1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Selling products from China identical to big brand names, legal?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by jon_xx_x, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,096
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Anyone here have any experience of selling products from China?
    Say you see a computer desk from China at a good price, and there's a big brand name like Great Desks, that sell an identical desk, and more than likely get it from the same source.
    Can you legally sell this same desk under your own name if the seller is willing to sell it?
    I mean, say you didn't even know about the brand Great Desks, and just came across the desk in China, how are you supposed to know there's something like it already?
    Can a company put a trademark/copyright/whatever on a desk?

    Anyone know?
     
  2. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    Occupation:
    Making money
    Location:
    Touching the Sky
    I'm not quite sure I get you.. you mean sell the brand 'Great desks'? try that excuse in court..

    "But your honor! I swear I didn't know this brand, please don't send me to prison" ;)

    Or do you mean asking the manufacturer to impose your own logo instead of 'Great Desks' logo..? In this case, its possible that the design of the logo is patented (see the Apple/Samsung bickering over the designs of the phones), but unless its something really innovative, I doubt they would patent the actual design of the desk.


    edit: ok, i re-read your post and i see its the second option. yes, its possible, but you can check it. Its a very long and expensive process, so unlikely but possible.. do some research in patent registries if you are really worried (unless you are banking hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can fly under the radar easily)
     
  3. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,096
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Yeah second option.
    I did a patent search, but I mean hundreds come up. The goal is to make good money with it.
    I mean say you do a whole site on computer desks, and they are all from China, with no brand name other than the chinese manufacturer, who's willing to put your own name on it. I wonder if that could lead to legal problems.

    I talked to one manufacturer of a big ticket product being sold in the US by one company, and the manufacturer said it's fine because they (the manufacturer) hold the patent on it.
    I dunno, it just seems almost too simple. Like one product is $2000 retail, but costs like $500. All the sudden I'm selling an identical product (though they have credibility with their name) for $1000. And what's to stop someone from coming along and selling it for $700 and doing the same to me. Obviously it needs to be marketed, but you get what I'm saying.

    And like above, on the flip side, I've come across a 'desk' that isn't being sold here, and I'd love to be the first one to do so. And I wouldn't want someone to come along and undercut me either.

    I guess it can kinda be compared to no name brand food, and name brand food. A lot of times it's an identical product, but you're paying for the name.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. SEOWhizz

    SEOWhizz Power Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    431
    Location:
    Lat: 38N 43' 11.298" Long: 27W 12' 7.733"
    For the US, search in the Trademark Database:
    Code:
    www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/search/#heading-1
    If the name is not there you should be Ok.
    (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer / attorney. Best to take legal advice).

    They can patent a desk design and have a desk name which is trade marked.
     
  5. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    Occupation:
    Making money
    Location:
    Touching the Sky
    Apple released a smartphone, then Samsung did it a bit cheaper, then Nokia, then HTC.. then they all have to avoid each others patented technology, but yeah, of course its fine.. its a free market, its not communism :) (well actually in China it is in theory, but in practice not, hehe)

    There's tons of that going on, here they have loads of fake converse without the logo converse, etc;..
     
  6. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,096
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Thanks. I wonder how hard it is to really patent a design, unless it's something crazy, like a built in keyboard and monitor that pops up, etc. Like just a standard desk, I wonder if that's possible.

    Is that kind of stuff legal though? I guess it depends how you sell it? If you try and sell it as a knock off, that's probably illegal, but if you sell it as your own, I guess it might be okay?

    I guess ideally I need to talk to a lawyer, but a) I hate lawyers, and am not looking forward to probalby $10k in fees.
    Trademarks are so fucked, I'm sure there's numerous ones out there that could fuck anyone over, much like Apple and Samsung. Companies try to patent anything and everything, it makes it almost impossible to invent anything new without infringing on one patent or another.

    Say it was computer desks, I'm sure there's a patent along the lines of, "Storage shelf along bottom of the desk used to store a PC."
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013