Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Kathryn Perales
2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: Are the drawings in a patent also public domain when a patent is expired, or is there a copyright attached limiting use?

I'd like to print and sell drawings from expired patents as art pieces. Is this legal?

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Sep 3, 2020

Drawings included in a published patent application are in the public domain, under long standing US law. In the unlikely event that a copyright notice is included on the patent drawing in the patent application, you should look twice. But, in most cases you can do whatever you want with... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Is the Audubon Bird images in public domain?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 31, 2020

The original paintings by John James Audubon are old enough that they are in the public domain. Any other photos or paintings or drawings, however, which may be available through the Audubon Society, may not be in the public domain.

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for California on
Q: Is an informational app about menu items at a coffee chain allowed to use the trademarked names of drinks sold there?

I have an app that lists information about menu items from a coffee chain with over 400 store locations in the US. Specifically it lists the officially recognized name of the drink that you can order, what flavors are in it, a brief description, and the various ways you can order it (americano,... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 24, 2020

Sounds like you're on the right side. If you're being clear to your readers and app users that you are not this coffee chain, and that they don't endorse you, and you're not selling coffee, then you're not violating their trademark. You are allowed to talk about... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Can someone patent, trademark, or copywrite their first, middle, and/or last name?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 19, 2020

No, you can't copyright your name. Names, titles, and phrases are too short to merit copyright protection.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: I have a novel use for a product that’s been out for years Is that patentable?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 13, 2020

Without knowing more, I'd say that it is unlikely but possible. If your invention doesn't change and improve an existing thing, then you'd only be looking at patenting a method to do something useful or to make something. If the method of using the existing thing is new, useful and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Michigan: copyright question regarding rewriting of scientific articles in simple language

Hi, student from Michigan. I'm considering starting a nonprofit project where we rewrite published free, publicly accessible scientific articles in simple language and re-publish them on the Web through our own website (freely available of course). I was wondering whether this counts as fair... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 5, 2020

I would say no. Best to get permission from the authors before doing this. They might appreciate your efforts.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Can I use an acronym like G.O.A.T. in my business marketing materialand website? Or can someone actually trademark this?

The name of my business is GOAT Nails and I am wanting to make sure it is ok for me to use the acronym G.O.A.T.throughout my website.

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 5, 2020

Interesting question - I would have thought that G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) would be too generic to trademark, but I see that some people have successfully done it. You should check the TESS database (tess2.uspto.gov) to search for all of the US registered trademarks with the word GOAT in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Q: What is the class of US patent for anchor support of underground structures
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 5, 2020

You can research this yourself at https://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/

Use different keywords to research your invention - you may find more than one class that makes sense.

Keep in mind that regardless of what class you think your invention comes under, the patent...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property on
Q: What resources(products/works created by others) in the public domain can be used freely for commercial purposes?

(excluding books, photos, video)

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 3, 2020

If something is truly in the public domain, then it can be used by anyone for any purpose. The trick is being able to tell for sure whether the work you want to copy is truly in the public domain.

You can find a definition of the types of "works" that are protected by copyright...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Can a logo from a free site that we customized be trademarked? Another company used the free site and the same logo....

We customized the logo (colors, and words) and the other company just used the stock logo without customizing it from the free site and are trying to send us a letter in the mail from a lawyer saying we have two months to change our logo. We purchased it and have the rights to use for our business... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 21, 2020

Well, it depends. If this other company has registered a trademark for the logo for the same or similar goods or services that you are using your similar logo for, such that consumers would be confused between the logos, then you've got a problem. On the other hand, if the other company... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on
Q: Where do I present my provisional patent for school bus

It's a safety system for school buses

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 6, 2020

You can learn more about filing a provisional patent application at uspto.gov - there are many resources for inventors there. If you wish to do this yourself, you can use efs-web as an unregistered e-filer. Your documents should be in pdf format. Look into the requirements for micro or small... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

Hi, I am a design engineer and 30% shareholder of a medical corporation and manufacturing engineer and 100% owner of a second corporation exclusively working for the first one. The two company are working under the same roof last 20 years. I would like... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 3, 2020

The first thing to figure out is whether you have ever signed an invention assignment or other written agreement to assign your intellectual property rights to one of these companies. If so, those documents would give you the answer.

If not, California state law will govern, and it may...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: Business name intellectual property question

I want to start an HVAC repair business. I have a common last name in my area of the country (US), and I want to name the business using my last name. For the purposes of this post I'll use the pseudonym "Smith" - so I want to name my HVAC business "Smith Air Conditioning &... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 3, 2020

Since your name is common, and you're naming your business a generic/descriptive name which describes exactly what you'll be doing, you probably won't have a trademark problem. Usually other people can't stop you from using your own name for your business. Best to search the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on
Q: Would it be possible for an unrelated individual to use this process to design a consumer good after getting investors?

US Patent Application for LASER INDUCED GRAPHENE MATERIALS AND THEIR USE IN ELECTRONIC DEVICES Patent Application (Application #20200112026)

Do patent applications on new methods of producing material products make it impossible for others to use the methods in their own designs?

Thankyou

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 29, 2020

If a granted patent describes the same method that you want to use, then the inventor can prevent you from using that process without their permission. If a patent application has not yet been granted, then the inventor does not yet have the right to stop you. However, if the patent is granted... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Is it possible to recreate a scene from an american movie with adjusted lines and use it as a video ad for my business?

The scene is not unique, just two people sitting and talking. But overall a viewer can obviously get the idea of where the inspiration came from, since that movie is well known (though over 20 years old by now). The text is changed, but still about 50% of the words are the same (and in same order).... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 25, 2020

From your description, what you want to do is a derivative work, and thus it is copyright infringement. You do have a fair use argument, but as you suspect, using your derivative work as advertising weighs against you in a fair use analysis. Safest thing to do is to get permission from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark on
Q: I want to contact walfos trademark owner
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 23, 2020

To find trademark owner information, you can look up a trademark at tess2.uspto.gov. There is some information there, and you will find more if you click on the TSDR button.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Good day, I have a copyright issue and I need some advise.

Good day,

I have an ecomerce platform and recently got an email about the use of a copyrighted image from a company called pixsy. I was unaware that the image was copyrighted and immediately removed it but after re-reading their message removal is not enough. They require payment to the... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 22, 2020

There's a good chance that they are right - you should not ignore this. If they end up filing a lawsuit against you, REALLY don't ignore it. You may wish to talk to your own lawyer now to get a better idea of how strong their case is, or you could just try to negotiate them down to a... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Education Law for Michigan on
Q: I would like to show my video analysis of propitchers in a certification and continuing ed course. Can I do this legally

I am creating a continuing education program and certification for strength and conditioning coaches and rehabilitation professionals on training and rehab of the throwing athlete. I would like to show video analysis of voiceover style videos featuring professional pitchers to demonstrate proper... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 19, 2020

You should get permission from the copyright holder of the video - could be the videographer or their employer, or ESPN... In my opinion what you are describing would not pass a fair use test. You might also need permission from the athlete in the video, depending on state law.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: How can I buy off a trademark?

I’m trying to see if could buy off from the owner this trademark 86480383

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 19, 2020

You can look up a trademark owner's contact information at tsdr.uspto.gov. You can then contact the trademark owner, and make your offer. You may want to seek business and legal advice to make sure you offer an appropriate price, and to make sure the trademark is assigned to you properly... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: My husband is deceased and is a co-holder of patent US7837472B1. As his widow have I any rights under this patent?

The widow of another co-inventor has had her name added to the list of inventors. Can I do this?

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 19, 2020

I'm so sorry for your loss. In addition to patent law considerations, to figure all of this out you would also need to consult with an attorney in the state that has jurisdiction over your husband's death (California?) Patent rights may pass to you (or someone else) based on your... Read more »

View More Answers

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.