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Questions Answered by Paul Overhauser
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: What do the terms "patent pending" and "patent applied for" mean?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

"Patent pending" means you applied for a patent, and the application is still active - it has not been finally rejected, or, issued as a patent. "Patent applied for" is not a commonly used term, but it means that a patent application was filed, even though it could have been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: I've designed a new logo for my company. Should it be trademarked or copyrighted?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

You may be able to do both, if the logo contains sufficient creative content. Trademark protection would protect against someone else using a confusingly similar logo in thier business, even if they did not "copy" your logo (e.g., they coincidentally designed a logo that is similar).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: A large company has sued me an other in my industry for patent infringement. We think the patent is bogus. What to do?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

Some patent owners file many individual suits in different jurisdictions against purported infringers, with the hope that they can obtain quick settlements. However, it can potentially be prudent for the various defendants to join forces and have all the various lawsuits consolidated in one court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Internet Law for Indiana on
Q: Does putting up a website make me subject to being sued in any state in the country?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

Not usually. You can always be sued in the jurisdiction where you are located. However, in general, you will only be liable in other states if you cause harm in the other state. This issue is discussed here: http://www.iniplaw.org/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?search=rodent&IncludeBlogs=559

Paul...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: Can I make and sell model cars that are based on a famous Indianapolis 500 car?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

This would be risky if you did not have the permission of the car designer and/or driver. The care could be covered by a design patent. Also, there is a somewhat famous case in which someone who did exactly what you propose was found to have violated the "right of publicity" of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Indiana on
Q: I deal in mechanical fixtures, and I found a Chinese supplier that is much cheaper,

And make products that look almost identical to the US ones I now sell. Can I get in trouble if I switch to the Chinese supplier?

Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 22, 2011

You should take care that the fixtures do not look so similar to the originals, that consumers are confused. This could lead to a claim for trade dress, or possibly design patent, infringement. These issues are discussed here;... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: If I am attempting to patent something, how much is a lawyer needed?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

If you have experience with patents, you may not need an attorney. For example, if you are an inventor at a large company that has patented many of your ideas, you may be very familiar with the process and how to write an application. Failing this, you really should use an attorney. I say this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Indiana on
Q: What is a "famous" trademark, and why should I care?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

According to the Lanham Act,a “famous” mark under the Lanham Act is: (2) Definitions (A) For purposes of paragraph (1), a mark is famous if it is widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation of source of the goods or services of the mark’s owner. In... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: What is the "inequitable conduct" defense in patent infringement litigation?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

A patent applicant has an obligation under 37 CFR 56 to disclose to the Patent Office information that is "material" to the patentability of the patent application. If the applicant withholds or misrepresents information when dealing with the Patent Office, a court, in a later... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: Is the "right of publicity" valid in all 50 states?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

No, the "right of publicity" varies considerably from State to state, so check with an attorney in your state. Indiana is viewed as having the most favorabel "right of publicty" statute anywhere in the country, as discussed here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Indiana on
Q: I own a restaurant. Is it OK for me to bring in my TV to show football games in the restaurant?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

This would be risky, and could violate the copyrights of the broadcaster / producer of the football game. Copyright infringement can occur from publicly displaying a copyrighted broadcast without a license. Some broadcasters have contractors they hire to visit bars and restaruants to find... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Indiana on
Q: If I stop using my trademark, does my trademark registration become invalid?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

The registration does not become invalid, although unless you intend to continue using trademark, you could be deemed to have "abandoned" the trademark, making it unenforcable. A Federally registered trademark is presumed to be abandonded if it is not used for three years. Specifically,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: What is the difference between a provisional and a non-provisional patent application?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

A "provisional" patent application is not a "real" patent application in the sense that it will not result in the issuance of a patent. However, it establishes a date of invention. You then have 12 months to file a "non-provisional" patent application which claims the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: I've invented a toilet with an automatic exhaust fan that goes on when you sit on it. Is it patentable?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

First, it is not a good idea to disclose your invention in a public forum like this until you have determined whether your invention is patentable. That being said, there is not sufficient information to determine patentability. It would be necessary to learn more information about your invention,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: How long does a patent last?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

The term of a patent depends on the country that issued the patent, on the type of patent, and on whether "maintenance fees" have been paid. In the US, a "utility" patent lasts 20 years from the date of the first patent application giving rise to the patent. However, the patent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: One of my employees designed a great logo for my business. Am I safe to use it without paying them extra for it?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

Good question. If the logo is copyrightable, and making the logo was not within the scope of the employee's job, then the employee may own the copyright to the logo, meaning it could not be reproduced without infringing his or her copyright. However, the circumstances are highly fact specific,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: It is possible for a small business protect a original clothing line from copycat?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

Yes it is. Clothing designs can be protected by copyrights, patents (usually design patents) and by trademarks. There is also new federal legislation under consideration to provide a stronger form of protection for clothing designs, but at the moment, it does not look like it will be passed soon.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: Are patents good in other countries?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

You must file for patent protection in each individual country in which you want protection. Usually companies select which countries to seek patents in based on where the biggest markets for the invention are located. The costs for patent protection varies considerably from one country to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: How do I get a patent?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

To get a patent, you need to file a "non-provisional" patent application. While legally, you are not required to use a patent attorney to file for a patent, the patent regulations are very complex, and most businesses and individuals use a patent attorney. More information about the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Indiana on
Q: How do I get a patent?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

To get a patent, you need to file a "non-provisional" patent application. While legally, you are not required to use a patent attorney to file for a patent, the patent regulations are very complex, and most businesses and individuals use a patent attorney. More information about the... Read more »

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