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Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Someone is impersonating my business. What can I do?

I found that this individual has successfully managed to register my brand name (which I did not trademark) with US, EU and UK trademark offices. He copied my website and is now copying my products and selling them internationally under my brand name.

Individual is now sending takedown... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on May 27, 2022

You have urgent need to retain experienced counsel to address the hijacking of your brand.

The infringer's trademark registration can be cancelled based upon your prior use, even though you had not registered it. You also have grounds to sue for trademark infringement and unfair...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: How should I know what is patent design and what not.

I'm developing a game and it's purpose is to simulate the real life in all of it's aspects, from driving a car to lead a billion-dollar company. I need to use a lot of vehicles (cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships...) and they are based on real life ones. For example, I have a Dodge... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
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Kevin E. Flynn
answered on May 26, 2022

I doubt that this is a patent question. I would be shocked if Dodge had a design patent on a virtual image of any of its automobiles. Their patents for things in the real world don't apply to images rather than actual automobiles.

Note that phone manufacturers can and do get design...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New Jersey on
Q: Can I patent a game that has open domain IPs such as Santa Clause? I’m making a game where Santa is the main villain

I am making the story unique and bringing my own twist on Christmas and a dark tale of horror with my own unique characters and ideas.

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on May 14, 2022

Your situation requires more facts and to determine what you can due without getting into serious legal problems, you must retain an experienced patent law attorney. With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Can I use the term Dragonborn for a humanoid dragon race without falling under copyright from D&D?

Im developing a fantasy video game with a race of humanoid dragon people that were made by dragons and was hoping to call them Dragonborn, but it shares the same name and physical similarities to the Dungeons and Dragons race of Dragonborn. Despite the fact its just a combination of the words... Read more »

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco
answered on May 5, 2022

It sounds like you're asking about the trademark implications of you using that term. There are many factors to determine if you are infringing on someone's trademark. It would be best to have a trademark attorney conduct a comprehensive search at the USPTO to determine if you may run... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Is it legal to use screenshots from software I've purchased, in training course material I create and sell - screenshots

only, not the software itself - without compensation to or permission of software seller?

Kevin E. Flynn
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Kevin E. Flynn
answered on May 3, 2022

There is not a patent question here. This is a question of your end user agreement and possibly copyright law.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New Jersey on
Q: I am a wellness consulting company and I would like to know what are the basic terms outlined in a business contract?

I am a small business wellness consulting company providing services to non-profit and health care organizations and I would like to know what terms should be included in my contracts? Additionally, are there any pro-bono resources that can assist with this? Thank you!

Robert Kost
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Robert Kost
answered on May 2, 2022

You can begin to understand the basic components of a contract here:

https://www.contractstandards.com/public#contracts

Choosing among clauses, authoring the right clauses, and assembling a contract that makes sense for you is the job of an attorney. It is a skill and an art, and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Education Law and Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: Is this free work? Is this legal?

A college class I'm taking requires groups to create and present an entire social media campaign to a nonprofit organization. Each group has a different theme. We've been working on this for three weeks because of the amount of work -- it's an entire social media activation. I have... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Apr 29, 2022

If you receive college credit for the work, it is legal, like an internship.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: so someone has a clothing brand with a name that doesn't seem to be copyrighted.

if i were to register copyright over the name and start my own clothing brand with it, would i be violating any copyright or intellectual property rules?

Thomas James
Thomas James
answered on Apr 24, 2022

A name isn't protected by copyright, but it might be protected as a trademark. In the U.S., an unregistered trademark is enforceable as a "common law" trademark. You run a high risk of trademark infringement liability if you use another company's brand for the same kinds of products or services.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Hello, How can I find out if I can copy a patent product and just stick my own logo to it instead of theirs logo.

And how can I find their patent number and how I can copy the product with my own manufacturer and make my own brand logo and sell it without getting sued?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Apr 12, 2022

Well, the point of patents is to prevent you from doing exactly what you are trying to do.

However, you should be able to copy someone else's patented product if somehow you don't infringe (you are outside the scope of the claims of the patent), or there is a problem with the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: unknowingly downloaded copyrighted material.

I downloaded a game which released in 2016 from torrent 3 days ago. I didn't know what is torrent and I didn't know what I was doing is illegal.I watched a YouTube video teaching how to download the game and so I followed the video step by step and downloaded it and torrent, they... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
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Steve Charles Vondran
answered on Apr 10, 2022

Having defended hundreds of these BitTorrent download cases (mostly Strike 3 Holdings, LLC movies), the best I can tell you (not legal advice) is to STOP downloading and sharing movies. If you are found to have downloaded, let's say, 20 or more movies - that is about the lowest number I have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: How to see what a company’s patent looks like to not get sued because I have ideas and don’t want to get sued.

I want to make a further development of the product that has patent. But how can I work around their patent.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Patented products typically carry patent markings. Something like "pat. no. 12,345,xxx" and like. Once you have that, you go find the patent in the U.S. Patent Office databases.

Q: Can this device be re-patented and re-made since the devices patent is expired
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Mar 29, 2022

No.

The idea behind a patent is that the inventor discloses the invention, and in turn, the government gives the inventor something of value: the ability to keep others from using the patenting invention for a limited time. After the time runs out, anyone can use that invention.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Gaming and Intellectual Property for Georgia on
Q: Game Copyrights, and Intellectual Property

I am planning on making a 2D Platformer game (when finished, I want it to be released on Steam, and possibly outside of the US if sales are good). I will be making the music for the game - I don't know too much on how copyrights work besides the fact that I have to file it, and I don't... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Mar 28, 2022

The game product you envision has elements that, as the fruits of your original creative effort, are separate subjects of copyright: the code, the visual appearance, and the music. To assure the greatest protection for your work(s), you should register the copyright in each of these elements. Then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: is it legal to use "corvette" in a new business dba?

It would be used for a printing company name, not an automobile name. My assumption is it can't be copyrighted or reserved as a general word since it is a type of ship of war in common parlance. Thank you,

Tom

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Mar 26, 2022

Your question remains open under the Business Law/Formation categories. At this point, you could try reposting and adding the following categories - Trademarks, Copyrights, Intellectual Property. "Copyright" is in the main menu. You'll see "Trademarks" and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: Advice on Response to a Cease and Desist Letter

I am an independent contractor providing creative services to my client. In our agreement, I included a section in which my client represents that all of their creative materials I may be using, modifying, repurposing, etc., are the property of my client OR that my client has permission to use... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Mar 25, 2022

First you should bring to the client's attention that a dispute may exist regarding whether the materials from the former contractor are "works for hire", and ask whether the former contractor's engagement contained a written provision to that effect. Ask for a copy of that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Q: I'd like to get any info on how should I act not to violate design rights.

I am an Amazon entrepreneur. We manufacture picture frames using the names and team colors of NFL teams. We received notification about intellectual property violations. Amazin indicated it as design right infringement. But there were no logos, only team colors. I’d like to know where I can check... Read more »

Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait
answered on Mar 25, 2022

Football logos are protected by trademark law. Trademark protection is recognized in the first user of the logo to associate the logo with good or services in a marketplace. The protection of that logo is automatic, but limited. For a larger set of legal protections, the logo owner should register... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Products Liability, Intellectual Property and Small Claims for Arizona on
Q: Can I sue the company that made these sweatpants for not holding my phone ?? Repeatedly drops out walking up a staircace

Or the phone company ? It’s an iPhone XR and it’s damaged by falling out not more than a causal walk up a staircase.

Matthew Maerowitz
PREMIUM
Matthew Maerowitz
answered on Mar 24, 2022

On many legal claims you have to prove that the company did something wrong. Did the company making the sweatpants tell you or market their product as being able to securely hold the iPhone XR without falling out? Is the iPhone XR advertised to be able to securely fit in these particular... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: I am a visual artist. I painted a large, photorealistic, 30x30in, painting of a Fritos bag. Can I sell it? Thank you!
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Mar 16, 2022

As long as you're not selling snacks, the transformative work is not an infringement. Andy Warhol did fine with his iconic Campbell's Soup can paintings many years ago.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone takes a screenshot of my tweet and shares it without my consent, is that a copyright violation?

Someone took a screenshot of something I said on twitter and removed the context to make me look like a sexual predator. I consider this to be potentially libelous and/or slanderous. Do I own the copyright of the tweet and if so, is there anything that can be done about it?

Steve Charles Vondran
PREMIUM
Steve Charles Vondran
answered on Mar 12, 2022

Good question. Generally speaking, a tweet is not typically copyrightable as it usually contains just a short phrase with a limited amount of characters and according to the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") this can be considered de minimus as far as creativity is concerned. Now,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Employment Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can I show designs I created under an NDA to another group within the same company?

As an engineering intern for a company, I designed things that cannot be shown to the public. After completing my internship, I kept my final presentation for my personal records -- I've never shown it to anyone outside the company and don't plan on doing so. Now, I am interviewing at the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Mar 8, 2022

First, this question is showing up on a California part of the site, but the information about you suggests you are in Indiana. Unless licensed in Indiana, a California attorney cannot ethically answer your question. If you are in Indiana you will need to direct this to attorneys in your state.... Read more »

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