What if I were to cut the Versace or Nike logo off of an old, ruined piece of clothing, sew or glue the logo onto other piece of clothing and then sell it.

I would tell the buyer in advance that the logo had been sew on and that the product wasn't created by the designer named on the logo. This would eliminate any concern of fraud.

Is this a legal and viable business strategy, or would this infringe upon the copyrights and trademarks of the designer? Would there be liability associated with this business plan?


It is an infringement of trademark to "pass off" something as by designer or maker X, when it is not in fact by X. Although by notifying the purchaser you are not actually claiming that the modified garment is by the maker whose tag you have added, it is hard to see any legitimate reason for doing this. You may be inviting your purchaser to pass off these counterfeit goods. See this Wikipedia article.

If such altered goods move through customs they could be seized. In some countries sellers and purchasers are subject to fines.

Why would a legitimate seller do such a thing?

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  • Because I have access to a lot of destroyed designer clothing for an inexpensive price. And there are people who would probably like to buy a hat with a cut out Louis Vuitton logo on it for small price when a real hat could cost hundreds or more. So there's a legitimate reason why this is a good product. The question is, do you think this is fully legal regarding trademarks? It's not fraudulent as it's disclosed that it's a logo sewn on a hat. – Michael d Mar 22 '19 at 2:27
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    @Michael d I think that the "desire" you mention is really the desire to own something that they could believe or claim to be a genuine Louis Vuitton product, or could induce others to so believe, at a bargain price. If it isn't infringement, it is probably disparagement. In any case i think making such sales would be asking for a lawsuit.. – David Siegel Mar 22 '19 at 2:54

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