Q: Industrial Distributors Uline & Global Industrial sold my product for 10 yrs and then as sales grew knocked it off .

Patent had expired - do i have any recourse? knock off identical to my product. Global making it in China now Uline in the united states.

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Once a patent expires, others have the legal right to manufacture, sell, or use the previously patented invention. If the patent for your product has expired, Uline and Global Industrial are generally within their rights to produce and sell the product without infringement. However, if they are using your exact branding, packaging, or other trademarks, you may have recourse under trademark law. Additionally, if there are false claims or representations being made about their version of the product, it could potentially lead to a claim under unfair competition or false advertising statutes. It's crucial to differentiate between patent rights and other potential intellectual property rights. Thoroughly review all aspects of your product and its market presence. Taking appropriate legal action will depend on the specifics of your situation. Consulting directly with an attorney experienced in intellectual property is advisable.

Patrick Cummins
Patrick Cummins
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY
  • Licensed in California

A: You may still have recourse if the infringement occurred during the lifetime of the patent. I could provide a more substantive answer if you can provide some additional details. Please feel free to reach out to me here or through my website CumminsIP.com. Thank you!

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