Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In

Questions Answered by Walker Weitzel

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: I have a peanut butter recipes. How do I protect my recipes so manufacturers don't steal it?

Walker Weitzel answered on Jul 21, 2017

There are two ways to protect recipes: Patents and Trade Secrets.

Recipes can be patented, and the strength of the patent will depend on the novelty of the invention. I don't have a lot of info about your recipes, but my general inclination is that patenting is not the best means for...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Hello,I have a vested patent about a new product for watersports.I would like to sell my idea to this kind of companies

I would like to know what kind of help you provide for the patents. Can you help me sell my idea? Thank you.

Walker Weitzel answered on Jul 17, 2017

There are many options for selling and licensing patents. Although I do not have much information about your patent or the related product, it sounds as though this is an area of technology in which I would approach potential companies directly to work out a purchase or licensing agreement. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Patent of cushioned drum stick handle by James Huber is an exact copy of my designs from 1995. What should I do?

Walker Weitzel answered on Jul 3, 2017

There are many important facts to this case that are not included in the question that a patent lawyer would want to ask, for example:

What patent specifically (patent number and expiration?)

Facts specific to your design and disclosure of said design, like did you ever market or...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Washington on

Q: if someone already trademarked upper left apparel llc does that mean I can't make a company with upper left?

trying to start a brand/fabrication company

Walker Weitzel answered on Jul 3, 2017

Trademarks are specific to the type of goods being sold. If your company would not produce competing products with the existing mark, then you probably would not infringe their mark, and registration of your trademark may be possible. I would suggest contacting a trademark lawyer for a free initial... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on

Q: My ex-husband has stolen my idea and has filed for a patent what can I do?

He has filed the patent and also the original prototype was made by my father

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 29, 2017

There are absolutely legal steps you can take. Filing for patent if you are not the true inventor is generally a wasted effort. It is not difficult to render such a patent unenforceable. There are many possible courses of action. One example would be to attempt to convince your ex-husband that it... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida on

Q: Can a non trademarked character be remixed and sold for profit?

I have found somebody who has changed a character that is not specifically trademarked to either be skinnier or shorter and is selling both versions online for profit. The character is fundamentally identical in all three versions, so would someone using the character for profit be a blatant... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 23, 2017

This would be a copyright issue. The case is also fact-specific, meaning that without more information, it will be tough to speculate about whether infringement is likely. If you would like to assert a copyright, you will need to register it. Copyright registration is straightforward, and can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for California on

Q: Can I use X name if it's being used in another country(s)??

EXAMPLE. is a male clothing line since 2004 based in thailand, with a branch in germany. Me, I acquired and wish to do an online store and sell furniture,Home & kitchen, books, accesories, electronics, BUT I also want to sell clothing, like old navy, calving klein, levis,... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 15, 2017

Trademarks are specific to product/service type and location. You establish the type of product/service by sales or by choosing the type during registration. You establish location either by sales or by registering in a given state or country. You would infringe Apple's trademark by using the name... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark on

Q: I want to offer freelance software development services under the name "office 365 developer"

Will this infringe on Microsoft's trademark "Office 365"?

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 13, 2017

Trademark infringement is determined by the "likelihood of confusion" test. This test inquires whether a reasonable consumer is likely to be confused about the provenance of a given product or service. It seems there is a good chance that consumers would be confused about whether the service is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Consumer Law, Products Liability and Intellectual Property on

Q: I want to sell a product that looks similar to another.

I want to start my own small retail company. I found a company in China that will supply me with a device that I would like to put my branding on. However, the device has a similarity to one of Apples Product. The supplier says it's their design. It does not use any operating system of Apples or... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 27, 2017

There are two areas of IP that are relevant: trademark and patent. Trademark would apply if you are attempting to "pass off" the product as Apple's. The question is whether a reasonable consumer would be likely to be confused about the provenance of the product. If the source of the item is clear... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Colorado on

Q: What does Status 641--non-final action--mailed mean for a trademark?

My lawyer, Thomas P. Howard, filed my trademark Big Picture Purpose last year. Paid him in full. I emailed him and called. Phone disconnected. Haven't heard back. I found information online regarding my trademark, and I don't know how to move forward. How do I get in touch with trademark people... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 9, 2017

Unless you choose to handle this yourself, you will need a lawyer to handle the prosecution of your trademark application. Application prosecution is the process of responding to objections and rejections by the trademark office. A non-final action means that there is something about the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on

Q: I have an idea to modify a patent. Should I contact the inventor/assignee?

I'm wondering if a working prototype is required to patent my idea or if I can just provide a description and drawings.

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 1, 2017

There are two important relevant pieces of law here. First, you are able to patent an improvement on an existing patent. There is no need to ask permission of the underlying patent-holder to file for that patent. Second, a patent merely grants the right to exclude others from making, using,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Trademark for California on

Q: if I was to start a music label could I use the name Universal Digital Group or would that conflict with Universal music

Walker Weitzel answered on May 24, 2017

The test for infringement under Trademark Law looks at the likelihood of confusion for an ordinary consumer. You would ask whether an ordinary consumer is likely to be confused over the provenance of a product or service. Trademarks are product-specific, which is why there can be a Klein Honda as... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Washington on

Q: Would it be Illegal to sell a hockey jersey that does not have the NHL logo or the name Reebok anywhere on it?

Say I had a Red Wings jersey that looked like the real jersey but was not real because of the stitching, straps, etc. But the jersey did not say Reebok or NHL anywhere on it. Would it still be illegal to sell would I be infringing on any IP?

Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 29, 2017

The key question in trademark law is whether there is a likelihood that a consumer would be confused about the source of the jersey. There are a bunch of parts of a jersey that might indicate its provenance, including the design, the team name, any logos, team colors, etcetera that could all be... Read more »

Q: Would a current Land Patent from 1865, supersede the 1969 Clark, WA, code regulation regarding land use in a flood way ?

I have 2.5 acre along the Lewis River, I have mineral rights and an updated Land Patent from the Oregon Land Grant act.

A structure was built in 1968, one year before Clark County WA code development existed. The structure was removed in October 1997, because of a flood caused by the 3 dams... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 25, 2017

A land patent is the highest proof of title over land. It is extremely authoritative. With that said, the laws of the jurisdiction will dictate your ability to use and develop the property. Ownership is only a piece of the puzzle. Your rights to improve the property are still subject to Oregon law.

Q: Is my idea for a fact compilation database protectable by patent, copyright or neither?

I want to create a fact compilation database that would be used by businesses of a specific industry.

Multiple businesses would import and upload their customer data that would be stored in cloud storage, most likely. The result would be that businesses of the same type within the industry... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on May 22, 2017

Original code is protectable by copyright. The protection would be extremely limited, however. Copyright would not protect the function of the code, only the actual written expression. It is unlikely it would be worth pursuing.

The platform itself might be patentable. This is a question...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on

Q: If two provisional patents are filed. Does the second have any rights if it was filed prior to disclosure of the first?

Walker Weitzel answered on Jun 2, 2017

I agree with Peter's answer to this one. I would like to add one important element that is often overlooked when considering the first-to-file question. Patents may or may not claim exactly the same thing. There is a huge amount of case law that informs patent lawyers on whether two inventions are... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Hello


I was wondering if I wanted to begin using liquid nitrogen professionally in the kitchen, do I need to do something in particular regarding patents? IIf i want to put fruits for example in liquid nitrogen and serve them.

Thank you


Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 6, 2017

The answer depends on your level of risk aversion. The safest route will be to have an attorney render a Freedom to Operate Opinion. A lawyer would do a thorough patent search to determine whether your method or end product infringe on any patents. Another approach would be to begin using your... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: Can I patent a bread maker that makes loafs of bread in the shape of a US State?

Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 6, 2017

The quick answer is that a bread maker that makes loaves of bread in the shape of the US is patentable subject matter. Unfortunately, the short answer is not very informative because what you really need to know is whether the invention is also both novel and nonobvious. This is where a patent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia on

Q: As first to invent/first to file in '08, without attaining patent, what IP rights do I have? An OEM is using my IP.

I had to abandon Non-Provisional application due to finances during the 2008-2011 recession. Took product to prototype and sold a couple of units. Shared with an OEM in 2012 in hopes of engaging them in production process. They expressed no interest. Yet, one of their engineers has just informed... Read more »

Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 6, 2017

Unfortunately, your intellectual property rights vest when the patent issues. Filing an application establishes the date from which you own intellectual property if it eventually vests, but unless the patent issues, you will never establish ownership over the invention. The invention is now in the... Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.