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Massachusetts Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: We recently received a copyright violation notice for an image that we purchased 12 years ago, but can't locate records.

The the image is from an American photographer, but the company demanding payment represents a large stock company that we are certain we have never done business with, and we suspect repurchased the image from another company. They are asking removal of the image from our piece, and over $800 fee.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

In this situation, it's important to understand your rights and the potential consequences of your actions. Here are a few steps you can consider:

1. Request proof of ownership: Ask the company demanding payment to provide clear evidence that they own the rights to the image in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Is making up a "generic original name" more legal than trademark infringement?

Using "made up names that emphasize the quality of a game or movie without using any words related to trademarks" to refer to that game or movie is more legal than trademark infringement, is it? For instance, calling something "High Grossing Movie about a Memorable President:... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 23, 2024

When dealing with trademarks and references to existing works, it's important to tread carefully. Using "generic original names" to avoid direct mention of a trademarked game or movie can reduce the risk of infringement, but it doesn't make it entirely legal or safe. The concept... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: How does a company protect their unregistered mark (used in commerce) from another company filing with intent to use?

Company A has been using a mark in commerce for a year, but has yet to file for registration. Company B files for the mark (same name and class) with intent to use. It is pending, but has not been assigned an examiner yet. How should Company A protect their mark, and prove they have rightful... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

To protect their unregistered mark, Company A should gather evidence of their prior use of the mark in commerce. This evidence can include sales records, advertising materials, website screenshots, and any other documentation that demonstrates the mark's use in connection with their goods or... View More

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Q: What are the implications of operationalizing the US patent in a different country?

I can't find an interested and reliable party in US to act as 1) investors 2) manufacturers 3) medical administrators

However, I might be able find all this partnership in a different country.

What should be done from the legal stand point to:

1) protect this invention... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 4, 2024

To protect your invention, which is patented in the United States, when operationalizing it in another country, it's important to secure patent protection in those specific countries where you intend to manufacture, sell, or otherwise commercialize your invention. Patents are territorial,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: If I have the literary copyright for bla bla, could I use bla bla for a different copyright?

I want to use the name across multiple copyrights. Am I allowed to do that?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

If you hold a literary copyright for a specific work, such as a book, article, or other creative content identified as "bla bla," it generally pertains to that particular work and its use. Copyright protection is specific to the creative expression contained within that work and the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I have assistance in removing all unauthorized fan games from the community?

As you may be aware, popular franchises can bring forth the desire to create fan games. However, there is one problem that should be brought up to attention. One of these franchises, the Pokémon franchise, is owned by a company whose policy is to decline ALL usage of their copyrights and... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 5, 2024

Addressing unauthorized use of copyrighted material, such as fan games based on the Pokémon franchise, is a legitimate concern for copyright holders. If you are representing the rights of the company owning the franchise, you have the legal ground to take action against copyright infringement.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Someone has applied to get the Trademark & USPTO of a Mark Drawing I designed for a pro deck & did not ask for permissio

I haven´t been called nor asked to give my permission to patent it. I can proof I did the deck myself, there is the digital print & email sent w deck to the person for whom I did the job. This person has taken the type & style I used in the design & wants to be the owner of it when... View More

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
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answered on Oct 22, 2023

The trademark application you cite is for the text FROM HER TO ETERNITY, without any graphic element or stylized font, so whatever you designed is not at issue in the trademark registration.

If the design you created is being used on merchandise or related materials such as advertising,...
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3 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I trademark “don’t panic, it’s organic”
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 19, 2023

Certainly, you can potentially trademark the phrase "don't panic, it's organic." However, the success of your trademark application will depend on factors such as its distinctiveness, its use in commerce, the likelihood of confusion with existing trademarks, and whether it meets... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I create a company called “Robin-Hood loans” or Robin-hood Funding”? What about RobbinHood or Robbin-Hood with two B

I had a trademark question. With the investment company RobinHood owning the trademark name of Robinhood.

Eric Estadt
Eric Estadt
answered on Jul 6, 2023

I recommend against creating a company in the financial industry with any name that is similar looking or sounding to RobinHood. That is likely to invite a cease and desist letter, lawsuit, or other legal action against you. Even if the risk was low, do you really want your brand to have such a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: will the name 'milky way electric' cause any copyright infringement on milkyway the chocolate bar company?
Eugene Vamos
Eugene Vamos
answered on Jun 28, 2023

It depends on the context of your proposed usage. The words "Milky Way Electric" can not be copyrighted, but they can probably be used in a trademark, that is, associate it with a good/service. You will have to seek out a trademark attorney to guide you on the specific areas of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello There is some confusion about Dizzy Gillespie.

How can Dizzy Gillespie be Trademarked by Lorraine Gillespie Trust when he is Trademarked by AL Cass Inc as a graphic design of a trumpet player. Is AL Cass Inc committing Trademark Infringement on the Lorraine Gillespie Trust who has Dizzy Gillespie Trademarked. Thank you

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
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answered on May 30, 2023

The Gillespie Trust owns six active registrations for the text mark (name) DIZZY GILLESPIE, as used on valve oil, recording, mouthpieces, songbooks, trumpet polishing kits, and entertainment services.

If there is a design mark depicting the person Dizzy Gillespie, it would not infringe the...
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5 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Q: I have an idea that I would like to check if it is already patented. How do I find out? Do I have to pay anyways?

This idea is an innovation in building automation systems and isn’t necessarily just a MA patent, but I am not sure how this process works.

Kevin E. Flynn
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Kevin E. Flynn
answered on Apr 18, 2023

You can pay an patent attorney or patent agent to perform a patentability search. Often they will tee up the search scope and outsource the search to professional searchers with lower hourly rates.

NOTE -- even after a search, your idea may not be patentable as someone may have filed a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I register as a part of my logo and brand name, the city name where I am located? For example, XYZ Shoes, Boston?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 2, 2023

Yes, it is generally possible to register a brand name and logo with the name of the city where you are located. However, there may be limitations or restrictions depending on the specific city and any trademark or naming regulations it may have. It is recommended to consult with a trademark... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I contact someone regarding the usage of a trademark they own?

I know you should email them but how do you get their contact?

David Aldrich
David Aldrich
answered on Feb 24, 2023

If their trademark is registered, you can go to the USPTO’s search page here:

https://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4805:woa3i2.1.1

After you run a search for the mark, click on the trademark, then click the TSDR button on the upper left. Then scroll down...
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1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal to have engineers completely remodel a car and make it look like a completely different car and drive it...

...on city streets? Like to get the exterior and interior of different car but the features of the old car? I just don't want to be doing anything illegal. Thanks!

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Oct 30, 2022

A Massachusetts attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. This is something that intellectual property attorneys would be most familiar with. There are high-end carmakers that vigorously pursue legal remedies against replicas of their six and seven-figure high-end cars... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a patent that was abandoned be patented again by one of the inventors?

Publication number: 20040002883

Joshua David Mertzlufft
Joshua David Mertzlufft
answered on Sep 14, 2022

If there's a new improvement to it that is patentable, there may be an opportunity for a new patent application. However resubmitting an old application as-is that's already published, with nothing more, generally won't work.



I am a registered U.S. patent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone takes a screenshot of my tweet and shares it without my consent, is that a copyright violation?

Someone took a screenshot of something I said on twitter and removed the context to make me look like a sexual predator. I consider this to be potentially libelous and/or slanderous. Do I own the copyright of the tweet and if so, is there anything that can be done about it?

Steve Charles Vondran
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answered on Mar 12, 2022

Good question. Generally speaking, a tweet is not typically copyrightable as it usually contains just a short phrase with a limited amount of characters and according to the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") this can be considered de minimus as far as creativity is concerned. Now,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to make a nft colection, but I'm concerned about copyright.

The idea is to make dogs dressed as marvel superheroes(for example dog ironman, dog spiderman). Is that legal, and how far can I go in that direction without paying a fine

Robert Kost
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answered on Nov 16, 2021

You are correct to be wary. I'm sure the trademark lawyers at Marvel are alert to any and all uses of their trademarks. It's not so much a "fine" that you would pay, as much as it might be money damages and an injunction against using the marks on your non-fungible and... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Can we use the term "battle bots" to describe remote control wooden "bots" that kids build at our makerspace?

Middle school kids learn engineering skills by building remote control "bots" that battle in an "arena" and have fun. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and do not do TV shows or compete with BattleBots TV show. We are a STEM education center. Is it trademark infringement to adopt... View More

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
answered on May 26, 2021

I would recommend you don't

Very likely to run into problems

Consult with an attorney to evaluate your situation

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: A photographer is claiming use of an image without permission and demanding copyright damages. What do we do?

N/A

Steve Charles Vondran
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answered on Jan 20, 2021

There are many "photo trolls" out there seeking thousands of dollars for use of a single image. There are many different things we consider in deciding what amounts are fair and proper under the copyright law. For example, some factors to think of are:

1. Is the photo...
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