I recently picked up a little business on the side, and I am thinking of bringing it a step further by approaching a store that can sell the product for me, which got me thinking about the legality of what I am doing.

I am buying large reels of 35mm motion picture film, and respool them by hand into single film canisters which I then sell to photographers. If you are familiar with them, this is what Cinestill does too, albeit at a much larger scale.

I don't sell the product under another brand, but I explicitly name to original product name on the canisters:

"Hand rolled Kodak 5222 motion picture film"

All other text is descriptive of the product. I have attached the sticker that goes on each roll.

In short, I simply cut up long rolls into smaller rolls and resell under the original product name, but not as Kodak. Is this legal?

I am based in the Netherlands.

The sticker used. On top is a yellow rectangle with black images and letters, showing two stylised film strips, under which the words "DOUBLE-X" and on the line below that "BLACK & WHITE NEGATIVE CINE FILM". Under that the lines "DAYLIGHT EI 250/25°" and "TUNGSTEN EI 200/24°", and in smaller font "HAND ROLLED KODAK 5222" and "MOTION PICTURE FILM". Under that a box labelled "notes". Under that a black rectangle with white letters "36 EXP".

1 Answer 1


This sounds like legal nominative use to me.

The issue is trademark.

Trademark law isn't a monopoly on using the trademark, it is a prohibition on using the trademark in a way that misleads a customer about who is selling something or what is being sold.

You cannot sell goods in a manner that implies inaccurately an affiliation or endorsement of a trademark owner, causing confusion in the mind of a reasonable consumer. But, it sounds like your disclosure makes a factually accurate statement without implying or stating that the goods are sold with the affiliation or endorsement of Kodak, only that you used their goods as parts in your product. To be safe, in order to be completely clear and avoid all doubt, you might want to say, in addition, "This produce is not licensed or authorized by Kodak."

The First Sale rule expressly protects your right to resell physical good protected by trademark or copyright to someone else, so the sale itself is not illegal, it is just a question of whether you have abridged its trademark.

Conceptually, what you are doing isn't that different from stating that the used car you are selling had all replacement parts obtained to maintain and repair it done with dealer approved parts, rather than third-party knock offs, which would likewise be legal.

Similarly, you could sell a house with a listing that identifies the brand of every building material used. For example, "this house was constructed using Pella Windows."

  • Thank you very much! You mention I may express that the product is not licensed/authorised by Kodak. Would I need to do this on the product itself, or would it be sufficient if I state this explicitly on the store page?
    – Tim Stack
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 8:38
  • @TimStack It is a question of proof, so there is no strict legal standards. Anything you do to reduce the risk of confusion reduces the likelihood of a tough legal fight.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 20:10
  • Got it. Thanks!
    – Tim Stack
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 9:27

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