Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
California Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: I signed a non-compete with a toddler/ infant lifestyle company. Would a job at a children’s food company violate it?

I’m a freelance illustrator and am in a contract with no termination date with a toddler lifestyle company. There a potential job I’m interested in illustrating children’s books for an upstart children’s superfood and edutainment brand. Would this be a violation of my non compete even if... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Aug 31, 2020

The generality is that non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California. That is only a generality. Situations exist where a service provider must not compete whether or not there is a non-compete agreement. Your question does not include facts that would be necessary to make a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Is it possible to get an outside USA patent for the same product that has a USA patent?

Assume there is a product with a USA patent. Can someone who is not the inventor apply for a patent in another country?

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 20, 2020

Generally speaking, if no international application was filed based on the U.S. application before it issued as a patent, it's too late to file in other countries. In that scenario, the U.S patent would be considered "prior art" to the later filed international applications on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Do most patents stay valid for the entire 20 year period? If not, what factors alter a patent's lifetime?
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 10, 2020

U.S. patents have "maintenance fees" that are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years. Some patent owners don't pay those fees for various reasons, and the patents expire for non-payment.

Sometimes a patent is litigated in a federal court and found to be invalid or unenforceable for...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for California on
Q: I'm curious if I have any legal options to reclaim my deleted podcast from Spotify/Anchor or hold them accountable?

The company deleted my show with no explanation and I no longer have access to the platform to recover my content and redirect my show. I'm wondering what can be done here?

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk answered on Aug 4, 2020

The first step is to determine the reason for the deletions. There is a factual question to answer. Did they identify a breach of the terms of use? Are they correct? Was it simply an accidental deletion? Is the content recoverable by them, or is it simply lost? Contact their customer service and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Later utility patent adds claims to an expired patent - is previous claims protected again or only delta is covered

I have a technology for which the patent is expired. A later patent filed by another group used added something new to the old technology. Is the technology covered in the old patent (without the additional changes) is still public domain? E.g. I patent chair. The patent on the chair expires.... Read more »

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 18, 2020

Generally, for infringement to occur the product being analyzed will infringe a patent if the product being analyzed contains all the features defined in a claim of an active patent. This is called literal infringement. (Example: if the analyzed product has features A, B, and C (with or without... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Need assistance with patent information.

Hello,

Im seeking assistance with the review of some trademark applications I have completed and I'd like to review for accuracy before I submit. I also have a few questions about technology IP; specifically with the use of some thermal imaging products and supporting software... Read more »

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 16, 2020

Use the Find a Lawyer function on Justia and go from there. Call the lawyers and determine if the work can be completed and ask for a quote.

For some issues you have a wide variety of lawyers to choose from. For federal trademark applications and patent applications, those applications...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

Hi, I am a design engineer and 30% shareholder of a medical corporation and manufacturing engineer and 100% owner of a second corporation exclusively working for the first one. The two company are working under the same roof last 20 years. I would like... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 3, 2020

The first thing to figure out is whether you have ever signed an invention assignment or other written agreement to assign your intellectual property rights to one of these companies. If so, those documents would give you the answer.

If not, California state law will govern, and it may...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Insurance Bad Faith, Intellectual Property and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Question, if this property belongs to the Indian reservation and the individual took it out unauthorized with a deed,

It would be considered fraud or no?

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 1, 2020

Consider contacting a local pro bono attorney group related to the issue. The specific facts would need to be reviewed to understand what happened and any possible wrongdoing.

This answer includes generalizations and there are many caveats. This answer does not form an attorney client...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: 6340334 patentIs there anyway to check if products out today are anything close to our patent?

I did see a couple manufactures last year that make portable boxing rings, don’t know if that would be close to our design? Maybe just improved idea??

Let me know if you have any interest

Thanks

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jun 19, 2020

Jeff,

Google Patents notes that your patent expired in 2006 for failure to pay a maintenance fee. You may want to discuss this with your patent attorney. There are ways to pay for an unintentional failure to pay a maintenance fee to revive a patent that lapsed for failure to pay the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Is it illegal to name a eyeshadow palette after a copyright song ?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 16, 2020

The title of a song is not something that can have copyright protection, in and of itself. It is too short.

You should perform trademark searches, however, both state and federal, to make sure no one else is using the same or a similar phrase as a trademark for cosmetics.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can I be a part of this lawsuit as I have used icognito mode and feel like my data has been compromised.

I have used icognito mode to enter private details for banking , telephone data , sensitive searches and believe that my trust was misplaced by using incognito mode and my data was therefore compromised.

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on Jun 9, 2020

This is a brand new case that was just filed last week.

There is no settlement, no judgement, nothing to claim at this point.

Class action cases take time, often 2-5 years from the time they are filed until they are resolved.

And there is no guarantee that the case will be...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Semi-famous relative passed away.

While family was occupied with final arrangements/grieving, a third party filed for licensing to the name and image my relative went to extreme lengths to protect in life. So now essentially this person owns my relative. The family does not have the financial resources for a court battle. We simply... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

My understanding is that California has strong laws that protect the Right of Publicity (right to exploit one's fame for famous people) and Right to Privacy. It would be good to get advise from a California attorney familiar with these 2 torts. The laws may allow you to collect... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Civil Rights and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: A none-profit organization is selling my family’s picture from the events including the minors without our permission.

What is the case that we can file against them?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 15, 2020

It sounds like a question of whether the organization is violating your right of privacy. Check to see whether you were given notice of their intention before you attended the event so that it could be said you consented to their use by participating in the event. Look closely at the invitation... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Trademarking a name that is already trademarked. Same industry or not?

I'm looking to trademark a business name (call it "FishExample"). FishExample is currently trademarked for "furniture to store fishing supplies and goods". My FishExample business will be an online community/resource for fishermen (unrelated to furniture, but tied into... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 15, 2020

As usual with so much in the law, the answer is, "It depends." A trademark owner acquires rights in their mark, whether for goods or service, by using it in ways that convey to consumers that there is a particular source offering the goods/services. From what you write, it is not clear... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Am I allowed to use a verbally spoken speech or spoken poetry in my music?

I'm currently working on a soundtrack and considering using a verbally spoken speech.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on May 12, 2020

If the speech or poetry does not belong to you, then you will need to obtain permission/license from the copyright owner in order to incorporate this intellectual property into your soundtrack.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Hello

Can a foreign artist file for a trademark in USPTO , if he is not a citizen of the US?

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on May 11, 2020

You should register your trademark when you begin using the trademark. A foreign domiciled applicant may file for trademark registration but he/she must be represented by a US-licensed trademark attorney. You will need to hire a US trademark attorney to proceed.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: Would it be possible to produce, sell and protect a "fake" product, not registered which was featured on an SNL Parody?

While watching a popular late night show, they featured a sketch of an infomercial for a fake product which does not appear to be in production, on sale anywhere and does not show up in a Copyright search, Trademark Search or Patent Search. Prior to obtaining formal legal counsel I would like to... Read more »

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey answered on May 5, 2020

It is possible, but likely that you would need to obtain NBC legal approval. I recall that "Land Shark" halloween costumes have been made. That image and art is an NBC property.

With the right incentive, a deal could be crafted.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: This involves a major airline company. They took a name I came up with. I received nothing. Am I entitled to a claim?

I do have more details but would like to save further details pending a positive response.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 4, 2020

From what you write, unless you have some written agreement, it does not appear that you have any claim. If the airline adopted a mark and uses it as a mark, then that is what it is, their mark. Any idea you might have had about the way to use the word, is just that, an idea.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Hi there! Do I have to pay this fee of $250 to absolve me from an infringement or is there a way to dispute it?

I sold one shirt on Etsy for $15 with the quote “Still I Rise” and the words “Maya Angelou” in the description. Now her company is trying to fine me $250. Do I have to pay?

Here is an excerpt from the email they’ve sent:

“Indiana’s statute is very clear on this point:... Read more »

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey answered on Apr 27, 2020

This probably would not be a state law question. More information is requested.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If one starts a website that lists doctors, can you use a headshot & bio from the doctors website without permission?

This would be just a directory of doctors and their business information found on their website.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Apr 14, 2020

You are in risky territory

Besides having a consultation with an attorney, you should consider having an engagement plan with the doctors so you can remove them and change information.

www.legalbizglobal.com

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.