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Indiana Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: One of my employees designed a great logo for my business. Am I safe to use it without paying them extra for it?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 21, 2011

Good question. If the logo is copyrightable, and making the logo was not within the scope of the employee's job, then the employee may own the copyright to the logo, meaning it could not be reproduced without infringing his or her copyright. However, the circumstances are highly fact specific, so... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: It is possible for a small business protect a original clothing line from copycat?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

Yes it is. Clothing designs can be protected by copyrights, patents (usually design patents) and by trademarks. There is also new federal legislation under consideration to provide a stronger form of protection for clothing designs, but at the moment, it does not look like it will be passed soon.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: How do I find case results for patent infringement cases in Virginia?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

Try going here: http://dockets.justia.com/ Select Virgina for the jurisdiction and patent (under intellectual property) for the case "Type." This will show you patent cases that have been filed. Then get a PACER account, and look at the docket reports for various cases.

Paul...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Shouldn't the United States Postal Service be able to sue the Faternal Order of Eagles for copyright infringment?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

I don't think so. I am not aware of any specific eagle logo of the FOE that they have registered and that the USPS has copied.

Paul Overhauser

www.iniplaw.org

www.overhauser.com

317- 891-1500

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Is it a violation of appropriation of name if i publish a book using a pen name the same as a celebrities true name?

I would think it is, but then again no matter what your pen name is someone with the same name exists, and pen names are very commonly used. My follow up question would be a misspelling of the celebrities name; for example his name is John Doe, could the famous actor John take civil actions against... Read more »

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

Yes, you would have potential liability if your book was published under circumstances that led consumers to believe that it came from a celebrity, rather than yourself. This would include misstating the name of a celebrity. If you changed your name to be the same as the celebrity, there could... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: How can I protect a new recipe I have come up with for barbeque sauce? It is really good.

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

The best way to protect a recipe would, in theory, be through a patent. However, this could be difficult for two reasons. First, "non-obviousness" is required for a patent, and the Patent Office may consider your ingredients to be "obvious," and hence unpatentable. Second, in considering patent... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Can I copyright the name of my band?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

A band name is not copyrightable, but it can be protected by trademark law. You may be ablet to obtain a State or Federal trademark registration on the name, and, a logo for the band's name, if you have one.

Paul Overhauser

www.iniplaw.org

www.overhauser.com

317- 891-1500

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Is it possible to file a trademark request without an attorney?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

Yes, you can, by going to uspto.gov. However, unless you are familiar with the regulations of the Trademark Office, your application may be rejected.

Paul Overhauser

www.iniplaw.org

www.overhauser.com

317- 891-1500

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Our free paper wants to use lyrics of songs in an article--is there a fixed number of words to quote copyright free?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 17, 2011

First consider whether the lyrics may be in the public domain, for example, if the song is over 75 years old. Assuming the song is protected by copyright, unfortunately, there is no "objective test" for how many words you can quote. In general, reproducing a copyrighted work for purposes of comment... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: I saw an innovatiive machine at a trade show in Germany, and there is nothing like it in the US. Can I get a US patent?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

No, you would not be able to obtain a US patent on the same machine, because in the US, a patent can only be issued to the "inventor," and you are not the inventor. However, most patents are not for entire machines, but only improvements to things others have done in the past. If you make an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Can I register a copyright to a diary I found in my grandmother's attic?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

Only a "claimant" to a copyright can register it. You are not the "author" so you cannot claim ownership through authorship. However, assuming your grandmother is dead, and your are her sole heir, you may be the copyright owner under the laws where your grandmother died. If this is the case, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Can I copyright my website?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

Assuming you created the website yourself, yes, you can copyright a website by using Copyright application form TX or by filing on-line. However, most business websites are created by website development companies. Unless they assign the copyrights in the website to you, they own it not you. Also,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Can district court prosecute you for a counterfeit trademark offense?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

Yes, a Federal Attonrey can prosecute you for a counterfeit trademark offense per 9 USC 1715: In order to show that a trademark used by the defendant was a "counterfeit mark" the government must prove the following: The mark is spurious. 18 U.S.C. § 2320(d)(1)(a). A mark is "spurious" if it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: If I were to start small party business selling replica purses that had the tradmark of real brand . Would I go to jail?

I am not sure about this but have heard all sorts of rumors. I am looking into starting a party business going to others homes and having a party where I sell purses, etc. Some of the purses about 20 will be replicas (knock offs) and would have the trademark of name brand the other 40 purses of my... Read more »

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

Criminal penalties are applicable in severe trademark infringement cases involving counterfeiting of products. Counterfeiting is considered to be an extreme form of trademark infrigmement since the infringer knowingly takes advantage of the trademark, brandname, and goodwill of a firm to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Do I have any commercial rights over my own photographs?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

It depends on what you mean by your "own" photographs. If these are photos you took, yes, you probably own copyrights to them. If someone else took picture of you, they would own the rights to them. However, you may also have a "right of publicity," which would give you the right to prevent others... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: I got a state trademark registration in Michigan,

But now a similar business is using the same name for a store across the border in Indiana. Do I have any rights?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

If there is actual or likely confusion caused by the similar name, you probably have rights that can be enforced. Both state law and the Federal Lanham Act allow claims for infringement of trademarks, even if there is no state or federal trademark registration. You should consult a trademark... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: Does anyone have information about settlement status w/Third World Media LLC plaintiff for copyright violation issues?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 16, 2011

Third World has filed 5 cases. The first two are concluded, and the last three are still pending: 1 Third World Media, LLC (cd) cacdce 2:2009-cv-01603 820 03/06/2009 10/28/2009 2 Third World Media, LLC (pla) cacdce 2:2009-cv-01603 820 03/06/2009 10/28/2009 3 Third World Media, LLC (pla) cacdce... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: DO I NEED A TRADEMARK LAWYER?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 15, 2011

There is no requirement that you hire a trademark lawyer. However, some reasons you might want to hire one are: (a) to ensure that a trademark is what you really need (many people confuse a trademark with a copyright or patent); (b) to conduct a search to ensure your mark is not infringing someone... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: I started to sell my invention in Sep. 2009, and filed for a US patent in December. Can I still get foreign patents?

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 15, 2011

It depends on exactly "what" was sold, and on what is claimed in the patent. However, assuming what was sold is the thing covered by the patent, you have probably missed the deadline to get a patent in most foreign countries. Most do not have a 12-month "grace period" for filing, like the US has.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Indiana on

Q: I invented and had a prototype working for 2 years i called a company and they stole my invention. Do i have any rights

Paul Overhauser answered on Mar 15, 2011

It depends on several factors, such as whether you filed for a patent, whether it may still be possible for you to do so, and whether the company you called agreed to keep the invention confidential. There may also be other relevant facts. You should contact an intellectual property attorney to... Read more »

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