San Jose, CA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Copyright for California

Q: Would I be liable for manufacturing the packaging for knockoffs items?

Hello, I own a packaging company located in California. We have a client who just put in a very large order for custom boxes for his vape pen/CBD products.

Turns out he's importing generic vape cartridges and CBD products, putting them in nice packaging with known brand names, and selling them. So he's basically selling knockoffs and wants us to do the packaging.

Obviously what he's doing is illegal, but would we get in trouble for making the knockoff packaging? It's a huge order and it would be an absolute lifesaver, especially since business has significantly slowed down after the stay at home orders.

3 Lawyer Answers
George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: What exactly are you doing for him?

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD

A: Any economic gain you would receive from this order would be short term in nature. Copyright infringement is strict liability, meaning, even if you did not know that the labels were counterfeit, the owner of the copyrighted work can still come after you. Similarly, the counterfeit use of the trademarks would give the owners of the trademarks claims against you. Knowing what you do about this customer, best to stay far away. If you do get in trouble, he will be nowhere around to bail you out.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: Yes, very likely

Don't

Look at it this way, if he is asking you to do something that is illegal, can you really trust him?

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.