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   Selling-on a modified product
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   Author  Topic: Selling-on a modified product  (Read 784 times)
maxb22
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Selling-on a modified product
« on: Sep 6th, 2007, 3:39pm »
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I am considering buying-in an existing product, modifying it and selling it on at a profit.
 
More specifically, I want to buy stove-top coffee makers (such as the Bialetti Moka Express) and use some of the parts to make a new and unique aesthetic design. I then intend to sell the new design at a profit.
 
My intention is not to try and piggy-back on a brand or iconic product and I will remove any references to the original brand.
 
Do I need permission from the original manufacturers to do this or do I have the right to modify and sell a product that I buy?
 
Any comments or advice welcome.
 
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MattB
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  mbycer   MBycer
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Re: Selling-on a modified product
« Reply #1 on: Sep 6th, 2007, 4:35pm »
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Just a guess, Max, but when you purchase a product under the first-sale doctrine, the owner of any rights cannot claim patent rights in your product.  So long as you buy a product each time at value and then resell.
 
There are many other problems you can get into, say trademark, tradedress, tarnishment, dilution all the way to fraud.
 
As always, we recommend fixing up one of your "new products" and running it by a patent attorney.
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Matthew L. Bycer
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.bycer.com
http://www.cvglaw.com
maxb22
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Re: Selling-on a modified product
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10th, 2007, 9:14pm »
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Thanks Matt - Very useful and take your point about running the new product by an attorney.
Max
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JimIvey
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  jamesdivey  
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Re: Selling-on a modified product
« Reply #3 on: Sep 10th, 2007, 10:10pm »
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Another thing to look out for is taking that product and modifying it in a way that infringes another patent.  
 
Here's an example.  Suppose you buy a USB flash drive and epoxy it to a bottle opener and sell it as a new product.  You might be fine vis-a-vis flash drive patents, but if someone has a patent on a combination flash-drive/bottle opener, you might still have a problem.
 
And, while it's generally true that products bought at retail have all their proper licenses, it's not always the case.  Suppose you buy all your flash drives in bulk through eBay direct from China.  Maybe they aren't properly licensed and maybe you still have a problem.
 
Like it or not, the business world is frought with risk.  IP in the business world is no exception.  To quote Judge Learned Hand in that famous amusement part case, "The timorous may stay at home."
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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lemonbar
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Re: Selling-on a modified product
« Reply #4 on: Oct 11th, 2007, 1:08pm »
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Also, I beleive it is true that you can even own a new patent on the USB Bottle Opener device as you described but not have the rights to sell that device.
 
Not sure if that is due to liscensing problems or the two patents that cover your two parts.
 
(I'm not an attorney)
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