Williamstown, NJ asked in Copyright and Trademark for New Jersey

Q: Copyright/trademark rights.

My son built a kart that he was killed in. The kart was sold for scraps. I am starting a foundation of which images and logo of said kart will be created and used along with two phrases he would often use. I would like to have them trademarked/copyrights yet not sure if my sons wife would have any rights or claims to the foundation logos, trademarks/copyrights, etc.?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Milford, CT

A: Sorry for your loss -- my condolences.

This is a more unique situation than others related to trademark and copyright. The intellectual property is related to a person. There are specific issues related to trademarks for surnames. There is also the issue of right to publicity (or right to likeness of a person), which is state dependent. Also, if this is a foundation, there will likely be actions taken to have the foundation ongoing, or if not, provisions for dissolution under certain circumstances. Also there should be a trademark clearance search to decrease the risk of a trademark infringement suit later.

Consider consulting with a local attorney to find a course of action based on the specific facts.

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