Intellectual Property Questions & Answers by State

Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

Q: Here's a question-

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Trademark and Employment Law for New York on
Answered on May 22, 2017

I don't hear an IP violation here. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does...
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Q: I started a video game news/blog site. Can I legally use screenshots and game images found online when writing on them?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New Hampshire on
Answered on May 21, 2017

To answer your question directly: No, it would not be legal to use screenshots and game images found online when writing for your video game news/blog site.

If you're going to repost screenshots of images created by video game publishers without their permission, you are opening up liability for a copyright infringement lawsuit. Depending on the use, you may have a fairly strong argument that your use qualifies as "fair use," however, fair use is a defense to a copyright infringement...
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Q: If a trademark is abandoned is it okay for me to use it?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Florida on
Answered on May 18, 2017

Maybe. A primary element of trademark law is use, and a registration helps put people on notice of use, but does not guarantee that someone isn't using the mark. It’s possible that the trademark owner didn’t renew the mark, but is still using it, and thus would still have trademark rights although its ability to enforce its rights could be more difficult without an active registration.

The absence of a federal trademark registration (or an abandoned/expired one) is not the final...
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Q: I have a startup, involves catering food from third parties, can the origin of the food be kept as a trade secret ?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Answered on May 18, 2017

It is unclear what you mean by "origin" of the food. The real question is what are you trying to protect? A recipe? The identity of your wholesalers/sources?

There is a whole host of regulatory issues regarding sale of food and beverages, and they will certainly determine how much you can keep secret. For example, the Coca-Cola recipe is a trade secret, but the company must still tell you things about what is in the product, as required by federal law.

It also depends on how...
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Q: Do I need to purchase a license or rights to perform as a Disney Character for commercial purposes?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Answered on May 16, 2017

Yes, you must request a license from Disney. Contact their corporate offices.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC...
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Q: Starting a sports league with a unique format. Can Intellectual property help protect the format from being copied?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for New Jersey on
Answered on May 16, 2017

I will not speak to patent protection, as that's outside of my practice area. Copyright law will protect the expression of your ideas or rules, that is, the creative organization of words used to write the rules, but not the underlying ideas or rules themselves. Trademark law will protect your brand and identity, but not the underlying format or ideas behind your track and field league.
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Q: Can I place licensed toys inside of bath bombs for sell If I don't use any identifying marks/logos?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Georgia on
Answered on May 11, 2017

If you're licensing the toys for that use, of course you can.
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Q: I want to name and trademark my new company but the twitter handle for exact this name is already taken.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Civil Litigation, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Answered on May 10, 2017

Maybe. The real question I think you are asking is whether you have any legal right to force the owner to give you the Twitter handle.

You could always negotiate privately with the owner to transfer the handle to you, which is what I would recommend before your business becomes more visible and successful. If the owner isn't active, you don't appear to have deep pockets, and there's a small financial incentive for the owner, he/she may be willing to part with it for little to no...
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Q: What is the status of this patent?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on May 9, 2017

The status of any issued patent, with respect to being maintained, can be looked up here: https://fees.uspto.gov/MaintenanceFees

If the patent is litigated, then there should be a note to that effect in the prosecution history. See https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair
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Q: I have been asked by the founder of a startup to sign an NDA without a time limit.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Intellectual Property, Business Law and Employment Law on
Answered on May 9, 2017

NDAs will be governed by state laws, so it will really depend on which state you are in. But let me just give you some general thoughts on the subject.

As you probably realize, anyone who is starting up a business is overprotective of their proprietary technology. It is their baby. It is their blood, sweat, tears, time, and money. Being dismissive of their concerns (whether you view them legitimate or not) will undoubtedly get you on their bad side. You need to address their...
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Q: I have a trademark for the same name and same class but different goods

3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Answered on May 5, 2017

It may be wise to be more creative to avoid possible IP infringement claims.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in...
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Q: I have an ecommerce website and I copied the descriptions from another competitors site. They are now threatening to sue

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New Mexico on
Answered on May 3, 2017

Without more details about your case, all I can say is that using someone's literary works without their permission can be the basis for a copyright infringement lawsuit.
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Q: Can i print the words "Big Baller Brand" on a summer rec jersey?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on May 2, 2017

If you're concerned about IP infringement, consider a different name to avoid a lawsuit.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY,...
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Q: Is intangible personal property included under Maryland's theft statute. What about intellectual property?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2017

Theft of intellectual property I have never heard of in criminal court. It sounds more like a civil case.
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Q: Can i get a copyright lawsuit of generic icons link below!

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on May 1, 2017

Your use must be consistent with the terms of the license for the image. If your use goes beyond the scope of what is allowed in the license, or if there is no license, you may be liable for copyright infringement.
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Q: Can you sue someone homeowners insurance you get hurt on job thier property

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property, Personal Injury and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on May 1, 2017

You cannot sue their homeowners insurance. If you worked for them as a contractor not covered by workers compensation insurance, you can sue the homeowner or whomever was negligent in causing your injury. If you were covered as an employee by workers compensation, you can file a claim against your employer for workers compensation, which will pay less (medical bills, 2/3 lost wages, and permanency) but will not need to show negligence. Sometimes, you can do both. You need to consult with a...
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Q: Who is the primary owner of intellectual property; the person who had the idea or the person who built it?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Answered on Apr 30, 2017

The contract between you and the person who creates your app, as crafted by an attorney, would define who owns the underlying intellectual property. Absent contractual agreement and any real participation on your behalf, other than supplying the idea, if you're seeking to copyright the code of your app, the person who did the actual coding has the best claim to the rights for that work, with the possibility of a court determining that the work was jointly authored.

That being said, the...
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Q: Hi I'm wondering the legality of using quotes on prints. For instance can I quote two people debating on twitter?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Internet Law and Libel & Slander for New York on
Answered on Apr 30, 2017

It sounds like you're contemplating committing copyright infringement, unless you specifically license the right to use such content from the author.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law...
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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

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...
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Q: Would it be Illegal to sell a hockey jersey that does not have the NHL logo or the name Reebok anywhere on it?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Washington on
Answered on Apr 29, 2017

The key question in trademark law is whether there is a likelihood that a consumer would be confused about the source of the jersey. There are a bunch of parts of a jersey that might indicate its provenance, including the design, the team name, any logos, team colors, etcetera that could all be used to inform a consumer where the jersey came from. If the jersey looked exactly like a team jersey, but it was missing the Reebok and NHL logos, a consumer might still be confused about the source of...
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