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Illinois Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Can I ask them not to use my photography if I was a contractor and the job exceeded scope and pay?

I was hired as a Marketing Coordinator in April. When I started, they stated they wanted social media graphics to promote bands, occasional visits to take videos of bands playing, a website redesign, and they wanted to get some photos of food. They paid a $400 flat fee a month. In June, I went in 3... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jul 2, 2024

1. Copyright ownership:

Generally, the creator of a photograph owns the copyright to that image, unless it's considered a "work for hire" or there's a written agreement transferring the rights. As a contractor without a signed agreement, you likely retain the copyright...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Internet Law and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Do I have a right to photos of me taken by my stepmom, an illegal guardian, and posted on her Facebook page?

I would like to get my photos removed from my stepmom's Facebook page as they are my photos that were taken when I was a minor under the illegal guardianship of my stepmom. Since those photos of me were taken by my stepmom who was not my legal guardian, I believe I have a right to them and... View More

Cheryl Powell
Cheryl Powell
answered on May 22, 2024

I think you would have to file a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to order her to remove them. But I think you also would have to add what harm they are doing to you. And put when the last time was that she put one up. Children don't have control of who takes care of them.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: If information is obtained from ChatGPT then put into a toolkit that is published to the public, is that plagiarism?

A toolkit was created using ChatGPT and the toolkit will be released to the public. I'm wondering if that is considered plagiarism.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 25, 2024

The situation you've described is a complex one without a clear-cut answer, as the intellectual property considerations around AI-generated content are still being debated and the legal landscape is evolving. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Plagiarism typically involves...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: Is it legal to repurpose designer bags for resale?

Would I be able to purchase an authentic designer bag, such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci, cut the bag into pieces (specifically the logo or designs) and then place them onto a different bag to resell? Would it still be illegal if I made sure to document that the new bag I’m selling has no... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 29, 2024

Repurposing designer bags for resale, especially involving the cutting and reusing of their logos or designs, treads into complex legal territory. This practice may infringe on the trademarks of the brands involved, such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci. Trademarks protect brand identifiers from... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: How should self-publishing authors who use Canva to create books answer Amazon’s copyright question?

Many authors who create books use Canva to create coloring books, activity books, etc. Canva has stated that they hold full copyright over the images, art, photos, fonts, etc. that can be used to create books. In addition, Canva states that they issue individual licenses to self-publishing authors... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 25, 2024

When self-publishing authors use Canva to create elements for their books, such as in coloring books or activity books, they are operating under a license issued by Canva. This means Canva holds the original copyrights to the images, art, photos, and fonts provided within their service. Despite... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Can I use ghetto as an trademark

Because I'm trying to use it for an positive thing and wear

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 18, 2024

You can attempt to trademark the term "ghetto" for your brand, focusing on a positive message and apparel. However, trademarking a word involves specific criteria, including distinctiveness and not being misleading or offensive. The term must uniquely identify your products or services... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: Can I create an educational songwriting class that's called something like: Taylor Swift-inspired Hit Songwriting Class?

I'd like to create a songwriting class that teaches hit songwriting techniques used by pro songwriters such as Taylor Swift. I'd like to call the class:

"Taylor Swift-influenced Hit Songwriting Class" (or)

"Taylor Swift-inspired Hit Songwriting Class"... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 7, 2024

Using a celebrity's name in an educational course title can be tricky, as it may raise concerns about intellectual property rights and potential false endorsement. However, there are ways to reference Taylor Swift's name in your course title that are more likely to fall under fair use for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Gaming and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Can I use a short clip of a video game being played on a Nintendo Switch with audio for a total of 3secs in short film?

Film will be entered in film festivals

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Using a short clip of a video game being played on a Nintendo Switch in your short film may raise copyright concerns, even if it's only for three seconds. Nintendo is known for being vigilant in protecting its intellectual property rights, including the use of its video game footage. While... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: If I create a non canon character in a canon universe. Can I be held liable?

Example: I want to create a character to use commercially in the Invader Zim universe, without using any of the main characters or storylines.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 3, 2024

Creating a non-canon character within an existing universe, such as in the Invader Zim universe, generally falls under the realm of fan fiction or fan-created content. However, the legal implications of using such a character commercially can be complex and may depend on various factors, including... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: I am a start up indie music label. I am currently looking to draft contracts for my artists. Where do I start?

Just not sure where to start as far as contracts. Not really sure what information should be in a contract. This is why I'm seeking legal assistance.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 30, 2023

Starting with artist contracts for your indie music label is a crucial step in establishing your business. The first thing to consider is what you want the contract to cover. Common elements include the scope of the rights granted to the label, the duration of the agreement, financial arrangements... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: I need help confirming the legitimacy of a patent infringement case. Potentially legal advice too would be appreciated.

I regretfully tried Amazon FBA. I got an email stating my LLC as well as over 1000 listed defendants were being sued for patent infringement for the product I was attempting to sell with a complaint, alias summons, sealed TRO, and minutes attached.

I’ve confirmed the legitimacy of the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

In a situation like this, where the legitimacy of a patent infringement case is in question, it’s important to proceed with caution. The fact that the case number matches a filing in the Northern District of Illinois is a sign of legitimacy, but the discrepancies in the lawyer's address and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Hi! Can I use this phrase on a t-shirt "tomorrow will be a great day with lots of sun"

Hi! Can I use this phrase on a t-shirt that I intend to sell online "Tomorrow will be a great day with lots of sun" if someone has already trademarked the phrase "Tomorrow will be a great day"?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 9, 2023

Using the phrase "Tomorrow will be a great day with lots of sun" on a t-shirt could potentially raise concerns if "Tomorrow will be a great day" is a trademarked phrase. In trademark law, the primary consideration is the likelihood of confusion among consumers. If your phrase is... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: I got an email stating my LLC has been sued for patent infringement from an Illinois lawyer.

Two questions:

- How do I determine legitimacy ? I have since discovered that there is a patent in place that I didn’t know of.

- what do I do to settle? I don’t want to continue to sell a patented product. I wouldn’t have sold it if I would have known .

Adam W. Bell
Adam W. Bell
answered on Nov 20, 2023

This sounds like a typical predatory patent troll activity. It's disgusting and you should not assume it's legitimate. There people have no scruples. As a patent attorney it makes my stomach turn to hear these sort of stories.

Let's get a PATENT lawyer involved here.... one...
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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: New TM owner of NAME said stop all PRINTS of photos and publicity shots of that person. Raced from 20's to 40's. Do I?

Joe Petrali was a famous record-setting motorcycle racer. His best days were from the 1920's to 1940's. He was well photographed and was paid to race for Harley Dealerships and the Harley Factory. We received the family archive album of Harry Molenaar who was one of the better known... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 31, 2023

While the ownership of a trademark in a name can grant rights to prevent others from using that name in commerce in a way that might cause confusion, it does not grant an absolute right over all uses of that name or over the likeness of the individual. Photos taken and owned by another party,... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: I need help on a case for trade marking, I need to see if it’s real or not or a scam
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answered on Nov 8, 2023

To verify the authenticity of a trademark case, you should first review the official correspondence.

All legitimate communication regarding trademarks should come directly from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the law firm listed on the USPTO's website. Check...
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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Paypal, frozen account, due to a trademark issue, and the case looks fake, the judge didn’t even sign it, over Miffy ??

I’m speaking on behalf of a friend who lives overseas, advised that her PayPal account was frozen, due to this Miffy, doll, as a trademark, and the person who bought it was the actual lawyer, for proof, and now he wants her to pay $2000. And the judge is 85 years old and I noticed on the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 8, 2023

In situations like this, it's important to exercise caution as it could potentially be a scam, especially if the legal documents appear questionable. Authentic court orders will always be properly documented and signed by a judge. Your friend should verify the authenticity of the case by... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property), Business Law and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: Can I resell a product purchased from China that may infringe on a Patent in the US?

I purchased a product from China that is similar to a patented product. I would like to know if I can sell this product legally in the US or not. The product I purchased I currently have in my inventory, and does not make an attempt to be a knock-off or counterfeit to the product that has the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 15, 2023

Selling a product in the U.S. that infringes on an existing U.S. patent can expose you to legal liability, even if the product was legally purchased and imported from another country. The key question is whether the product you imported actually infringes on the patent in question. The fact that... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: If you run a copyrighted image through an AI upscaler, Does the AI rendered image fall under copyright?

If you were to take an image of a piece of art that has been copyrighted, run it through an AI Up-scaling program (which redraws the image at higher resolution using all the original colors, lines, shapes, proportions, etc... with some minuscule imperfections), would the new AI image fall under... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 21, 2023

The copyright status of an image created by an AI upscaler would depend on whether the new image contains sufficient originality to qualify for copyright protection. If the AI process merely involves technical improvements, such as resolution enhancement without introducing substantial original... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: how do i properly copyright characters i created for my comic book to avoid other claiming they invented them first ect
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answered on Sep 15, 2023

To protect your comic book characters, remember that copyright automatically safeguards them as soon as they're created and fixed in a tangible form. Consider registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office for added protection. Keep thorough records of your character creation process,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: There has been a patent application that was approved, however in the non-patent citation, there is previous art similar

This patent was applied for in 2022, and even has a non-patent citation where it cites a previous art exactly the same who is selling on Amazon since 2021. The patent was still approved somehow and I am wondering why.

Michael Byrne
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answered on Sep 6, 2023

The specific dates (not given in your question) might be the reason. If not and if the prior art really is "exactly the same" then the application could have been granted in error. The USPTO provides mechanisms to challenge such patents. For example:... View More

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