What law is this breaking, if any??

Say I was an electrician, and I went to the local hardware store (without owners permission) and placed the following on ceiling fans;

For installation help call 867-5309., where 867-5309 would be my phone number.

It would be a very small inconspicuous label that probably wouldn`t be noticed by the cashier. Like the size of a return address label.

What law would this be breaking, and what sort of trouble could a fella get into for doing this?

Well if the label is on the actual package you would be false advertising that you are affiliated with the brand or product in some way. I’d say that’s a big no-no. Though IANAL.

I would also think it could be considered as destruction of private property. I would think the store could argue that the product is unsellable with the sticker so either they would have to pay to have it removed or throw the whole product away.

Many hardware stores will provide installation of the product through contractors. Maybe you should contact the manager of the store to see if you can be an approved contractor.

Quickly, I never intend to do this. I was just wundering…

Still, what laws would I be breaking, what would the citation read?
Does this fall under some No-Solicitation law? Exactly which?

IAAL, but I don’t specialize in this. Here are some quick answers:

The first one I can think of is Solicitation. That’s when you’re selling something on premises, and not of the hooker variety. I’m pretty sure you’ll violate some local ordinance against door-to-door selling, and unfair business practices. This isn’t some big law you would be violating. At the most (drawing knowledge from my long ago crim days), it would be a Class A felony, like not more than $1,000 in fine(s) (maybe 2 grand) and up to one year in the local county lock-up. You would have to do something pretty gregarious to get maxed out like that.

If I were the owner of the box of a ceiling fan that you put that sticker on, and I was diligent in my IP protection, I would sue you for copyright and/or trademark infringement for diluting and infringin my trademark, and for copyright infringement for creating an unlawful derivative work. I believe the fine for criminal copyright (I’m too lazy to look it up) is like $20k per instance, and I forget the jail time.

Depending on the laws of your state, you would likely be committing some sort of fraud or deceptive business practices crime. This is not legal advice, I’m not your lawyer, etc. etc.

Do you mean gregarious or egregious, Lawboy?

IA also NAL but I’d certainly throw tresspassing in there.

I think Jenny would be pissed you were giving out her number in yet another forum. Bad enough it’s on the bathroom wall . . .

Yeah, Tommy Tutone and the RIAA are probably on there way over to my house right now.

Depending on what jurisdiction you’re in - the owner of the store could probably sue you civilly for interference with prospective economic advantage. (Assuming that they had some sort of installation program).

  • Peter Wiggen

Would the wrecker and taxi drivers who put their stickers on payphones be guilty of the same infraction(s)?

Lets assume the store does not have an installation agreement with anyone. Tresspassing dosnt sound right. It`s open to the public. I have the store owners permission to be in the store (as a customer), just not his permission to attach labels to the boxes.

lawboy, what if the store does not display the “No Soliciting” sign at the entrance?

Fillmore, I could also argue that the customer would have no idea of the real meaning behind the number untill they called it. How would this affect the sale of the merchandise? They may even be pleased to see such help advertised on the product. It could increase sales…

False advertising I could see.

I think there`s more info out there, guys/gals…??

At the very least, I think you could be charged with vandalism, and I don’t see why each sticker couldn’t be treated as a separate offense.

I agree, (though IANAL), at the very least, you could be charged under the same law that I’d be charged with if I spraypainted your car without your permission – theft or destruction of property or whatever it’s called.

Plus whatever laws relating to the fact that you’re trying to get economic advantage from this.

Tresspassing dosnt sound right. Its open to the public. I have the store owners permission to be in the store (as a customer), just not his permission to attach labels to the boxes.

You have the store owner’s permission to be there to shop. You don’t have the store owner’s permission to be there to affix labels to his merchandise. If you’re there to affix labels to his merchandise then you’re trespassing. Same thing demonstrators at malls get charged with. IANAL etc.

Whether the message is positive, negative, or neutral wouldn’t make much of a difference I think. The sticker was an unauthorized modification of private property.

Even if it did increase sales, the store would still not want it. There would be a liability issue for the store if the installer caused damages while installing the fan. The customer would assume the store had some connection to the installer so would hold the store responsible for problems with the installation.

There’s no way the store would knowing leave that sticker on the package. In addition to the liability issue, the store would not want to encourage that behavior. Can you imagine all the handymen in town putting stickers on all the merchandise? The box would be covered in stickers.

So the fact that the store would be forced to take some action to repair the product would probably mean they could consider that product unsellable.