Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

Q: Can a non trademarked character be remixed and sold for profit?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida on
Answered on Jun 23, 2017

This would be a copyright issue. The case is also fact-specific, meaning that without more information, it will be tough to speculate about whether infringement is likely. If you would like to assert a copyright, you will need to register it. Copyright registration is straightforward, and can likely be done yourself, although many people also choose to have a lawyer do it for them. Once registered, you should talk to an copyright attorney. Copyright law can provide for lawyer fees, so it's a...
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Q: Can I post a free Lord of the Rings themed game on the internet without infringing copyright?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Iowa on
Answered on Jun 23, 2017

While I am a big fan of Tolkein and gaming, I don't think posting your game online is wise without talking to an attorney first. Whether you potentially infringe on any copyright or trademark interest that Middle-earth Enterprises a/k/a The Saul Zaetz Company (which seems to own the worldwide exclusive rights to many of the elements of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit) will depend on what exactly is included in the game that was borrowed from Tolkein's universe.

If you have a great...
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Q: Provisional patents

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents for California on
Answered on Jun 23, 2017

No, that is exactly the reason you file a provisional application - so that you can disclose your invention once the application was filed.

However, there are a few things to watch out for.

1. Make sure that your provisional application actually covers your invention. I have seen provisional applications that are merely cover more of an idea than an invention. The provisional application must actually describe your invention in a way that would enable someone else to actually...
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Q: Can a Company trademark something created by and funded by a person even though they were in the process of doing so?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Answered on Jun 22, 2017

What are the terms of the contract re: the IP in question? If silent, the performer may have the IP rights. 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,...
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Q: Was there a determination on 1:16-cv-00714?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on Jun 22, 2017

According to PACER, the litigation has been voluntarily dismissed on 19 June 2017.
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Q: I am listed inventor in a patent, my patent changed company. do i get a share of the selling price?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property on
Answered on Jun 22, 2017

Without specific agreements to the contrary, joint inventors are free to make agreements regarding the patent without answering to the other inventors. In general, this means that without consent of all inventors, an individual inventor (or owner if the patent is assigned) cannot grant an exclusive license. Hope this helps. I suggest you consult an attorney if you feel that your rights are not being protected.
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Q: Hi, About Casino table game Patent number: D748736. How much would similar casino table game patent cost?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents for Nevada on
Answered on Jun 20, 2017

Design patents applications preparation and filing run in the neighborhood of $1500 to $2000. Additionally, there is the cost of prosecution.

Good luck!
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Q: My common law and I bought a house together, payed it off but it was always in her name. She won't pay me out

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Jun 20, 2017

I would immediately obtain the opinion of an attorney experienced in family law matters. Some of the answer depends on whether-or-not your state recognizes common law marriages, and if so, how does that state's law address distribution of property upon separation.
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Q: Do I have to license starwars if I redraw it, print and sell it ?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Colorado on
Answered on Jun 15, 2017

Yes, a license is required if the derivative artwork is used commercially. For private use (without commercial use), the copying should fall under fair use or not be an infringement of a pre-existing copyright.
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Q: i have a idea for a video commercial in a specific industry can i copyright it before i pitch it to big companies?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on Jun 14, 2017

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, provides that an original work of authorship automatically has statutory copyright from the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible medium of more than transitory duration. Copyright does not protect ideas, only the actual expression of the idea fixed in a tangible medium. Accordingly, I suggest that you commit your idea to a tangible form before approaching any company. If you disclose your idea to others, there is little that you can do to prevent...
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Q: I want to offer freelance software development services under the name "office 365 developer"

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Answered on Jun 13, 2017

Trademark infringement is determined by the "likelihood of confusion" test. This test inquires whether a reasonable consumer is likely to be confused about the provenance of a given product or service. It seems there is a good chance that consumers would be confused about whether the service is being provided by Microsoft.
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Q: I want to sell a product that looks similar to another.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Consumer Law, Products Liability and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Jun 13, 2017

Depends on degree of similarity--appearance is sometimes called "trade dress, "
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Q: If you pay someone a lot of money for writing, and one of the docs is completely plagiarized, what are your options?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Answered on Jun 12, 2017

Well, there are likely several options.

First, try to work things out with the other side, and advise them that you believe the work product they provided appears plagiarized and you are concerned about your liability in using/selling the materials. See if they are willing to re-write the materials as original (non-plagiarized) works. For extra assurance, you might want to request a written indemnification from them should any copyright issue arise for the new materials, which would...
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Q: My contract w/my agent exclusively binds me & my co-author to her. Are my solo projects also exclusively tied to her?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports, Contracts and Intellectual Property on
Answered on Jun 11, 2017

Yes, you can always shop around for a lawyer who is willing to work within your budget. I suggest trying to find a lawyer who will charge a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. Also find someone who can look over the contract during a free consultation. You might not get an answer during that consultation, but you should know what it will take to get the answer (i.e. what research/investigation).

The problem is that to get you a precise answer (a "real" answer), will likely require the...
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Q: I want to trademark UNLABELED FOR my clothing brand. Is it already taken ?

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

You can search for federal trademarks at the USPTO via the TESS system. There are two possible registrations that may prevent you from securing a trademark: "Unlabeled Society" and "Unlabeled State of Mind." Both are registered in international class 25 (clothing). So, if you pursued a trademark registration for "unlabeled" you may receive a rejection from the examiner under Section 2(a), called a "likelihood of confusion" rejection.

Good luck!

Griffin Klema...
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Q: i created a t-shirt that went viral and is now being copied on multiple websites. what can i do?

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

First things first: register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. The filing fee is small ($30). An attorney can help you with that process, and it's important to ensure that the registration is properly filed.

You may also want to try trademarking the slogan. Filing an application to register the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office is a bit more expensive ($225 filing fee for a TEAS Plus online application). Again, consider getting some assistance from a...
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Q: If my company has not copyrighted any of my designs that they are using how can I protect myself from them & others?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on
Answered on Jun 11, 2017

Copyright (the right itself) arises as a matter of law at the moment of creation. There is nothing further one must do to acquire a copyright. However, enforcing a copyright through an infringement action requires that one register the copyright before filing a lawsuit.

Your particular situation is not straightforward, and there are multiple issues that must be analyzed and too few facts to provide a complete answer.

First, your company may claim that your creative works are...
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Q: How do I file a claim of trademark infringement?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Florida on
Answered on Jun 11, 2017

You will need to file a lawsuit against the accused infringer. Depending on your trademark rights, you may have common law claims (state-level), and/or a federal claims (Lanham Act), and thus those rights will determine where you can file a lawsuit.

Litigation is not something I recommend attempting to tackle yourself. Instead, contact an attorney to see if your case might involve fee shifting, which would mean the defendant pays your attorney fees if you win. If so, an attorney may be...
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Q: is it copy right infringement if I change all of the words and numbers from college exams and profit of off it?

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Answered on Jun 7, 2017

It could be infringement. Access + similarity = infringement. If the professors have registered copyrights in those exams with the US Copyright Office, they can seek statutory damages for each item infringed. 17 US Code Section 504(C)(2): "In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000."
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Q: friend came up with a slogan for a shirt, I created the design for it. I want to use it as my company name. Do I owe him

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Jun 5, 2017

A slogan is usually too short for copyright protection, so must be protected as a trademark or service mark. That either requires registration with the state or being used in commerce. If he has not registered it or used it in business, then he probably could not succeed on a claim against you. But anyone can sue for almost anything. And even if he doesn't sue you, he might feel cheated. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local business attorney about starting your business and also...
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