchasing the items retain is going to get pretty expensive.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/23/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    In general, once you purchase an item you can re-package the item with other purchased items. Your original purchase pays for the trademarks or patents from the manufacturer. The only problem occurs when you make a "knock-off" product.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/23/2013
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    When the first sale is made - for example, to you - the owner of IP rights has received his or her payment in full. The IP rights are "exhausted." You, as the new owner, have to right to use the item as you see fit - including packaging it with other items, and selling the combination.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/23/2013
    Mark S. Hubert PC
    Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
    Once you buy something (from an authorized seller) you are free to resell it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/23/2013
Click to View More Answers: