I'm planning on starting a business by upcycling clothing by deconstructing, bleaching, dying, wearing them in, and ripping them, turning them into edgier fashion pieces. Is there going to be a problem with copyright infringement or anything? I'm not planning on taking out the original tags. I just wanted to stamp the clothing saying the upcycling was done by my company. The original tags will still be there.
You will have a trademark infringement problem. Honest self-reflection of why you desire the keep the tags on the garments should reveal the impropriety of what you propose. You do not want to be on the receiving end of a demand letter six months into your business, let alone a defendant in a federal trademark infringement lawsuit.
Speak with a local trademark attorney before proceeding.
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No. That is illegal. You are changing the quality of the product without approval of the brand owner and yet still using the brand name. That takes quality control out of the hands of the brand owner. A brand owner has a duty and right to control quality of products sold under their brand. The brand owner is not likely to allow you to alter their product and still use their brand name. You don't really think the brand owner wants to handle customer service complaints once you screw up their product like that, do you?
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
I agree with my colleagues. A lot depends on how you represent these as well. I mean, if took a pair of jeans that I bought and modified them to my liking there is nothing illegal about be selling them. But what am I selling exactly? I could not represent them as new nor can I in any way mislead consumer into thinking that I am associated or endorsed by the maker of those jeans.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail before you jump in. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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