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District of Columbia Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: If I wanted to protect a product line concept - a series of food themed t shirts for example - what are my best options?

My concern is that once they hit the market the concept could be easily reproduced

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Dec 6, 2021

Your concern is well-founded. There's no protecting the idea of food themed tee shirts or any other kinds of articles.

On the other hand, specific designs or renderings of food pictures may indeed be protect-able. And, you may want to consider giving the shirts a name that could be...
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Q: "fair use" Example: I make a cake to sell and hand draw an NFL logo on it. Can I post a picture on instagram?

I am trying to understand fair use and social media. If I were to make an edible product and hand create in icing an image of a trademark such as an NFL logo, video game character, or other trademarked image can I put the image of my final product on instagram? I am not selling the exact edible... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 6, 2021

No. You shouldn't do that. It would be difficult to argue that what you are describing is fair use.

Some people selling trademarked products do not get caught, say, when they sell their products at a neighborhood picnic, but NFL has lots of people making sure that their trademarks...
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Q: How do I search for a patent granted to a young William Gates III between the years 1967-71 for a silicon chip or proces

I believe it to be a patent I sent him to the patent office with.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 2, 2019

This is not easy as the USPTO tools for searching fields such as name do not apply to patents from that time frame.

The assignment database goes back to 1980. The full text search tool on USPTO goes back to 1976. While the images of the earlier patents can be retrieved by patent number,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video? The video shows the progress of the industry

I'm a video editor and was hired to make an internal use video for one company that wants to expand their business. As a part of the video, we need short animation showing the race for electrification in the automotive industry. I need to include logos of the GM, TESLA, NISSAN, and other... Read more »

Andrew Zulieve Esq
Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Dec 17, 2018

Although such use may not amount to a trademark (or perhaps copyright) infringement, my suggestion is to contact each company and obtain their written authorizations to use their respective logos.

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: Will a law firm be able to help a pro se inventor respond to a notice to file corrected application papers?
T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Sep 24, 2018

It depends on the law firm. First, you need to find a law firm that handles patents. Second, you need to call the law firm and ask if they can help you file corrected application papers. I have a feeling that most Patent Attorneys can help you with this project.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: how much does it cost to trademark a name

Im currently interested in trademarking my name / brand for higher purposes.

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Sep 8, 2017

To obtain a trademark you will incur filing fees of $225 to $400 per class, attorneys fees, and search costs. The attorneys fees and search costs can very significantly depending on the attorney and the extent of the search. Many lawyers will provide trademark registration services for a flat fee... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports, Internet Law and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: Is it a copyright infringement having a puppet sing a line from Whitney Houston song in a video for a nat'l contest?

The video will be posted on social media and the winner will receive scholarship money for college.

Donovan A Rodriques
Donovan A Rodriques answered on Aug 31, 2017

It probably is. You should get clearance first. Best of luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Libel & Slander for District of Columbia on
Q: Real (royalty free) picture of a famous person on a book cover? "Personal rights"?

I myself am a european and I am planning on publishing a book about an actor who is a US Citizen (note: it will have a negative connotation for that person).

On the book cover I am planning to use a "free for use" (creative commons) image of that person. So no copyright-problems... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 3, 2017

You may be violating the person's publicity rights. Careful you're not also sued for defamation or IP violations. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more... Read more »

Q: I would like to file a patent for an accessible phone for the elderly. How do I go about it? What would be the cost?

How much time would it take?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jan 4, 2017

Welcome to Justia!

How do you go about it? Get in touch with a patent lawyer. He/She will guide you through the process.

What is the cost? To get a patent costs about as much as buying a car. A few thousand to a few tens of thousands of dollars, depending on many things. About...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: In order to sue for Copyright Infringement do I need to register the copyrighted work with the government?
Howard Alan Newman MBA
Howard Alan Newman MBA answered on Nov 28, 2016

No. You may sue under the common law for copyright infringement. However, to make use of the federal statute, which has real teeth in its statutory damages, for example, the work would have needed to have been registered first.

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