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Questions Answered by Barbara Berschler
1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Georgia on
Q: How do i trademark a name of a brand and a logo?
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 6, 2017

Depending on where you are in the process of using a trademark, you may have already acquired some rights in it. If you have your "brand" word and/or a logo design, and you are using them "in commerce" within your state, then under the common law, provided you are not infringing on another's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Can I make a Tshirt design with the name of a HighSchool but with the same style as the logo of a movie?

Like if I design the school name or organization but in the same style as The Top Gun movie logo or The Godfather, is that okay? Like the same logo but just change the words? And maybe not the exact same colors?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 6, 2017

Doing as you suggest would likely land you in hot water for several reasons. 1. The school has rights in its name and, unless you have its permission to use it, using it could cause confusion with the public as to whether the school was endorsing your activity, which would not be the case. 2.... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: If you were to commission (pay) an artist to draw an imaginary character you made, who would hold the rights to it?

My extended question is since you paid the artist to draw your imaginary character you made, would it then be legal to remove the artists' logo if they added it? Also would it make a difference if you paid them to draw a character they made up rather than the one you made up? Thanks!

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 6, 2017

I agree with Mr. Blackton. I would add, that what copyright protects is the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. From what you describe, you had the idea for the imaginary character and conveyed the idea to the artist. But then the artist actually found one way to express your idea. If... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Georgia on
Q: Which class do I use and do I file trade or service -- or both?

I'm unclear which class to file under. I'm a coach/consultant operating an LLC under which I provide training, coaching, public speaking, and related services. I have developed an acronym-based goal-setting system, which I will be documenting in a series of books. As my LLC, I will be offering... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 5, 2017

You have posed many questions and described a complicated scenario. I suggest it would be worth your while to work with a business attorney who is also conversant with IP matters like copyright and trademarks so that you do not take steps which might conflict with one of your other goals.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Arizona on
Q: What kind of licensing do I need to use a song on a podcast if the artist has given permission and owns the rights?

I have a podcast for children and got permission from a musician to use one of his songs on one specific episode. The podcast episode is offered for free and I will give appropriate credit to him on the episode. It sounds like he owns the rights to his own music. He thought I would need a... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 5, 2017

It sounds like you should ask for a written license/permission to use the work which states that the song writer does in fact own all of the rights and he is granting you x times to use the work under certain circumstances. You should consider all of the ways you might use the work going forward,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: When the Justia site says something has a registered "wordmark" do you mean the LOGO or the company name in body copy?

I am a proofreader and I am trying to determine if a trade name can appear in body copy/regular font with a circle-R. My understanding is that this is a "wordmark"? And that this is a different registration than the trademark within a LOGO.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 4, 2017

If a mark is designated as a "registered" mark, that means it is registered in the USA with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for goods (a "trademark") or for services (a "service mark"). Marks can take different forms, such as simply words; words using special layout, font or... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Gaming, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Q: What is the legality of creating and selling a board game based off a fictional board game from a TV show?

A few examples are: The Cones of Dunshire from the TV show 'Parks and Recreation', CharDee MacDennis from the TV show 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia', and True American from the TV show 'New Girl'.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 4, 2017

For copyright purposes, just as you cannot copy a real game, you may not copy from someone's imaginary game. In both instances, someone created the board game and to the extent the board was an expression of the idea of the game, then that would be off limits without the copyright owner's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Indiana on
Q: Am I aloud to use other artists drawings as a reference for tattoos? As long as I make some changes to it?

The drawings are posted publicly online, and on flash forums for people to use. Example: images from pinterest, instagram, google..

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 3, 2017

Just because you can copy a drawing and turn it into a tattoo, does not mean you "may" do so. Even if you made some changes, that would only create a derivative work based on the original logo and without the permission of the copyright owner of the drawing, you would be infringing. As for images... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Is it legal to transcribe audio books into text?

The book was originally published as an audio book, I think a hard copy already exists but am not sure. My employer asked me to transcribe the recording (The essence of success by Earl Nightingale) as she wants to use the transcription as source material to make notes to create a learning programme... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 3, 2017

You are right to be troubled by the request. You would be making a derivative work by creating the transcription of the recorded materials. As you say, there is a hard back of the book and the recording. The author has not given anyone permission to make a transcript of the recording.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York on
Q: What does it mean when it says case assigned to intent to use paralegal?
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 2, 2017

The phrase "intent to use" describes one kind of application a person can make to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register a trademark. It means that you "intend" to use the mark in the future but as of now your use does not meet all of the requirements to prove your actual use of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Copyright and Internet Law for Washington on
Q: I bought some sticker logos legally on line. If I apply these logos to hats, can I then sell the logoed hats on ebay?
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 2, 2017

Do you intend to apply the actual logo stickers that you bought? In copyright, there is the First Sale Doctrine that provides that if a person buys an object having copyright protected material, the buyer can do what they want with the object. For example for a book, you could give it away or... Read more »

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