Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Barbara Berschler
2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for North Carolina on
Q: I’ve already trademarked my business name. Can I now modify and add the logo design I have just come up with?

My business name was published as of April 2020 but now I have finally designed the actual logo with pictures and the business name. Can I request modification of my trademark to now include the design? Is that considered a section7 filing?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 27, 2020

You might want to register just the logo without the words, as you already have the words covered. This way, by dividing the mark into its parts, you will have more flexibility in how you display the mark(s).

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Entertainment / Sports and Trademark for Florida on
Q: Can I trademark an exhibition/docu-series name? I'm in FL & trying to register the name under Sunbiz & USPTO.

Also, if I can register it, would I need to register it as an LLC?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 26, 2020

It is not clear from your question exactly what mark you would like to register as a trademark with the USPTO. If the mark will be associated as the source of the goods or services being offered, then it may qualify for registration provide you meet some other requirements.

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Oregon on
Q: How do I get copyright of my photos?

I have a store on eBay and noticed that other sellers are using them without my permission and now I found a company using my photos .. its frustrating because I took the time, patience, and dedication to take each photo and for someone to just use them is not fair, I've tried contacting the... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 26, 2020

Without doing anything special, you already own the copyright in your photos. That being the case, you could proceed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to notify the internet service provider where the photos are being displayed. Check the Terms of Use of the ISPs to follow the... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Florida on
Q: I want to register domain like VRchatroom.com, am i infringing on trademark of VRchat.com as they own VRchat trademark
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 25, 2020

Yes. The word "room" is not the main part of their mark, "VRchat," from the POV of trademark protection.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I can't find the Copyright owner does this mean it's fair to use?

I make short videos on YouTube about Classic Hollywood stars (1920's-1940's) and my videos are under fair use for educational purposes. I don't monetize from them. But, I had considered selling merchandise to make a small profit to donate to museums and historical societies that... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 24, 2020

Many interesting questions. Let's see if I can provide information concerning each.

First, just because you cannot find who owns the copyright in a work does not mean you can use it without permission. You may have to dig deeper to find out who owns the rights. One place you might...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Question about fair use with superheroes

I have seen many games on the Play store and apple Appstore that use superhero images to make people guess the names of the characters.

Now my question: is this legal? Can people actually use superheroes in their apps? Does this come under fair use?

Any insight on this would be... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 23, 2020

The superheros are probably being used under a license. You might want to check the Terms of Use on the other game's website to see what it is says about the use of the copyright and trademark protected characters. If the characters are not being used under license, then it is an infringing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Maryland on
Q: Can a minor be the only member in an LLC in Maryland?

Is it possible for me to create an LLC for my son using a service such as Zenbusiness, Legalzoom, etc. where he would be the only member?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

You may be able to create the LLC with your son as the sole member. However, if he is a minor, he is not capable of entering into contracts or be able to act as an "Organizer", the person who files the paperwork in Maryland to create the LLC. There will be other issues to consider... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New Jersey on
Q: Where can I get a patent attorney?

I have students working on my product for their capstone project. It does not have copywriters yet. Do I need an attorney? Where can I find an affordable one in Cherry Hill NJ?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

It is not clear from what you write whether you have need of a patent or a copyright attorney. In either case, having someone else work on the project could mean they end up with the IP rights. So before you go further, do find an IP attorney who can assess what has been done and what needs to be... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for Virginia on
Q: Can I use an actual news broadcast for a fictional movie??

I’m writing a YouTube episodic and wanted to use a few actual news broadcasts in the promo trailer. The show is a work of entirely fiction just loosely based on real life. I would be using less than 30 seconds of each broadcast.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

The news broadcast itself is protected by copyright. You would need to get the permission of the owner of the copyright in the broadcast. You may be able to negotiate a licensed use for your fictional work. Best to work through a copyright counsel.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: Can I put the text in my product, which is it is inspired by Joseph Campbell's hero's journey?

The product is an interactive story app that used the hero's journey template.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

From your description as to what you want to do, it sounds like you would be creating a derivative work based on the copyright protected work. To do so without being liable for infringement, you would need a license from whomever now owns the rights in Mr. Campbell's works. That is not to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright on
Q: I was wondering what happens if I remake a beat from a song and post it on YouTube, do I own the license?

If someone straight up copies my work and redistributes it as his own on YouTube, do I have the rights to take the video down?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

While I agree with Mr. Brooks about your right to notify the ISP and request the take-down, I am not sure, from what you write, that you own all of the rights in the beat that you remade. If your work was based on someone else's music, then what you created was a derivative work, and without... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: Can an artist rescind permission after giving it?

I'm working with a team of volunteers on an unpaid passion project. One of those volunteers did a lot of artwork for us and gave us permission to use it. Now, about 9 months later, he is telling us that he wants all his artwork taken out of the project and completely redone. This puts a... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 20, 2020

There may be grounds to argue that from his behavior he granted an "implied" license. The difficult question is to figure out the scope of the license, meaning the terms of the license. Best to work with a copyright attorney to see where the balance can be drawn. If there was a... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Louisiana on
Q: In the forming of an LLC, does an equal capital contribution mean both members get 50% of the shares?

In the forming of an LLC, the OA stated the shares are valued at 1% for $300. One member was supposed to pay $15,300 for 51% and the other member $14,700 for 49%. BUT each submitted $15,000 cashier checks. Is it still 51%\49% or is it 50-50 by default?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 20, 2020

The amount of money one contributes to a business startup does not determine the relative share of ownership by the investors. There can be other factors considered, such as time spent on project, know how, which can weigh into the computation. If you have any questions about fairness at this... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: Can getting a furby printed on a blanket for none profit and none commercial reasons, one time, be seen as fair use?

I have already asked for permission from Hasbro but they said they can't as there's too many requests and they can't accept minor requests. I won't be making any profit off this and it's for none commercial use and will only be done once. seller is only profiting from... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 20, 2020

While what you propose is a copyright infringement, the likelihood of Hasbro going after you is low. Provided it is as you say, a one-off, not posted on social or other media, but simply made for your personal use, the de minimis effect would likely weigh in your favor as for Hasbro's... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Hawaii on
Q: Am I able to write a book to teach towards an industry certification without permission of the owning organization?

The certification is owned by CompTIA. I'd like to write it explicity for the Security+ exam (completely in my own words of course).

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 20, 2020

Provided you express the "idea" of studying for the test in your own words, an original expression of the idea, it should be OK. However, keep in mind the certifying organization will likely be very interested in what you are doing because of the competition you pose. Best to work with... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Hi...I copy, paste, crop and resize clipart from the internet and use them to form a different image. Can I sell them.
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 19, 2020

Best to read the Terms of Use for each source of the clip art to see what are approved licensed uses. Your activity may be approved, but you would want to copy out and keep such authorization materials. Also, under the defense of "fair use" against copyright infringement, if what you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law and Trademark for Iowa on
Q: I have an idea for how to reboot a show. How much of the original can I use in my rewrite?

I want to pitch it to the copywrite owner. I want to use character names, places, descriptions etc.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

You are going to need to have permission from the copyright owner to make your derivative work. You may want to work through an attorney who could act as intermediary between you and the copyright owner to pitch your concept. The attorney would be in a good position to figure out with you the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Semi-famous relative passed away.

While family was occupied with final arrangements/grieving, a third party filed for licensing to the name and image my relative went to extreme lengths to protect in life. So now essentially this person owns my relative. The family does not have the financial resources for a court battle. We simply... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

My understanding is that California has strong laws that protect the Right of Publicity (right to exploit one's fame for famous people) and Right to Privacy. It would be good to get advise from a California attorney familiar with these 2 torts. The laws may allow you to collect... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Contracts for Indiana on
Q: Is it legal to use art for commercial use from a minor, if said art was bought as a comission?

We're making a show, and for the show we need art, we have a very talented artist that wants to help us but the problem is they are underage. We're wondering is it possible to use the art from the minor for commercial use if we bought it as a commission? If not, would we have to end up... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 17, 2020

When you say "use" the art, what do you mean? You are able to resell a painting, like you could resell a book. However, buying the item does not give you rights in the copyright associated with the work.

Because a minor is involved, you need to tread carefully. Minors are not...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for California on
Q: can i reopen a trademark that has been abandoned by myself years back?

i have a trademark that has been abandoned, i think because i filed it under the wrong code. i just wanna get my marks status to good

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 17, 2020

You will need to refile. When you prepare the application, look under the section dealing with "miscellaneous" and provide the serial number of the earlier application. Good luck.

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.