Colorado Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

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?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
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 to the second question depends on what the information is. Sometimes, it cannot be kept secret simply by its nature. Other times, government regulations require disclosure. If you are evaluating how...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
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."

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

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Nov 13, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
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 categories are probably among the most competitive/difficult to enter. Other, smaller and less popular categories (think different types of products) may be a little easier to enter.

These are the...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 17, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
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 that attorneys who practice in this are tend to specialize in intellectual property.

As a very, very rudimentary rule of thumb, you might think of them like this:

- Did you create some...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Colorado on
Answered on Jun 17, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
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 limit what you do to things in expired patents. That won't work for high tech but for some products where a solution from 20 years ago may be commercially viable today, that is safety. No one should be...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Jun 5, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
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 perfect copyright but is inexpensive and valuable. Registration is required to maintain a civil lawsuit for copyright infringement in federal court.

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

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on May 5, 2018
John Espinosa's answer
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 character, then you merely have a license to use the copyright which can be restricted and revoked by the owner. Here is a helpful resource that explains the difference:...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Benton R Patterson III's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Nov 15, 2017
Benton R Patterson III's answer
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.

Q: Can a minor in Colorado claim copyright?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 17, 2017
Griffin Klema's answer
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 “enter into binding legal obligations” (for example, see General Obligations, § 3-101, Laws of New York).

Good luck!

Griffin Klema

https://klemalaw.com

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 8, 2017
Benton R Patterson III's answer
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 register the trademark vetrepreneurlife. These assumptions may change upon review all the facts though.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Aug 31, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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 infringement. You will need to contact a copyright lawyer directly for a review. Expect to pay for the lawyer's time. Also, as warning copyright infringement cases are at minimum $10K if it goes into...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Jun 15, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 29, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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).

If you intend to create and sell reproductions you should contact (and pay for) an attorney to review the intended use. Also be aware that even if you ultimately have a legitimate use, an...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 10, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 4, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 11, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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 confusion, so part of the legality of the mark's use related to the pre-existing use. If there is an overlap in type of use and the name is registered federally or in Colorado, you likely cannot use...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 22, 2016
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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 instructions (note: literal copying of wording in the instructions is a copyright violation) are not copyrightable. The introductions and any other material is usually copyrightable. In short, cooking...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 25, 2016
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
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 beyond a limited scope (remember trademarks are granted to prevent brand confusion). If you want a specific and detailed analysis you will need to contact an attorney.

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.