Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video? The video shows the progress of the industry

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
Although such use may not amount to a trademark (or perhaps copyright) infringement, my suggestion is to contact each company and obtain their written authorizations to use their respective logos.

Q: I have a design with the word "Fortnite" inside the design but its not the logo of "fortnite". Is this infringement?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
Maybe. It depends on whether your goods or services are in the same class as an existing trademark registration, and whether using the mark is or will cause consumer confusion. Even if not registered, common law infringement may also be a problem. I suggest speaking to a trademark lawyer and seek a freedom to operate opinion. Good luck!

Q: Please help me with following patent for a foam water squirting toy: US7571837B2 by Prime Time Toys Ltd.

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
A product does not infringe the title of a patent, or the abstract, or the drawings and the specification. To be within the scope of the patent owner's ability to exclude, the product needs to infringe at least one claim in a patent that is still in force.

So the first step is to ensure that the patent has not lapsed. You can see my answers to other questions so see how to determine whether a patent is still in force.

Getting back to the claims, to understand what is in a...

Q: Can I patent a mouthwash made w/ over-the-counter ingredients offering no health claims other than fresh breath?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Health Care Law, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Answered on Nov 27, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
Yes, this is done all the time. Your patent would be a formulation patent. The majority of patents that I write are formulation patents.

A couple of notes:

(1) The biggest problem that you need to overcome is the obviousness rejection. You can't just take known ingredients, mix them up to make a new mouthwash, and get a patent on it. There must be some sort of unexpected results, such as synergistic effects.

(2) You are going to have to come up with some hard-core...

Q: Iam from India. Can I use a tech patented in US?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Answered on Nov 24, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
A United States patent gives the owner the right to prohibit use of the patented technology within the US. That includes making, using, selling, or offering to sell. So a US patent prohibits someone from making something in Canada and selling it in the US or making it in the US and selling it in Canada.

If you are going to make use of this technology in India, then a US patent is irrelevant unless you plan to export to the US. There may be a parallel patent in India as there are...

Q: I want to use "Seal Team" as part of my business name, I see its trademarked by the US Navy, can i use it

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New Jersey on
Answered on Nov 17, 2018
Guvenc Acarkan's answer
Depends on what type of product or services you want to offer under the name. If you want to use it under one of the specified goods and services that is already registered with USPTO then you cannot register that trademark. The answer to your question depends on the facts surrounding your case, it is hard to answer without further information.

Q: Is it legal for me to use “Fruit Loops” as a flavor?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Products Liability, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 17, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Almost certainly your use violates their trademark, and the penalties for exploiting their trademark for commercial gain to sell your product are severe (you not only pay all of their attorney's fees, but penalties and forfeiture of all profits earned as a result). Kellogg's will hire very expensive and aggressive lawyers. Consult a trademark lawyer going forward so you can understand what you can and cannot do exploiting other trademarked brands. Generally, you must obtain permission (a...

Q: I'm told that 'boss' cannot be used for another company even if they are using the word for a different business

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Answered on Nov 15, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
I don't think that this is quite true. You should be able to use the word "Boss" in a different context without infringing on the trademark "Boss" of another business.

The whole point of trademarks is that you cannot use the word (or a design, phrase, etc.) that will confuse customers into thinking that your product was made by the owner of the trademark. If there is no likelihood of confusion, then you should be able to use the word "Boss".

Q: I found this patent on your website and have some questions about it. Hair brush tangle teezer Patent number: D825935

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Answered on Nov 15, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
That is a design patent, not a utility patent. This means that it prevents others from copying exactly that design. But it does not prevent others from making other designs of a hair brush that does the same thing.

Design patents are very narrow, meaning that they protect only that design. Many companies do not consider them very useful because a competitor can can make a change to the design and the competitor won't infringe. They are relatively cheap to get. Although they are...

Q: If I am using the name DadPoolTV for streaming online and creating content, am I violating any tradmarks for DeadPool?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Utah on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
The answer to your question should be obtained in a confidential setting with a lawyer, not here on a public forum. You wouldn't want a "bad" answer to be public information and then used against you later. The short answer is maybe, and I recommend you consult an attorney if you are concerned. An important factor is what kind of profits (ad revenue, or improved goodwill of other products) are you earning from your content.

Your issue is probably more trademark related than copyright....

Q: I was a Director for a national company. We sold to GrubHub for millions on a cash deal. I have a compant idea.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
Protecting your idea depends on what it is. It could be patentable. It could be kept confidential as a trade secret. Or it could be copyrighted (e.g. computer code). It all depends on what it is you're trying to protect. If you are serious about investing in your business, expect to budget several thousand dollars exploring how best to protect your intellectual property with a lawyer who has broad intellectual property experience so that all possible forms of IP can be explored concurrently....

Q: My dad invented insta fire and on most of the the patent abstracts his name is changed not only the he named him produc

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Utah on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
It is not clear what your question is (maybe you submitted the form before typing the full question?). The USPTO shows "Gary T. Jones" as the first named inventor on U.S. patent no. 6,093,224. The abstract for that patent does not include any names.


1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
There are many attorneys who offer representation on a full contingency basis, although a lawyer's willingness to offer a pure contingency fee arrangement (i.e. incur the risk of both time and court costs if the case is lost), depends on the strength of a case and its value.

I recommend contacting attorneys who practice in copyright litigation and inquiring about that type of fee arrangement. If you get lots of "no thanks" or "sorry, we can't offer that," it probably means your case is...

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

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark 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: How can I get the FBI Reward for an idea

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on Nov 10, 2018
Timur Akpinar's answer
If your idea involves some invention or technology, you might want to get the input of a patent attorney. You could additionally post your question in that section.

Tim Akpinar

Q: Is it possible to patent a very specific PROCESS that is part of a public website?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Answered on Nov 7, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
It is hard to patent a web site under the current case law. You usually need to show that you have invented a way to make web sites work better and that is normally independent of the content of the web site.

Putting that aside for now -- one cannot take something that is already in public use and file a patent for it in the United States. Secondly, a person only gets to patent what that person invents. So any patent granted to a person for an idea that the person stole from someone...

Q: patent a social networking service idea that can be in an app, it is 100% new and 100% attractive

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Answered on Nov 6, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
There is not a requirement that you be a citizen of the United States in order to obtain a patent here. Many inventors obtain patents in several different countries.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

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