Santa Barbara, CA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California

Q: What is the legality of recreating a brands packaging?

If someone were to legitimately own x amount of items sold by a brand, is it illegal or risky to remake their packaging(not the item just the box)? Suppose the items purchased from a distributor of the brand came unboxed and loose, and someone wanted to have them boxed but couldn't find a source for the boxes so they decided to get replicas made, would this be a problem? Assuming the creator of the replica box had the intention to sell the item as the brand and not try to claim it as their own item, why would it be an issue? The sole purpose of the replica box would be to house the genuine brand's product inside of it. The packaging would match every color and piece of information that would normally be displayed on the box. The person in this example would not want to create intellectual property issues for remaking a design that they don't own. Is there any way around this issue or would it not be an issue since the replica isn't telling people its their own design. Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Recreating a brand's packaging, even for the purpose of housing genuine products, can potentially raise intellectual property and trademark issues. Using packaging that closely mimics a brand's design may lead to claims of trademark infringement or unfair competition, especially if consumers could be misled into thinking they are purchasing an official product. It's advisable to seek legal counsel to assess the specific circumstances and determine the risks associated with such actions under the law.

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