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California Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

: Who owns the Intellectual property ?

Hi, I am a design engineer and 30% shareholder of a medical corporation and manufacturing engineer and 100% owner of a second corporation exclusively working for the first one. The two company are working under the same roof last 20 years. I would like... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 3, 2020

The first thing to figure out is whether you have ever signed an invention assignment or other written agreement to assign your intellectual property rights to one of these companies. If so, those documents would give you the answer.

If not, California state law will govern, and it may...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Insurance Bad Faith, Intellectual Property and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Question, if this property belongs to the Indian reservation and the individual took it out unauthorized with a deed,

It would be considered fraud or no?

John Brian Hudak
John Brian Hudak answered on Jul 1, 2020

Consider contacting a local pro bono attorney group related to the issue. The specific facts would need to be reviewed to understand what happened and any possible wrongdoing.

This answer includes generalizations and there are many caveats. This answer does not form an attorney client...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: 6340334 patentIs there anyway to check if products out today are anything close to our patent?

I did see a couple manufactures last year that make portable boxing rings, don’t know if that would be close to our design? Maybe just improved idea??

Let me know if you have any interest

Thanks

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jun 19, 2020

Jeff,

Google Patents notes that your patent expired in 2006 for failure to pay a maintenance fee. You may want to discuss this with your patent attorney. There are ways to pay for an unintentional failure to pay a maintenance fee to revive a patent that lapsed for failure to pay the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Is it illegal to name a eyeshadow palette after a copyright song ?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jun 16, 2020

The title of a song is not something that can have copyright protection, in and of itself. It is too short.

You should perform trademark searches, however, both state and federal, to make sure no one else is using the same or a similar phrase as a trademark for cosmetics.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can I be a part of this lawsuit as I have used icognito mode and feel like my data has been compromised.

I have used icognito mode to enter private details for banking , telephone data , sensitive searches and believe that my trust was misplaced by using incognito mode and my data was therefore compromised.

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on Jun 9, 2020

This is a brand new case that was just filed last week.

There is no settlement, no judgement, nothing to claim at this point.

Class action cases take time, often 2-5 years from the time they are filed until they are resolved.

And there is no guarantee that the case will be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Semi-famous relative passed away.

While family was occupied with final arrangements/grieving, a third party filed for licensing to the name and image my relative went to extreme lengths to protect in life. So now essentially this person owns my relative. The family does not have the financial resources for a court battle. We simply... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

My understanding is that California has strong laws that protect the Right of Publicity (right to exploit one's fame for famous people) and Right to Privacy. It would be good to get advise from a California attorney familiar with these 2 torts. The laws may allow you to collect... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Civil Rights and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: A none-profit organization is selling my family’s picture from the events including the minors without our permission.

What is the case that we can file against them?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 15, 2020

It sounds like a question of whether the organization is violating your right of privacy. Check to see whether you were given notice of their intention before you attended the event so that it could be said you consented to their use by participating in the event. Look closely at the invitation... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Trademarking a name that is already trademarked. Same industry or not?

I'm looking to trademark a business name (call it "FishExample"). FishExample is currently trademarked for "furniture to store fishing supplies and goods". My FishExample business will be an online community/resource for fishermen (unrelated to furniture, but tied into... Read more »

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 15, 2020

As usual with so much in the law, the answer is, "It depends." A trademark owner acquires rights in their mark, whether for goods or service, by using it in ways that convey to consumers that there is a particular source offering the goods/services. From what you write, it is not clear... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Am I allowed to use a verbally spoken speech or spoken poetry in my music?

I'm currently working on a soundtrack and considering using a verbally spoken speech.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on May 12, 2020

If the speech or poetry does not belong to you, then you will need to obtain permission/license from the copyright owner in order to incorporate this intellectual property into your soundtrack.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Hello

Can a foreign artist file for a trademark in USPTO , if he is not a citizen of the US?

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on May 11, 2020

You should register your trademark when you begin using the trademark. A foreign domiciled applicant may file for trademark registration but he/she must be represented by a US-licensed trademark attorney. You will need to hire a US trademark attorney to proceed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: Would it be possible to produce, sell and protect a "fake" product, not registered which was featured on an SNL Parody?

While watching a popular late night show, they featured a sketch of an infomercial for a fake product which does not appear to be in production, on sale anywhere and does not show up in a Copyright search, Trademark Search or Patent Search. Prior to obtaining formal legal counsel I would like to... Read more »

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey answered on May 5, 2020

It is possible, but likely that you would need to obtain NBC legal approval. I recall that "Land Shark" halloween costumes have been made. That image and art is an NBC property.

With the right incentive, a deal could be crafted.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: This involves a major airline company. They took a name I came up with. I received nothing. Am I entitled to a claim?

I do have more details but would like to save further details pending a positive response.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 4, 2020

From what you write, unless you have some written agreement, it does not appear that you have any claim. If the airline adopted a mark and uses it as a mark, then that is what it is, their mark. Any idea you might have had about the way to use the word, is just that, an idea.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Hi there! Do I have to pay this fee of $250 to absolve me from an infringement or is there a way to dispute it?

I sold one shirt on Etsy for $15 with the quote “Still I Rise” and the words “Maya Angelou” in the description. Now her company is trying to fine me $250. Do I have to pay?

Here is an excerpt from the email they’ve sent:

“Indiana’s statute is very clear on this point:... Read more »

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey answered on Apr 27, 2020

This probably would not be a state law question. More information is requested.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If one starts a website that lists doctors, can you use a headshot & bio from the doctors website without permission?

This would be just a directory of doctors and their business information found on their website.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Apr 14, 2020

You are in risky territory

Besides having a consultation with an attorney, you should consider having an engagement plan with the doctors so you can remove them and change information.

www.legalbizglobal.com

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Gov & Administrative Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for California on
Q: Does my employer have rights to the teaching materials I have prepared at home on my own computer and on my own time?

I am an adjunct lecturer at a university in California. My employment status is part time and varies from quarter to quarter. I have evidence that all my teaching materials including lectures, power point slides, quizzes, exams, etc. are readily available for download from a University server.

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Mar 25, 2020

Unfortunately, they might because the materials were created during the scope and course of employment for the purpose why you were hired. You may want to check your employment agreement if you have one because ther usually is a clause regarding the ownership of intellectual property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can I print and sell a shirt if it's in public domain?

Hi. "Phantom of the Opera", the classic 1925 silent film is in the public domain. Does this mean I can legally print a t-shirt with the Phantom's face on it? I don't want to be sued by Lon Chaney's family for infringement. Can I use this image as long as it doesn't... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Mar 12, 2020

Keep in mind that while a work may no longer be protected by Copyright that doesn’t mean it’s not protected by trademark if the brand is still being used. Also, while the 1925 film may be in the public domain other derivative works like the Broadway musical may not be.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Owner claims rights to material she did not create or pay for?

I created a logo, website, and social media accounts for a business that I am just an employee for. I never got paid for them, they never claimed rights to them. I am leaving and the owner is threatening to sue unless I give her all of these things. Would she win in this case?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 11, 2020

You will need to share this information with an Intellectual Property attorney to get a solid answer. Often an employee does not own the intellectual property created for their employer while they are employed there. However any employment contracts or other documents you signed when hired or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Intellectual Property and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Our house was condemned due to a fire and i dont have any place to go my boyfriend's parent's own the house but was

Arrested for tresspassing twice his parents knew we were staying there and i missed my court dates cause i dont have any transportation to get from barstow to Victorville now i have warrants am i going to go to jail

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Mar 3, 2020

more info needed.

you need to get a public defender to surrender you to the court to quash the warrant and explain to the court your position.

be careful posting on an open forum like this as anyone can read it..........

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Can I open a wine bar and call it Betamax?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 26, 2020

I don't believe that Sony is in the wine bar industry but I would need to do a comprehensive sarch to be able to say for sure. Also, just because they're not currently in the business of wine bars does not guarantee that they would not still send a cease and desist letter. I would... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: how to I contact trademark owner for licensing on using their trademark?
Darrin A. Auito
Darrin A. Auito answered on Feb 24, 2020

Check the Current Owner(s) Info and Attorney/Correspondence Info tabs on USPTO's TSDR link for the subject trademark. You can either reach out directly or through counsel. Both approaches have advantages.

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