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Alaska Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Alaska on
Q: I'm researching existing prior art (using Google Patents), & I've been having a hard time with the "Application Events."

Here's an example:

2006-09-19: Application granted

2020-01-15: Application status is Expired - Fee Related

2024-05-04: Adjusted expiration

My question is re: the last two lines. Is the expiration truly now 2024, not 2020? I'm just not sure how those fields... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jan 15, 2020

Google is not the definitive record. If you have anything that looks odd, you need to go to the official record which is accessible by

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Collections and Small Claims for Alaska on
Q: I inherited land from my mom when she passed but never got the land now it's been sold where do I stand to get my share?

The person who held the land filed bankruptcy then sold the property before giving me anything including that he was going to sell.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Nov 19, 2019

If someone else other than your mother held title to the property, you don’t have anything to inherit. Assuming there was a legal basis for your claim to the property, you probably should have intervened in the bankruptcy. If you weren’t listed as a creditor, you can possibly still maintain... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Alaska on
Q: Divorced in AK & I was awarded spousal support & right to move to out of state. He isn't paying my support.

He keeps making motions knowing I am running out of money to pay to defend them plus I can't afford to keep flying to Alaska. I have to take care of my child (who I was awarded full custody of) plus the airfare is just another expense.

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Nov 18, 2019

If you win those motions, you can ask the court to have him pay a portion of your costs and attorney's fees.

You can participate in the hearings by phone. It would take some extra work to file exhibits, etc. in advance, and it's not as good as being there, but it would send a...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Antitrust, Banking, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Alaska on
Q: law school as difficult as people think?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Nov 14, 2019

More difficult

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for Alaska on
Q: Can a company use screenshots taken from a private message on social media to discipline an employee?

A coworker’s social media account was accessed by another employee on a work computer. Screenshots were taken by employee who was not intended recipient. They are being used against me in a disciplinary meeting. Neither of the intended parties gave permission for screenshots to be taken of... Read more »

Greg Mansell
Greg Mansell answered on Nov 6, 2019

If you work for a private employer, yes. Your employer can take action. The employee who intercepted them, however, may have violated laws in how they were obtained.

Q: My house is paid for and I want to get a patent on it under intellectual property can I do that?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 11, 2019


This is an example of a legal word having two different meanings. The word patent used to mean a right that was granted by the monarch or the government for something, including a right to hold some land, or the exclusive right to sell a certain product in the kingdom. Nowadays,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can we move out of state with our child and have the cases transferred

Our son is a child in need of aid but the court granted us full custody and rights over our child. We were in the process of moving to Texas to be with family can we still move and have our case transferred. We have another hearing in 6 months and how fast can we leave

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Oct 10, 2019

More information is needed to answer you question. Child custody jurisdiction usually requires that you and the child reside in the new state for at least 6 months before that state can handle custody matters. However, that's not automatic, and if the other parent still resides in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My ex and I have joint custody. In 2009, she took my children from Alaska to Germany with no intent on returning.

My two older kids returned (they’re adults now) but my son remained with his mother. They left in the middle of the night and I have not seen or heard from my son since. What are my rights as his father? Can I have the court make her return him or at least let him come visit?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 28, 2019

Yes, but it might be difficult to enforce the court order in Germany. Also, why have you waited so long?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Civil Rights for Alaska on
Q: My 19 month old was taken without notification an unfounded. How do I get her back now?!

My 19 year old daughter took my 19 month old for an overnight visit she went to OCS and she said the father and I are on heroin which is unfounded and a lie we both have random UA's for different reasons. him-Court reasons and myself-my doctor. it is a completely false allegation my daughter... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jul 22, 2019

Call OCS (269-4000 if you're in Anchorage). Give your child's name and ask to be connected with the assigned social worker. You'll probably get voicemail, so leave all your contact info and let him/her know you have not received notice. If you don't reach the social worker... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Alaska on
Q: Can citizens place a local property tax limitation ballot initiative on a ballot?

Local govt has said it's unconstitutional, but quoted dedicated funds provision. The ballot initiative doesn't dedicate any funds; it just limits growth of property tax imposition.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 3, 2019

I have never seen any government be helpful to citizens trying to limit taxes--because they all want more taxes, not less. Keep trying.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: My husband works away from the home for weeks at a time and has left us how can I get him counseling so we dont divorce?

My husband just decided that I’m evil and he doesn’t love me but I know he does he runs away from his family he won’t talk to any of us his wife or kid he left me with the house which I can’t afford I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and he forced me into a job I have no education and I... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jun 10, 2019

There really isn't any legal process you can use to prevent a divorce from happening or to force a spouse into counseling. If he does file a divorce complaint and custody is at issue, the court will sometimes order a party (more often both parties) to be evaluated, but that's only if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: OCS hasn't taken custody from me yet,but are going to. currently my mother has temp guardianship but ocs says that she

Is not a good match because she has had ocs calls on my younger brother. Any past cases have been closed and have been for several years with her so can I give full custody to my mom without OCS approval

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on May 30, 2019

Your question is a good one, but there's no way to assess whether your mother would be a suitable placement based on the number of years since prior calls. It depends on what the prior calls were about, and whether OCS determined she had committed abuse or neglect, and what type. Also... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: I would like to move out of AK, I am not married to the father. Can I take the child out of the State? Is it legal?

I can not afford an Attorney, is there any way to ask for physical custody without one? What are my best options as the sole provider

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on May 23, 2019

Yes, you can take the child out of state. Either parent can legally do that. Just be aware that without a custody order, the other parent can also legally come to the other state, pick the child up from school or daycare, and take the child back to Alaska. The fact that it's legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My parents are withholding my 2 children from me with only their Father’s consent is this legal? There is no court orde

We live in Alaska. The children’s father is working on the North Slope

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Mar 21, 2019

A power of attorney from one parent doesn't affect the other parent's rights. You can still do anything you would do if you were dealing directly with the father instead of the grandparents. However, you need to be careful in taking children from someone who has been the primary... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Alaska on
Q: Did I give up my rights to intellectual property after I came up with a clever business name for a friend years back?

Nothing was ever signed between us. She thanked me for being “so clever” and gaveme a t-shirt with the biz name. She has earned a LOT of income and all I want to know is if I have rights to the name when she sells the business. It is in a lucrative area and the name is a big piece of the value.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 4, 2019

Very likely you did not retain any rights.

In part because of the time passed, also the fact he is using it.

You need to work an idea to develop any rights. Ideas themselves do not create property rights. It is their implementation.

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Alaska on
Q: What symbol is used to indicate a registered Trade Mark owned by a business registered in Alaska?
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 17, 2019

if the mark was registered in the USPTO then you can use the circle R (r) next to the word, phrase or logo.

Contact me if you have any further questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Civil Rights and Construction Law for Alaska on
Q: How can I get a pro bono? I need one for a criminal case. Can you please point me in the right direction.

All the help I can get would be really appreciated. Thank you.

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Feb 9, 2019

The public defender is the one who provides legal services to the people without funds

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Ocs just overturned a substantiated finding of neglect. Can I now regain full custody as per the custody order?

My live-in boyfriend is still in the appeal process for a substantiated sexual abuse finding with "no further intervention"

Is it ok to bring my daughter back into the home without the worry of ocs?

The overturned neglect finding was for me.

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Feb 8, 2019

This is a delicate area, in the sense that the consequences of a mis-step can be grave. I think any lawyer would hesitate to say yes or no without a thorough discussion of the facts and a review of the OCS paperwork. Even then, OCS can be unpredictable in how they interpret their actions and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Alaska on
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 12, 2019

Contact the Alaska Bar Association.

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for Alaska on
Q: Hit by an uninsured driver - can I get insurance from others in the car?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 23, 2018

You could contact an attorney in Alaska to review your insurance policy for uninsured motorist coverage. Depending on coverage and injuries (I hope no one was hurt)/property damage, an attorney could advise further on what you should do next.

Tim Akpinar

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