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John A. Flynn, Esq.
John A. Flynn, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 202
Experience:  Over 12 years experience - Mid South Super Lawyer
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IS IT ILLEGAL TO SELL REPLICA HANDBAGS WITH THE LABELED NAME

Resolved Question:

IS IT ILLEGAL TO SELL REPLICA HANDBAGS WITH THE LABELED NAME BRAND ATTATCHED ON THE PURSE, IF YOU LET YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THAT THE PURSES ARE DESIGNER REPLICA'S? I KNOW IT IS NOT ILLEGAL IF THE REAL DESIGNER NAMES AREXXXXX GLUED ON THE BAG.   I AM A CUSTOMER AT A STORE THAT HAS HUNDREDS OF DESIGNER COACH, FENDI, PRADA, LV, AND MORE.. SHE HAS A SIGN THAT SAYS DESIGNER REPLICA'S, BUT THE PURSES SAY THESE DESIGNER NAMES ON THEM. IS SHE WRONG FOR SELLING THEM? AM I WRONG IF I BUY ONE? THANKS FOR ANY HELP!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John A. Flynn, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
If it simply has a detachable tag that says "Compare to ..." then that is OK. If it actually purports to be from the designer and it is not, then it is probably illegal, but as a practical matter, how can you verify that it is not really made by the designer on the label? Also, I cannot imagine any legal repercussions on you for buying them. The designer might be able to sue the store for selling them, but that would have nothing to do with you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
THE HANDBAGS THEMSEVES SAY "COACH", "PRADA:", ECT, ON THE BAGS THEMSELVES, BUT ARE ACTUALLY FAKES. THE SIGN ABOVE THE PURSES SAY "DESIGNER REPLICA'S" AND THEY SELL FOR ABOUT $70.00. I WAS TOLD THAT IT IS FRAUD AND CONSIDERED A FELONY TO SELL THEM. AND AS A BUYER THEY COULD BE CONFISCATED, IF THE POLICE RAIDED THE STORE DURING MY PURCHASE. AS A STORE OWNER MYSELF, I WOULD LIKE TO CARRY THEM, BUT NOT IF IT IS ILLEGAL OR FRAUDULENT, OR IF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF MERCHANDISE COULD BE TAKEN AWAY AND I COULD BE SENT TO JAIL IF CAUGHT.
Expert:  John A. Flynn, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
If they are clearly marked "Designer Replicas" then it cannot be fraud, because they aren't claiming to be selling something they are not. So long as the buyer knows what they are buying, then nothing is actionable criminally. Now, that does not mean that Prada or other designers could not sue the store, but more likely they would sue whoever is making these replicas, in order to cut it off at the source. If you want to sell them, so long as you make sure your customers are fully aware they are not buying the real thing, you are not committing fraud.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK. THANKS FOR YOUR ANSWER. I WAS CONCERNED BECAUSE I WAS TOLD BY THE WHOLESALERS THAT IT WAS A MISDEMENOR IN CALIFORNIA, BUT IN TEXAS AND LOUISIANA IT WAS A FELONY. AND IF THE ITEMS WERE SOLD THEY NEEDED TO BE HIDDEN AND SOLD ONLY TO LOYAL CUSTOMERS, AND NOT DISPLAYED FOR ANY AND EVERYONE TO SEE. SOMETHING ABOUT COPYRIGHT LAWS.
Expert:  John A. Flynn, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
The crime would be in claiming that it was the real thing when it is fake. If you sell it as a "designer replica" or otherwise indicate that it is not really Prada, Coach, etc, then you are OK. This is why the shop you saw was able to sell them out in the open without fear.
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