Can I use another company’s retail product as the basis for a product of my own?

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I use another company’s retail product as the basis for a product of my own?

Specific example: Company A has a dish detergent, which has no patents associated with it. I take that product, A, and change its (1) concentration and also add (2) my own grease dissolver and (3) my own hand softener and market it as product B. Product A has been changed to the point that is not recognizable by the senses, at the lease, and also may not be recognizable chemically. So, in other words, I am using A as base stock in a new formula. What is the legality of this concept.

Asked on January 13, 2014 under Business Law, Wisconsin


Brook Miscoski / Hurr Law Office PC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you're asking is whether you can buy another company's product and then repackage it as your own. If you bought retail, it's difficult for me to understand how the economics could work, so I'm going to assume that you're asking (1) whether you can buy from a supplier and then rebrand the product; and (2) whether it makes any difference if you change the product in some way.

Simply rebranding the product is going to violate various laws which prohibit the misbranding or alteration of the branding of items in interstate commerce, and it's likely to violate the agreements that the supplier has with you (I assume you're acquiring the stuff legitimately).

It's also insane, since you can find suppliers who will sell you a product to specs under your own private label.

In terms of altering the product--I don't think that changes the picture all that much, although it does introduce the interesting fact that since you don't actually know the chemical composition and so forth, I'm not sure how you could accurately label the product.

Again, it's insane since there's a "right way" to do this.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption