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Author Topic: Generic Products  (Read 1206 times)

John Walsh

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Generic Products
« on: 02-12-17 at 06:28 pm »

Hello all,

Apologies if this is a dumb question or if posted to the wrong place.

Is it legal to either manufacture or sell generic parts for someone else product ? For example, is it legal to sell razor blades for gillette razors  - with being a given that they are not gillette blades.

I'm considering selling a product (not blades !) as an alternative to a recognised brand name product but obviously won't if its any way suspect.

Thanks for any advice.

John Walsh

Robert T Nicholson

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Re: Generic Products
« Reply #1 on: 02-12-17 at 08:33 pm »

As long as you make it clear that the parts are NOT from the original manufacturer, and don't use their branding, this is not a trademark issue.

However, some parts may be protected by patents.  For example, you can't make replacement cartridges for HP printers, because HP has patented the technology used in the cartridges.

This post is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

Robert Nicholson Consulting | Copyright Safeguard | ED Treatment Center


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Re: Generic Products
« Reply #2 on: 02-14-17 at 02:51 am »

There's also an issue with domain names, where using the trademark owner's brand name as part of the domain may get you UDRP'ed.  The early cases are dealing with a Mercedes parts reseller vs. Mercedes, and also (IIRC) a used tractor dealer.

The Mercedes one, the reseller won the first time around and lost the second time around.  IIRC, he won the first time because he was selling genuine manufacturer parts, and lost the second time because he'd started selling either refurbs or aftermarket parts in addition to the genuine Mercedes parts.

The tractor dealer won, but only because the domain name was clear about him selling USED tractors.  I doubt you'll be selling genuine pre-owned Gillette blades. :-)

Just an FYI in case your business model would turn on owning a domain name that would be easy for people to associate with the brand.
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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