Is it legal if I want to start a business, wherein I buy used jeans but then make changes by adding a special artistic touch and then reselling them under my brand name?

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Is it legal if I want to start a business, wherein I buy used jeans but then make changes by adding a special artistic touch and then reselling them under my brand name?

Can I used recyled jeans in my business?

Asked on May 17, 2014 under Business Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the jeans are still identifiable as to their source, then you most likely cannot do this: if they are still identifiable, then "adding a special artistic touch" and reselling them would a violation of one or more of the jeans company's trademark (you are using their trademark or tradename to promote your product) or copyright (modifying their design and redistributing it without permission) and possible also uncomfair competition law (confusing customers as to source or whether there is some relationship between you and the other company). If you are suing "fragments" of jeans or jeans that are so modified (used only as raw materials) that their origin cannot reasonably be determined, you could do this.


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