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Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Hi in Florida, friend and I wrote a series of books I’m about to publish and podcast my friend died can I be sued

I’m wondering if her husband has any legal rights in the state of Florida there is no contract all the books are on my computer but he did create the artwork that I will not use.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 23, 2022

The estate of your late friend and co-author presumably has rights to half of the proceeds. Ask her husband if a probate petition has been filed with the courts and a personal representative has been appointed.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Do I need permission to publish photos of the exterior of a business in a book of then and now photos

I am publishing a book of then and now photos. The "then" photos are public domain and some of the "now" photos contain the exteriors of a business shot from the street. Do I need permission from the business to publish the photo?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on May 15, 2022

You do not need permission from the business to take a photo from a publicly accessible location, and as the photographer you will own copyright in the photo with the right to publish it.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New Jersey on
Q: Can I patent a game that has open domain IPs such as Santa Clause? I’m making a game where Santa is the main villain

I am making the story unique and bringing my own twist on Christmas and a dark tale of horror with my own unique characters and ideas.

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on May 14, 2022

Your situation requires more facts and to determine what you can due without getting into serious legal problems, you must retain an experienced patent law attorney. With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Can I use the term Dragonborn for a humanoid dragon race without falling under copyright from D&D?

Im developing a fantasy video game with a race of humanoid dragon people that were made by dragons and was hoping to call them Dragonborn, but it shares the same name and physical similarities to the Dungeons and Dragons race of Dragonborn. Despite the fact its just a combination of the words... Read more »

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco
answered on May 5, 2022

It sounds like you're asking about the trademark implications of you using that term. There are many factors to determine if you are infringing on someone's trademark. It would be best to have a trademark attorney conduct a comprehensive search at the USPTO to determine if you may run... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Copyright on
Q: Artist Work for Hire Copyright Question: Do Work for Hire contracts need to be professionally written?

I want to hire an artist to draw art for me. I plan on printing and selling this art. Legal contracts are very scary and long. Can I just write my own using plain English? Example: I write on a Word document or email "I pay artist to give me art. I will reprint and sell this art." Will... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on May 5, 2022

The agreement for a work-for-hire need not be elaborate. But it should be in writing, dated, and clearly state (1) what work is the subject, (2) the names of the artist and the hiring party, and (3) that the work is a "work for hire."

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Is it legal to use screenshots from software I've purchased, in training course material I create and sell - screenshots

only, not the software itself - without compensation to or permission of software seller?

Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Kevin E. Flynn
answered on May 3, 2022

There is not a patent question here. This is a question of your end user agreement and possibly copyright law.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Can I legally use the name Soul Snatcher for fishing lures and tackle?

This will include soft and hard baits, fishing rods, fishing accessories, and apparel.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Apr 30, 2022

There is a live registration for SOULSNATCHAS (phonetic equivalent) in the category for apparel, another for SOUL SNATCHER in the category for adult sexual stimulation aids, and a pending application for SOUL SNATCHER in an apparel-related category, so those would preclude new registrations in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oklahoma on
Q: if I made a design while in a group, if I left the group would it still be considered my design or the groups?

I was in an online group for a project awhile back and in the group I made a character design. I’ve since left the group and was wondering if the design would legally be considered mine or the groups? There were no contracts involved, and the character design doesn’t belong to the group, it was... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Apr 27, 2022

As the creator of an original work, you own copyright in the work unless there was an agreement that it was a "work for hire". There being no such agreement, you retain all rights in the work and should inform the group to that effect, and insist that your work not be included in the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Copyright, Insurance Bad Faith and Personal Injury for California on
Q: What if I haven't got my mail an important documents that I never received and effected my life
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
answered on Apr 27, 2022

MUCH MORE INFO NEEDED.

DID THE POST OFFICE SCREW UP OR SENDER?

DID THE DOCUMENTS GET MIXED UP INSIDE OTHER MAIL YOU WERE THROWING OUT.

I JUST WENT THROUGH THIS TOO.

I WOULD GO TO THE POST OFFICE TO HAVE THEM LOOK INTO IT.

WE SENT OUT INVITATIONS TO AN EVENT,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Internet Law for Ohio on
Q: Legality of showing websites we've built for marketing agencies in our portfolio?

We previously worked for a Chicago-based Marketing Agencies developing websites. We're wondering now if we can display those websites in our portfolio legally. There was no written agreement with the agency. We're worried about getting sued if the agency sees those websites in our... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 26, 2022

If there was no written agreement with those agencies, then you retain the copyright in the materials that you created for them. They have the right to use the websites, but you actually own the copyright. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local intellectual property attorney to review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: so someone has a clothing brand with a name that doesn't seem to be copyrighted.

if i were to register copyright over the name and start my own clothing brand with it, would i be violating any copyright or intellectual property rules?

Thomas James
Thomas James
answered on Apr 24, 2022

A name isn't protected by copyright, but it might be protected as a trademark. In the U.S., an unregistered trademark is enforceable as a "common law" trademark. You run a high risk of trademark infringement liability if you use another company's brand for the same kinds of products or services.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Patents (Intellectual Property), Copyright and Trademark on
Q: Do I need a bankruptcy lawyer? Can I review patents I believe am the rightful owner of.

Cryptocurrency patent Microsoft has applied for, digital advertising alliance, online casino platforms, QR codes.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
answered on Apr 14, 2022

Not sure what you need a bankruptcy lawyer for….?

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Hello, How can I find out if I can copy a patent product and just stick my own logo to it instead of theirs logo.

And how can I find their patent number and how I can copy the product with my own manufacturer and make my own brand logo and sell it without getting sued?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Apr 12, 2022

Well, the point of patents is to prevent you from doing exactly what you are trying to do.

However, you should be able to copy someone else's patented product if somehow you don't infringe (you are outside the scope of the claims of the patent), or there is a problem with the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Arbitration / Mediation Law for California on
Q: Is there a statute of limitations for Arbitrations in California

My issue issue is primarily a breach of contract dispute that touches on the issue of film copyrights. The contract requires binding arbitration.

David H. Relkin
David H. Relkin
answered on Apr 12, 2022

The statute of limitations to bring a contract claim is the same as in New York, namely, four years. However, most contracts that provide for arbitration shorten such periods. In New York, the arbitrator rules on the statute of limitations but when interstate commerce is involved, the Courts may... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: unknowingly downloaded copyrighted material.

I downloaded a game which released in 2016 from torrent 3 days ago. I didn't know what is torrent and I didn't know what I was doing is illegal.I watched a YouTube video teaching how to download the game and so I followed the video step by step and downloaded it and torrent, they... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
PREMIUM
Steve Charles Vondran
answered on Apr 10, 2022

Having defended hundreds of these BitTorrent download cases (mostly Strike 3 Holdings, LLC movies), the best I can tell you (not legal advice) is to STOP downloading and sharing movies. If you are found to have downloaded, let's say, 20 or more movies - that is about the lowest number I have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: How to see what a company’s patent looks like to not get sued because I have ideas and don’t want to get sued.

I want to make a further development of the product that has patent. But how can I work around their patent.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Patented products typically carry patent markings. Something like "pat. no. 12,345,xxx" and like. Once you have that, you go find the patent in the U.S. Patent Office databases.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Wyoming on
Q: Hey, if i wanted to write a book titled A Hero's Journey would I be able to do it or is it trademark infringement?
John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Book titles cannot be registered as Federal trademarks unless they are attached to a series of books or editions. Titles also cannot be copyrighted.

Here, you are proposing, however, to write a book with a title that shared with an extremely famous book: The Hero's Journey by Joseph...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: Hi, I received a email saying that one of the images I used on my blog was copyrighted and I have to pay 1400

Hi, I received a email saying that one of the images I used on my blog was copyrighted and I have to pay 1400 to avoid legal action. But the email seems suspicious Am i obligated to pay? What legal action would I face if I ignored it ?

Here’s the email:

Please understand that as a... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
PREMIUM
Steve Charles Vondran
answered on Apr 5, 2022

These letters can be legit despite them sometimes looking like spam or a scam. You should have a photo infringement law firm look the letter over. Before we ever advise our clients to pay we like to look at the whole situation such as (1) who is sending the letter (2) do they have the legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York on
Q: Can I use the name if I have something I would like to sell on ebay that resembles the symbol?
Brandon M. Selinsky
Brandon M. Selinsky
answered on Apr 4, 2022

I could give you a better answer if I had some additional information. For now, I will assume that the thing you are selling on eBay is the product of another company. For the sake of discussion, I will assume that company is Nike. If you are selling something with the Nike Swoosh on it, you cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Georgia on
Q: The name that I'm changing my business to someone has that name on Instagram however they sell on Etsy

I was going to register as an LLC and trademark because it's not found in Ga can I do that?

John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla
answered on Mar 30, 2022

It's important to remember that the registration of an LLC or other business entity name with your state naming authority is a totally different process than Federal trademark registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A name may be "free" within the state...
Read more »

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