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

Answers:

William Price / Growthlaw

Answered 9 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


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