if i take a product and then alter it and add things to it and resell it for a completely different purpose than it was originally intended for is it illegal and is there a way to patent it asa a new invention using other products?
If it was originally patented, you may be infringing on that patent. If it has trademark or tradedress embedded in the product, you may have trademark infringement issues.
If you change an existing product and create a new invention, you might be able to patent that portion that you changed. Then you can deal with licensing issues to be a able to sell your product if the underlying product is subject to patent.
Search for a patent and attorney and talk to them about it.
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Q: "if i take a product [let's say a 2x4] and then alter it [cut it in half] and add things to it [other pieces of wood] and resell it for completely different reason than it was originally intended for [a house] is it illegal ... ?"
R: No, not when we're talking about a 2x4.
Q: "if I take a product [let's say a Gucci purse] and then alter it [add hard sides and a hard bottom] and add things to it [a few rhinestones] and resell it for a completely different reason than it was originally intended [to carry around a little, yippie dog] is it illegal ... ?"
R: Yes, when we're talking about a Gucci purse transformed into a dog carrier.
There is no one general rule that applies across the board. Only your own Utah-licensed intellectual property attorney can apply the relevant laws to your particular plans.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
Mr. Brown is correct. If your modifications are novel (new and useful) then you may be able to patent the new item.
Your ability to sell the item is not guaranteed by obtaining a patent. Patents are a right to prevent others from selling something. They do not provide a right to sell the actual invention. It is not uncommon for there to be "blocking patents" or "overlapping patents" on a device such that consent from multiple patent owners is required to sell an item. For example, most cell phones are covered by dozens to hundreds of patents on various features.
Also as noted above, you will need to be careful that your use of the item doesn't infringe on the trademarks and trade dress of the original manufacturer. Basically, if you are gaining an advantage from their reputation or brand, you will need to be very careful.
Many IP lawyers provide consultations/reviews. In cases such as this, they are very useful because most of the questions you appear to have are going to depend on the product, the modification, the company that makes the product etc. Those are things better discussed in a non-public setting. Good luck.
I agree with other answers provided addressing your patent inquiry. However, you need to be mindful of other kinds of potential intellectual property infringement regarding trademarks and copyrights. You should consult an intellectual property attorney for case-specific guidance on how to proceed. Good luck.
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