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Trademark Limitations to Second-Hand Product Dealing

post Monday November 26, 2012

ipad, freedigitalphotos

We are in an era of exponential technology advancement, making it easier for manufacturers of technological products to bring out a new product every couple of months. Apple is a perfect example of this current trend.

Apple releases a new product from their vast aray multiple times a year, and due to their immense popularity, people want to keep up to date with the newest gadgets. With the release of the iPad Mini, we can expect people wanting to get rid of their “outdated” iPads. But what happens to the “old” product that you no longer use? One option is to sell it, there may well be people interested in buying it off you as they don’t feel the urge to buy a brand new product.  

What if you identify a gap in the market for the selling of such second hand gadgets and decide to turn this business plan into reality? If that is the case, you will likely be dealing with some trademark issues. First, as a dealer, you have to make it clear that your company or business or online platform, is not in any way associated with /or part of the trademark owner’s network. In the case of selling second hand Apple products, you must minimize the “likelihood of confusion” for the consumer so they don’t mistakenly associate it as being part of the Apple company.  Trademark infringement can also stem from potential reputational damages that this platform can cause to Apple or taking unfair advantage of the reputation of Apple.  It is therefore essential to proceed with caution and educate yourself on the potential lawsuits you could be facing.

Source: Intellectual Property Office
Image source: Free Digital Photos

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