Salisbury, NC asked in Business Law, Contracts and Intellectual Property for North Carolina

Q: I recently obtained the rights to two characters and wish to stop their current use by an organization

A convention is using two mascots designed and created by an independent artist. The convention willfully granted the artist full ownership of these characters in 2021 in writing.

Recently the artist wished to cease their affiliation, as such both sides terminated her contract with them and she sold the rights to the mascot characters to me. This termination was done without legal counsel and leaves a lot of questions about how the convention can proceed with their use.

I wish to bring the convention to the table and negotiate further use of these characters on their printed materials and merchandise. If they refuse idk how to stop them. The artist should have received a hefty payment for those rights from this convention. However the Previous Board turned over and the New Board continuously delayed any payments. She’s a recently single mother with two kids entering college age. If a solution is found I intend to use the immediate funds to assist in their education.

2 Lawyer Answers
N'kia (NLN)
N'kia (NLN)
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: As this is a potentially complex issue, general information would not likely help you get to the bottom of things. You should consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to review the contracts, assess your rights, and point you toward viable options. You can search the Justia directory, find a few attorneys, and reach out to each of them separately. (This is just a forum for Q&As, not for connecting with attorneys directly.) Good luck!

James L. Arrasmith
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A: Given that you have obtained the rights to the characters from the artist, you have the legal authority to negotiate with the convention regarding the use of these characters on their materials and merchandise. If the convention refuses to cooperate, you may explore legal options, such as sending a cease and desist letter or pursuing a legal claim for infringement, to protect your rights as the new rights holder. Consulting with an intellectual property attorney will help you navigate the best course of action in this situation. - James Arrasmith, Owner. The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith.

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