Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

Q: Netflix has stolen my registered trademark. How can I afford to take them to court?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Answered on Oct 20, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
Wow! It sounds like you actually have valid trademark infringement case against Netflix. This is big time. If you do have a registered trademark and the use of the trademark infringes your trademark, you are on the side of the angels. In certain trademark infringement cases, monetary relief may be awarded, which would include: Netflix’s profits using your trademark, your damages, and the costs of litigating. Treble damages may be awarded in cases where such gross negligence was used...

Q: What is the difference between a patent, copyright, and trademark?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Florida on
Answered on Oct 18, 2018
Timur Akpinar's answer
If you are inquiring simply for general knowledge, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines the differences in a basic manner here:

Tim Akpinar

Q: how can I find out if Gibson still has a patent on a GA-79RVT guitar amplifier made in 1961

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 17, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
It would be highly unusual for something that came out in 1961 to still have a patent as patent term back then was 17 years from issue. However, if for some reason they battled for decades to get a patent out, then a patent application filed back then could come out tomorrow and have a term of 17 years. These are known as submarine patents as they stay submerged in the patent office for many years.

I would bet this is not the case. But to check -- you can do two things. One is to...

Q: How do I protect myself against people trying to take an expired patent my dad had over 20 years ago .

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for Florida on
Answered on Oct 13, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
If the patent has expired, you can't "protect" the patent; it is no longer valid and enforceable.

Q: ex-employer shared files with me on my personal file sharing/ email account 15 months after I was fired. do I hv 2 gv b?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Michigan on
Answered on Oct 7, 2018
Trent Harris' answer
Although your noncompete has ended, it is likely that any confidentiality agreement that you had with the company, whether in writing or in a employee manual, still applies after termination of your employment. The information that you mentioned is recognized by Michigan law as trade secrets, and the employer would probably have a good case in court if they tried to force you to return the information. The disclosure sounds like it was inadvertent, and a judge probably would not say that the...

Q: What more can I do with this Patent? Everyone is so impressed with this idea and really believes in it.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Consumer Law on
Answered on Oct 5, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
You might also consider approaching beverage manufacturers, although I would be cautious about that and obtain the advice and assistance of an intellectual property attorney before doing so.

Q: How do I deal with a Trademark infringement accusation ?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 5, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
Go onto the U.S. Trademark Office website and access the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Enter the search term "HARRY POTTER" in the basic word search option. This search will yield 52 live "Harry Potter" trademark registrations and three pending "Harry Potter" trademark applications to register these marks. I am quite certain that the HARRY POTTER marks would be considered famous and given a very wide swath of protection against unauthorized uses. Moreover, Warner Brothers has...

Q: If I wasn't a citizen of the US and I wanted to sell eBooks to my university, could I?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
If you own the rights to the eBooks, then yes, you could sell them to whoever you wanted. Your citizenship is not relevant.

Q: Is there any way I can legally allow other persons to view an eBook I've bought?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
By law, not really, unless you’re using a service -- like Amazon’s share for Kindle books --which allows you to share ebooks you buy once.

eBooks are licensed, not sold, which means that ebook stores get to control what rights you have with the books. Even if the books are DRM-free, “lending” them to someone necessarily involves making a copy of the ebook—a violation of copyright law. Accordingly, the only way to legally share an ebook with another person would be to...

Q: Will a law firm be able to help a pro se inventor respond to a notice to file corrected application papers?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
It depends on the law firm. First, you need to find a law firm that handles patents. Second, you need to call the law firm and ask if they can help you file corrected application papers. I have a feeling that most Patent Attorneys can help you with this project.

Q: If I wanted to build a website where person's can view eBooks for a small fee would that be copyright infringement?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
That sounds like copyright infringement.

Go see a lawyer before you release this website.

Q: I was in a car accident and I only have liability with uninsured Motorist property damage .i need help with my next step

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Insurance Bad Faith and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Sep 21, 2018
Timur Akpinar's answer
You could learn more about the operation of your UM benefits by consulting with an attorney familiar with uninsured claims, who could examine the policy limits in regard to all damages ensuing from your accident. An attorney consult would be valuable in learning what deadlines, timeframes, and statutes of limitations you must act within to preserve all your legal rights. These could be in the matter of days with PIP benefits (I don’t know your state) that could cover medical expenses (I hope...

Q: I have a company (South Africa) with a name similar to that of a trademark in the US. Will this be a problem for me?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Answered on Sep 20, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
If you are operating only in South Africa, then you need to worry about South African trademarks and not the US.

If you are going to be expanding into the US, then you should worry about the US trademarks, and you will need to consult with a US trademark attorney.

Q: Is it legal to consult a textbook when writing a script for a monetized YouTube video?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
It is OK. Based on what you wrote, there should be no problem.

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: My grandma has written a will & has passed away. How would I be able to get her belongings?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Answered on Sep 17, 2018
Trent Harris' answer
It sounds like your father needs to open an estate and have a personal representative appointed for your grandmother's estate. The personal representative has the power to collect and hold property of the estate, and to require people who hold property of the estate to turn it over to the personal representative. If auntie won't cooperate, then the personal representative may need to file a motion for turnover of the items.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a...

Q: How do I file a patent for a potential consumer product and protect my intellectual property?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 13, 2018
Darrin A. Auito's answer
Contact an experienced patent attorney that is familiar with your technology.

Q: Non payment of royalties and denial of termination of contract by Westbow Press Publishing company.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Intellectual Property and International Law on
Answered on Sep 11, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
Westbow Publishing appears to be a Christian self-publisher service located in Bloomington, Indiana. There appear to be complaints about their responsiveness on the Internet, and, for most authors, royalties from self-publishing are quite small or non-existent. But, if you have earned significant, unpaid royalties that remain unpaid, you should seek litigation or creditors’ rights (debt collection) counsel in Bloomington.

Q: I have a competitor that trademarked a keyword that everyone uses. Now he is saying I can't use the term. true?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Texas on
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
If you are using some intellectual property (such as the phrase Austin Bounce House Rental), then it is generally not appropriate for someone to trademark it and thus keep you from using it. There are some exceptions, though.

You should seek a trademark attorney in Texas to help you on this.

Q: I would like to trademark and copywrite my patches how do I do that

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
If you are talking about software patches, where you are making changes to a computer program designed to update, fix bugs, or improve it, then you need to take a look at the contract that you've signed with the software provider just exactly who gets to own the IP rights.

If you are talking about embroidered patches designed to be applied to clothing, then you may be able to trademark these. You should be careful that your patches do not infringe on patches of other people, entities,...

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.