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Colorado Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: I have an idea for a new business. How do I know if I should file for a patent or just keep it a trade secret?

Griffin Klema answered on Dec 5, 2018

That can be a tough call, but generally depends on a few things: 1. Whether what you have is protectable by a patent, 2. Whether the information can truly be maintained confidentially.

The first question can be answered by a patent lawyer by performing a patentability assessment. The answer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Is there ever any situation where you can trademark and copyright the same piece of intellectual property?

Griffin Klema answered on Nov 14, 2018

Yes. Broadly speaking if it's both a creative work (copyright) as well as a source identifier (trademark), then it may be covered by both types of IP. This is sometimes referred to as "industrial art."

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Is it possible to get approval for use of Denver Broncos logo for apparel?

I'm interested in starting a clothing store and would like to know if it is possible to get permission to use professional sports teams logos and if so...how to go about doing that.

Ashley Dean Powell answered on Nov 13, 2018

It is technically possible, though very difficult. Last I checked (I once had a hat idea that all my friends told me was dumb), the apparel (and hats) categories of licenses were essentially considered "closed" in that the NFL was not interested in talking to new potential licensees. Those... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: It seems like there are different types of IP protections for different types of work. How do I know which one applies

to mine?

Ashley Dean Powell answered on Sep 17, 2018

This is out of my practice area, but I can confirm that there are multiple types of protections: patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks are the main categories we often think of (with some subcategories I believe).

Each of these can be highly technical, and you will often find...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Colorado on

Q: How do u find out if someone has a patent on a wooded kite?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jun 17, 2018

The only way to know is to search. Even if you search you may have some small risk that a patent application is ahead of you in the pipeline but is not visible yet. However, searching is the commercially reasonable way to reduce your risk of running into a problem.

One strategy is to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Am writing a comic book - should I just get a copyright on that, or on the characters too?

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Jun 5, 2018

Under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, copyright is automatic upon the creation and fixation of an original work of authorship in a tangible medium. Placing copyright notice is not required, but provides some worthwhile benefits. Registration with the U.S. Copyright is not required to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Is taking back someones property because they haven't used it in months, without refunding legal?

hello i just wanted to clarify for someone about stealing and they wont listen to my and i need your help!

Theres a business going on where this account sells character for money, but there is a problem!

Their rules arent right, they're forcing people to agree to the rules before... Read more »

John Espinosa answered on May 5, 2018

The key here is whether the item in question is tangible or intangible. If it is tangible, like a book, painting, or the table in your example, then they can't restrict your right to that particular tangible item when they sell that item to you. However, if it is intangible like the rights to use a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: What kind of Permission do I need to use a song as the outline of my novel?

I just finished my first draft. To compose the climax of the story I used one of my favorite songs as an outline, as it fit perfectly with my tale. I did not use exact lyrics at all, and significantly expanded the story of the song. The narrative flow and sequence of events is the same, however.... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III answered on Apr 23, 2018

An attorney would need to review the song and the story to determine if one infringes the other. If so, you would need a license to create derivative works.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Copyright troll lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. Can I start deleting files off my hard drive now?

Received a letter from their lawyer asking to settle and warning me not to delete anything on my computer. Last month he filed voluntarily dismissal without prejudice.

Benton R Patterson III answered on Nov 15, 2017

Probably so, but it would be best have an attorney review what you received from the copyright owner's attorney. A dismissal without prejudice means that the suit may be filed again.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Can a minor in Colorado claim copyright?

The US Copyright Office, looking at their FAQ, will issue registrations to minors, but does caution that (direct quote) "state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors."

(I've looked through the C.R.S. at LexisNexis, but one problem with online C.R.S.... Read more »

Griffin Klema answered on Sep 17, 2017

Since you have access to LexisNexis, try searching for Colorado property ownership laws concerning minors. Or more specifically "intellectual property" ownership by a minor. You should be looking for a statute relating to minors and property, perhaps language like to “sue or be sued” or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Colorado on

Q: If the word "vetrepreneur" for veteran entrepreneur is trademarked. Can I trademark "vetrepreneurlife"?

Benton R Patterson III answered on Sep 8, 2017

An attorney would have to know more about the existing mark, your proposed and historical use, and the registration of the first mark to answer this question. Assuming the marks are for the same goods or services, the first mark is valid, and the other mark was used first, you probably cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: How closely do two books have to be in plot and setting for an author to successfully win a copyright infringement case?

Do I have to prove the other author has read my story to be successful?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Aug 31, 2017

Most copyright infringement claims are decided buy the specific facts of the case. There is no hard rule for the majority of infringement cases. Direct and literal plagiarism is an undeniable infringement. A similar general plot and setting may be an infringement, but it could also not be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Do I have to license starwars if I redraw it, print and sell it ?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jun 15, 2017

Yes, a license is required if the derivative artwork is used commercially. For private use (without commercial use), the copying should fall under fair use or not be an infringement of a pre-existing copyright.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: I have a collection of Old Farmer's Almanacs from the mid to late 1800s and I'm interested in selling reproductions.

My concern is that even though they're in the public domain, they are still published today using the same basic format and design. Can I legally reproduce the old versions? The Farmers Almanac website acts is if they own all of them in perpetuity.... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 29, 2017

There are other intellectual property rights involved here. These include trademark, trade name, trade dress, and potentially general unfair competition claims. All of these claims have no expiration date in which they become public domain (a concept that only applies to copyrights and patents).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: custom art featuring video game characters on a wall in a bar? Is it illegal?

Opening an arcade and want to have a custom mural featuring many video game characters.

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 10, 2017

You will need to have an attorney review the specifics of the intended use. As a general rule, the answer is no because the characters are copyrighted. That said, similar (but not identical) images are possible.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: I am photo blogger. Is it legal for the company to keep republishing my work without my consent or additional pay?

I have a contract with them that states they may republish "as mutually agreed upon from time to time, as evidenced by an email." I have never once been consulted about them republishing my work. Otherwise, I would have said no, or asked for more money.

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Apr 4, 2017

As a copyright holder you have the right to restrict republishing. The contract you signed may have impacted this right.

You will need to contact a lawyer directly to review the contract and the unauthorized use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Colorado on

Q: Can I use trademark Masha and the Bear to name my cafe?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jan 11, 2017

Contact an intellectual property lawyer for all the details. If you do not own the trademark and the name (and/or image is registered as active), the use of the mark is possible, but you must be careful (and be aware that you may receive a cease and desist letter). For trademarks the issue is brand... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: Can I make and market a food product from a published cookbook?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Dec 22, 2016

Without directly reviewing the exact intended use and all surrounding situations, I cannot make a full assessment, but I can provide general guidance. Cookbooks are unusual copyright materials because large portions of the book are uncopyrightable. Specifically the list of ingredients and general... Read more »

Q: I been calling emailing and trying send my grandma's conservator and guardian messages i need will made but no reply

What do I do it has a attorney name in there but even she won't call me back my grandma needs her will made it says in this booklet my grandpa put " If my wife ain't able to serve will and make decisions I appoint ......and has neighbor name but social services won't listen there her guardian and... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jun 23, 2016

You will need to contact an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on

Q: I'm creating cartoons featuring a lion named Aslan (the Turkish translation for "lion"). Is "Aslan" trademarked?

I came across this trademark: https://trademarks.justia.com/764/36/aslan-76436283.html Does that apply to the character of a lion named Aslan? Does the trademark prohibit me from creating cartoons with a lion named Aslan and/or prohibit me from creating merchandise with his likeness?

Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jan 25, 2016

Answering your question as a yes or no answer would create an attorney-client relationship. Justia Q&A is for general legal questions. As a general rule, a trademark only applies to the trade/business listed on the application. There are several exceptions that prevent a trademark from applying... Read more »

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