Can you be hit with trademark infringement for reselling a purchased item?
Question Details: I sell my own art. One of the things I do is purchase a bulk pack of BIC brand lighters directly from BIC. I print my art onto vinyl sticker wraps and cover the lighters then resell them. Today I was contacted by a legal represenative for BIC saying I've done trademark infringement. Am I protected by first sale doctrine? Is there any way that I can continue to sell these as they are a good bit of my business profit.
The first sale doctrine only protects you from reselling the item as you bought it, without using it as the basis for your own creative or graphic work. If you incorporate their trademark into your own work, including by having their trademark in or on an item including your own graphic or creative work, then you are in fact infringing their trademark. You cannot use their trademark in any way as part of your own work.
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