Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Steve Charles Vondran
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I made original artwork using the VW logo, will I get sued if I put it on a shirt?

I took a picture of the VW logo, photoshopped it into artwork, will I get sued if I put it on a shirt that I would sell?

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

This is never an easy question. There are ways to "transform" copyrighted and trademarked works in a way that "fair use" rights will apply. However, I tell my clients not to mess with big established brands and logos. It may end up in having to scrap your project, pay... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Is the name Sherlock trademarked?

I am a 17 year old artist based in UAE and I just recently started getting into the market. My entire social media structure has been built around the username 'almostsherlock' and my insignia includes an 'SH' along with my internet alias below it; Elias. I did this because my... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

Here is a good site to check out. Generally speaking, what I tell my clients in this day and age is, to stay safe, be original. There is nothing worse than putting a lot of time, money and effort into something only to get a cease and desist letter. I am not saying this is what would happen, but... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I put a Porsche vehicle on a shirt and then sell the shirt will I get sued?

I took a picture of a Porsche and I want to use that picture as a shirt design to sell. Will I get sued for selling that shirt?

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

You can never tell for sure if someone (or a company like Porsche) is going to sue you for using their car and trademarked logo commercially on shirts. Me, I would not take my chances knowing what I know. I would probably try to create my own dream car and own unique logo.

3 Answers | Asked in Trademark for California on
Q: Hi. I would like to use the name feasty? Am I allowed to use it?
Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

You need to provide more facts if you want to better answer. How do you intend on using this name?

View More Answers

4 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Texas on
Q: I just found out the name that I've been using for years is trademarked already, but is spelled different. Can I still

Can I still trademark and use the name even though the spelling is different? Another thing the logos are totally different.

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

Generally speaking, the USPTO trademark examiner will probably look at how the marks "sound" when spoken to see if it could be considered "confusingly similar" to another pre-existing trademark. If so, this can deny you the mark. Check with trademark counsel to be sure.

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Probate for New York on
Q: If I wanted to publish my dead grandpa's written songs (he had no will), could his children sue me for the rights?

He died 20 years ago, he had no will. He had 3 daughters, including my mother, who are all still alive.

He was a singer/songwriter. Many of his songs were either typed on a typewriter or written in notebooks (only I have access to).

I want to publish his work, but I am afraid that... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

Best bet is to discusses with a Copyright / Estate lawyer. You need to find out what rights you may have, if any, and this can depend on your state (NY) laws regarding inheritance. If it were me, (generally speaking), I would probably get a written permission from the kids to allow you to exploit... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is it necessary to ask permission first before I use facts that I learned from websites, books, or videos?

I'm making a website on animals. Each page will have basic information and facts about a particular animal. Obviously, to write about them, I need to learn about them first! So if I go and learn about them from other websites, books, or videos, can I write about what I learn without mentioning... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

Facts cannot be copyrighted, they are free for the world to use so we can learn and teach each other new things. Generally speaking, what I would do is read up as much as I can on facts about each animal, and then try to put it in MY OWN WORDS (cut and paste can be seen as plagiarism), and tell... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Copyright for Washington on
Q: Is the website PDFDrive legal to use?

I’ve been using it for a day or two now and I’m really scared I’ll face legal repercussions

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 12, 2020

This is general legal information only and not legal advice. This is a very good question. It appears their site is a bit like google (where you can search for pictures and images. They allow you to search PDF's but this does not necessarily mean you have legal rights to reproduce, share,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Education Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: I have a question which involves the rights to intellectual property as teacher in a private grade school.

I was a high school teacher and created about 50 powerpoint lessons in the school's drive. The school locked me out and will not share my powerpoint lessons. I am of course very upset over this. I spent days on one powerpoint alone. The school would not suffer any harm by sharing my lessons... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 12, 2020

This is general legal information only and not legal advice. Generally speaking, many teachers are surprised to learn that if they are a salaried employee, their lesson plans, creative works and writings (powerpoints in your case), may actual be the intellectual property of the school or the... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability and Trademark for Iowa on
Q: if I Pirate a song and later buy another digital copy of said song would the pirated version still get me in trouble?
Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 6, 2020

This is general legal information only and not legal advice. In general, once you pirate a movie, song, photograph, or other creative content, without a proper license, that becomes copyright infringement. You can be liable for that and copyright penalties can be stiff. Buying a licensed version... 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.