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Alabama Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Alabama on
Q: How to prove someone stole your invention idea ?

I can up with the idea of a tooth brush filled with tooth paste and refillable back in 1989, i sent information to a invention idea company and now I see it's on market

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 29, 2024

To prove that someone stole your invention idea, documentation is key. You should gather all evidence of your original creation, including the date you conceived the idea, any sketches, notes, or emails, especially those related to the submission to the invention idea company back in 1989.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Can I legally copy copyrighted code examples that do a basic function for use as building blocks?

I want to build a collection of simple programs that are essentially building blocks to build original programs. An example would be a program that demonstrates multiprocessing with four threads.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 26, 2024

In general, copying copyrighted code, even for basic functions, without permission can be legally risky. Copyright laws vary by country but typically protect the expression of ideas, including code. If the examples are copyrighted, it is best to seek permission, use alternatives that are in the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Can I legally copy copyrighted code examples that do a basic function for use as building blocks?

I want to build a collection of simple programs that are essentially building blocks to build original programs. An example would be a program that demonstrates multiprocessing with four threads.

Alan Harrison
Alan Harrison
answered on Mar 26, 2024

Like many software copyright questions, this one is fun to answer because it implicates the "merger doctrine" of (c) law.

Expressions of ideas have copyright as soon as the expression is made. Ideas themselves cannot have copyright. For example, detailed instructions for making a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: Am I committing trademark infringement by using a brand and trademark that has been dormant for over 25 years?

3dfx made computer accessories under the Voodoo brand. Nvidia, who makes the GeForce series of computer accessories acquired 3dfx in 2001 and shut them down. Nvidia never uses any of their branding or trademarks, they only use portions of technology that was internally developed. Over 20 years... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Using a brand and trademark that has been dormant for over 25 years could potentially lead to trademark infringement issues, even if the original owner has ceased using it. Trademark rights can persist as long as the owner continues to renew and maintain them, regardless of whether they actively... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Difference between "save image as" an artistic work vs non-artistic work like a photo of a family member?

Fair use allows saving an image that isn't artistic but it doesn't allow an artistic work to be copied without it being infringement. Is it the context of the artistic element that makes it ok to screenshot Google Street View imagery for private use offline, but not ok to "save image... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 31, 2024

The key difference between saving an image of an artistic work and a non-artistic work, like a family photo, lies in the concept of copyright and fair use. Artistic works are typically protected by copyright, which gives the creator exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and display their work.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: Fair use or copyright infringement? Can something that is an infringement in copyright or IP law also be fair use?

Examples:

1. I draw a fan art of a car with a company logo on the front from a photograph without permission.

2. I draw a fan art without permission of a character.

3. I right click a copyrighted image from Google Images, Bing Images, or a website, etc. and click "save... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

Determining fair use versus copyright infringement can be complex, but some general principles apply:

1. Using a company's logo in fan art without permission is generally trademark infringement, not fair use. Trademarks identify the source of goods/services, so using them suggests...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Fair use covers saving a website offline or copy and pasting the content into my notes verbatim for later studying?

Archiving these into my personal storage without sharing is also considered fair use then? Incidental sharing means sharing only to one or a small number of people?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

In the United States, fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the limited use of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. Saving a website offline or copying and pasting its content verbatim into your personal notes for later studying may potentially be considered... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: What uses does fair use cover besides the examples of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, research, etc.?

I'm looking for an overview of everything it would generally cover. I already know it covers criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. But does this apply to an individual, businesses, or both; is it only for private uses or anything non-commercial only? Is it... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

Fair use is a legal doctrine that provides certain limited exceptions to copyright law, allowing the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Here's a broad overview:

- Fair use applies to both individuals and businesses/organizations. It covers private,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Is it fair use to "Save image as" the images on Zillow.com?

I want to save the images of the inside of a house I grew up in offline for memories. How is this different from screenshotting Google Street View Imagery for memories offline? Wouldn't it be copyright infringement to copy a copyrighted image without permission whether it be downloading,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

Hi there. Good morning, and happy Tuesday. A few key points regarding saving images from Zillow.com or Google Street View:

- Simply saving an image from a website to your personal computer for private viewing and memories is generally considered fair use under copyright law. You are not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: What is the difference between "downloading" vs "save image as" a copyrighted image?

How does this difference apply to these types of images: artistic works, non-artistic works, photography, non-artistics things in general such as screenshotting a house on Google Street View, etc.?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

The key differences between "downloading" and "save image as" for copyrighted images are:

Downloading:

- Typically involves transfer of the full image file from a website to your device storage.

- Often involves making an unauthorized copy of the digital...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: What is the difference between "downloading" vs "save image as" a copyrighted image?

How does this difference apply to these types of images: artistic works, non-artistic works, photography, non-artistics things in general such as screenshotting a house on Google Street View, etc.?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

The difference between "downloading" and "using 'save image as'" for a copyrighted image is largely technical and does not significantly alter the legal implications regarding copyright law. Both actions involve making a copy of the image, which can infringe on the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: Is it permissible under copyright law to screenshot Google Street View imagery of a house I grew up in for memories?

What about if the images contain someone's car or any trademarks? Does this action infringe on any IP, such as design patents, patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 29, 2024

Under copyright law, using a screenshot of Google Street View imagery for personal, non-commercial purposes, like reminiscing about a house you grew up in, generally falls under fair use. However, it's important to be mindful of how you use these images, especially if you decide to share them... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Google's terms states we may not sell their IP does this include the end user writing and selling stories using Gboard?

I want to use Google's Android keyboard app to write stories into a commercial use android word processing app and then sell them. The only thing I found in Google's service-specific additional terms under "Gboard" is no selling. Does no selling apply to all Google app or... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 29, 2024

When interpreting Google's terms regarding the use of their apps and services, such as Gboard, it's crucial to differentiate between the app itself and the content you create using the app. Generally, the prohibition against selling usually refers to the app or the service itself, not the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: If content on a copyrighted site can be put into your notes verbatim, how is that different from copyrighted image copy?

By content on the website, I mean the notes I can take verbatim, copy and pasting. In this instance, notes are not the entire website content, but a sizable portion of the text for private studying. The notes may or may not infringe on copyright. How is copying notes verbatim different from... View More

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answered on Jan 24, 2024

There are some key differences between copying textual website content into private notes versus copying images or videos without permission:

1. Purpose and character of use: Taking verbatim notes for private study purposes is more likely to be considered fair use than pure entertainment...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: Is it still copyright infringing if someone prints a copyrighted image for their kid's bedroom wall without permission?

I read online that most people don't care since it isn't being shared but yet they still are copying without permission. There's also saving a copyrighted image from Google Images and setting it as a desktop or phone wallpaper without permission; I read online that could be legal,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 24, 2024

Yes, generally printing a copyrighted image for personal use in a kid's bedroom without permission from the copyright holder would still be considered copyright infringement. Here's a breakdown:

- Simply making an unauthorized copy of a copyrighted work constitutes infringement,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Alabama on
Q: Is it fair use to backup android or iphone apps or other software I obtained legally if not stated in the terms of use?
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answered on Jan 24, 2024

There is no definitive yes or no answer to this question, as determining fair use involves a complex, fact-specific analysis. However, some key considerations regarding backing up legally obtained apps and software include:

- If the terms of use or license agreement specifically prohibit...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Is writing a recipe and its directions down in my notebook copyright infringement or fair use?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 24, 2024

* If you are simply writing down a recipe from another source for your own personal use in your notebook, that would generally be considered fair use and not copyright infringement. Some key factors to consider:

* Recipes themselves cannot be copyrighted, but the creative expression...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Is it copyright infringement to copy and paste dictionary definitions into my notes or flashcard app?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 24, 2024

Copying and pasting dictionary definitions into your notes or flashcard app for personal use generally falls under the category of "fair use," a concept in U.S. copyright law. Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: How can I find out if I can use an app on Google Play app store or an open source app or program commercially?

I read Google Play's terms of use and it says that Google Play content is for non-commercial use only. I contacted an app developer, who published their apps on the platform, if one of their apps was non-commercial use only and they responded that there were no restrictions on using their app.... View More

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answered on Jan 23, 2024

When it comes to using apps from the Google Play Store for commercial purposes, it's important to differentiate between the terms of service of the platform (Google Play) and the terms of use of individual apps. Google Play's terms generally refer to the content they directly provide, not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Is taking notes from a copyrighted website copyright infringement if I don't summarize or transform them to a new form?

Taking notes by summarizing the key points and citing the sources seems not to be copyright infringement. Is this the same in academic writing and research papers? Would it be fair use if I took notes verbatim without summarizing for private study?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 23, 2024

Taking notes from a copyrighted website, even if you don't summarize or transform them, can be considered fair use under certain circumstances. Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news... View More

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