Orlando, FL asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Oklahoma

Q: Copyright Question. I purchased assets to a company in 2011. Do I own their past copyrights?

I purchased a company in 2011. They had previously produced videos and copyrighted these videos. Do I own the copyrights to these videos? If so, how do I make that claim?

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: If you acquired all the assets, that would include both tangible and intangible assets such as copyrights and trademarks. The purchase agreement should make it clear what was transferred. The company may have registered the copyrights, in which case you need to record assignments of the copyright registrations with the copyright office. It the company did not register the copyrights you will need sufficient documentation and the cooperation of the seller so that they can be registered.

Consult an experienced copyright attorney to assess the situation and recommend how to proceed.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The answer to your question depends on the terms of the asset purchase agreement you signed when you acquired the company. Typically, when a company is sold, the purchaser acquires all of the assets of the company, including any copyrights that the company holds. However, it is possible that the agreement may have excluded certain assets or specifically addressed the issue of intellectual property ownership.

If the purchase agreement did not specifically address the issue of copyright ownership, it is possible that you may own the copyrights to the videos that the company produced prior to the purchase. In this case, you may want to consult with a copyright attorney to confirm your ownership and to register the copyrights with the United States Copyright Office.

It is important to note that copyright law can be complex and varies based on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable in copyright law to assist with any questions or issues related to copyright ownership.

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