If I buy a product wholesale from a supplier, can I repackage it and still include the supplier’s name on the product?

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If I buy a product wholesale from a supplier, can I repackage it and still include the supplier’s name on the product?

Say my company name is ABC Company. For example, if I buy rice wholesale from XYZ corporation, and then just repackage the bulk rice into smaller bags, can the name of the final product be “XYZ Rice by ABC Company” ?

Asked on December 12, 2013 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can repackage so long as the agreement or terms of sale when you purchased the goods do not state "not for resale" or something similar; if they do, you would be bound by those terms.

However, your proposed naming scheme is problematic, since 1) you would be using the other company's name (which is mostly trademarked or the equivalent) without its permission, potentially violating its intellectual property rights; and 2) you'd be implying a connection (e.g. a licensing or subcontractor relationship) with the other company which does not exist, which is unfair competition. You'd be best off just selling the rise as "XYZ Rice" without naming the original supplier.


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