Charlestown, MA asked in Copyright, Business Law and Trademark for Massachusetts

Q: What qualifies as trademark infringement? If a company produces a product that looks similar to another's, is that okay?

I recently purchased many portable speakers from a vendor in China. The company produces many authentic speakers (iLepo), but they also wholesale "fake" JBL speakers on a international wholesale store.

The speakers look pretty similar, but they intentionally took off the logo on the speakers, and turned all of the logos into stickers, which they also shipped to me. Basically, they produced the stickers and speakers, and it's their buyer's choice on whether or not they want to sell non-authentic speakers.

However, if there's no logo on the speakers, and I were to sell the products as "iLepo" products instead of JBL speakers, would I run into any trademark infringement?

Is there any copyright or production issues with this?

Thanks a bunch!

2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: if you use the stickers you are infringing on another company's trademark. The speakers may also violate someone's patent but you can assume not for the moment. if you want to sell them then use the name of mfg or create your own brand.

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: Excluding the label stickers is not liability free. If the speakers visually appear the same, you may face a trade dress infringement claim.

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