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Earlier answers have asserted that "If you buy it, then it is yours. However, if you plan to re-sell it, then you have to get permission from Old Navy. You can buy blank t-shirts from a wholesaler and all rights are yours." Also that, "It is perfectly legal to resell a T-shirt that has been altered or not. What the consumer may not do is manufacture "knock-offs" and present them as originals. If it were not legal to resell Old Navy or any other clothing or trademarked product, garage sales, thrift shops and so forth would not exist. The Disney Corporation has attempted to sue persons for copyright infringement for the using of fabrics printed with Disney characters on articles sold at craft shows. Needless to say they have yet to be successful, nor will they ever be. The law presumes once the person has purchased the item, it is theirs to do as they choose including reselling, dyeing, altering, or whatever." Nobody is saying you can't resell an Old Navy shirt, as long as it still says "Old Navy" on it, or has no label. The foregoing examples ignore the question's central issue of re-branding the T-shirts as your own. Could I purchase a high-quality product, repackage it under my own prestigious label, and simply sell quantities of it in competition with the original manufacturer, perhaps in markets they have not yet penetrated? It would certainly save my company time and expense in engineering and manufacturing! This is known as "reverse passing off." Instead of trying to make cheap knock-offs and "pass them off" as Old Navy (which would be a clear trademark violation), you are taking Old Navy shirts and trying to pass them off as yours. Even if it were somehow profitable, it would not be legal. This is called "false advertising", a type of "unfair competition," and is a violation of the federal Lanham Act, which prohibits false or misleading advertising as to origin of the product. The good news is that Old Navy probably couldn't care less; at least until they want to market their own line of T-shirts with "transfers and embellishments," and discover you're already there, taking away some of their profit. Where enough money is involved, lawyers are involved.

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2007-03-21 11:57:21
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Q: Can you buy blank T-shirts from Old Navy then make your own creations with transfers and embellishments and then put your tag on it in place of Old Navy's?
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