Do I need to get permission from a manufacturer of a product if I use it as part of the packaging of my own product?

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Do I need to get permission from a manufacturer of a product if I use it as part of the packaging of my own product?

As part of my invention/product, I would like to use a product currently on the market for my packaging. Do I need permission from that manufacturer if I bought the packaging from them?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Business Law, Ohio


William Price / Growthlaw

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can't use another company's trademark or trade dress without their permission, or they could sue you for the full amount of profits you made on your sale(s) that violated same. That said, just shipping people things in USPS, FedEx, or other boxes isn't use of their trademark in a way that isn't already implied -- they hand those boxes out in order for their customers (like you, the shipper) to use them to ship things in their systems. 

So, take a look at the proposed use, and see if it fits within reasonable expectations of you and of consumers. If it is likely to confuse the latter as to whether you are associated with their systems in some way other than as a shipper (or other separate user of the packaging, whatever it may be), then there might be a trademark violation. 

Hope this helps,


Bill Price

William A. Price

Attorney at Law

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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