How can I make that I don’t infringe on a trademark?

I am starting a website that involves reselling brand name items that have gone on clearance or discontinued. The items will be purchased from the actual retail stores. Will I be free from trademark Infringement as long as I have a written statement on my site providing credits to those particular brands, or is it better to reach out to the manufacturer individually to be granted permission?

Asked on November 14, 2014 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is not trademark infringement to re-sell trademarked items as long as it is clear that you are not using the trademarks yourself and are not suggesting or stating a connection with the owners of the trademarks that does not exist. For example, "Sentra" is a trademark of Nissan, but I can sell my Sentra--or buy and sell Sentras generally--so long as I do not suggest that Sentra is *my* trademark in some way.

So long as you do not violate any terms of sale or use applying to those items (think about the "not for resale" terms found often on restaurant packs of ketchyup or other condiments), you should be in legal compliance.

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