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California Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
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 have his name on it? How does... 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 suggest... 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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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: I would like to buy a patent. Patent application #20140283673. It is owned by Intrepid Tactical Solutions LLC.

I believe they are out of business. I would like to buy the patent and the rights to produce their products. And maybe purchase and of the manufacturing equipment and or materials they may still posses.

Robyn T. Williams
Robyn T. Williams answered on Feb 16, 2020

You have the option to license the patent/application or purchase the patent/application and have an assignment executed. I'd recommend a review of the entire IP portfolio if they are in fact out of business. My firm frequently handles licensing and assignment transactions.

Robyn T....
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: can a co worker steal Intellectual property out of my phone off work and use it against me to get me suspended at work

can a co worker go threw my phone off of work while I am under the influence of achocol with out my permission and then take pictures of what is on my phone to use it against me at work to get me suspended.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Feb 14, 2020

Your employer can act on any information it receives from any source to discipline you. There would be no legal case against the employer. As to the co-worker, suing a co-worker is rarely worth the time, money and effort, even if you had a meritorious claim. If that intellectual property should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Concerning Eyewear patents, How different does my hinge modification has to be to be legal?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 12, 2020

I'm not a patent attorney but I think it will depend on what the patent protects and if it is still effective. Unlike copyrights that last for life plus 70, patents last for a much shorter time frame of 20 years. Consider consulting a patent attorney for advice so that you don't put a lot of time... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Can I start a mobile application which gives prizes based on big lotteries' winning numbers? There is no entry fee.

Can I mention the name of the lotteries in my application or is there any way to go around that?

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 9, 2020

You probably are going to run into a lot of different problems.

I would probably stay away or understand very well the issues.

Just giving prizes can be very problematic.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Hello! I have a question regarding manufacture of specific skateboard parts.

I recently manufactured on a CNC machine 5 sets of high performance skateboard trucks. The design copies very closely a design of a company that is no longer in business. I believe they never had a patent on their skateboard parts. Is it legal for me to sell my product? They are not exact... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 2, 2020

that definitely requires an in depth analysis and consultation with an attorney

in any case you always run the risk of somebody claiming you are copying something

you need to understand how many basic designs of trucks exists, how long they have been around, etc. in order to assess...
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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If I file trademark for a certain class am I allowed to do everything within that class or only that initially stated.

I want to file a trademark for an LLC I want to make

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Dec 15, 2019

Depends.

In theory yes, but you need to stick close to what you listed.

If you plan to sell more than just your initial description, you should list it in your application.

www.legalbizglobal.com

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: There was a show in the 70’s of people dancing. How can I go about using a piece of the show for a music video?
Karima Gulick
Karima Gulick answered on Dec 15, 2019

The safest way to approach this is to locate the owners of the video and request permission or license the content for use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can a fake digital copy of the celebrity's voice be used in movies without permission from this celebrity?

Using machine learning technologies, a developer can create a synthesized copy of the celebrity's voice (for instance, like here https://youtu.be/DWK_iYBl8cA).

Can this developer use this fake digital voice in movies, mobile games, for songs, or any other video and sound content without... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Dec 3, 2019

Fake or real there needs to be authorization of the person whose voice or image is being used?

Permission is the key.

www.legalbizglobal.com

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can I sue California for discrimination and unconstitutional gun laws?

The state gun laws do nothing for the law abiding citizen and make it easier on criminals to attack citizens. I feel discriminated against as a law abiding citizen. The people responsible for making every gun law don't have enough knowledge and experience with firearms. I've recently just found out... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 20, 2019

You can challenge a law as being unconstitutional if you have been concretely and particularly injured by the law. The interpretation of the Second Amendment is in question right now, and there is a great deal of litigation involving the interpretation and extent of the Amendment.

For a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: My patent was stolen by another employee. What legal actions can I take against him?

My patent was stolen by another employee who contributed nothing to its conception. I did not even know him when I conceived my idea. He inserted his name onto the application without my knowledge. I have paper trails of my invention including (1) the official company announcement acknowledging... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Nov 18, 2019

The answer hasn't changed since the last time you asked this. You still need to know if you had an employee patent agreement. Witnesses can attest that you worked on the product. It is highly unlikely that witnesses know what the invention is. The invention is what the attorney wrote in the claims... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: My patent was stolen by a director at a previous employer. What legal actions can I take against him?

In 2013, I invented an aircraft concept. At the company's recommendation, I filed and received a patent for it (patent issued Aug 2018). In 2015, I modified this patent to include another design feature. During the internal application process, I learned that a director inserted his name onto... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Nov 13, 2019

In most cases the company owns any inventions produced by the employee within the course and scope of employment. Did you sign a patent and proprietary agreement when you became an employee? Aerospace companies that get large contracts use these agreements. It is possible you have no rights.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Could I publish a book about vocal experts' opinions on a topic, taken from interviews/info online, without permission?

Could a couple of their names be featured in the book title? Could I write each chapter focusing on one public figure scientist, explaining their perspective on the topic as researched through free material found online? Would a disclaimer at the beginning of the book saying these scientists... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Nov 12, 2019

In the absence of careful legal planning, this book could run into a number of legal problems. A disclaimer is a good way to avoid presenting a misleading picture. However, disclaimers and attributions in bibliographies do not avoid copyright problems. There are issues of derivative works and fair... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: How can I learn if a patent is earning royalties by the inventor?

Is this patent earning royalties? 20020198764

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Oct 13, 2019

The number you cite is not a patent. It is a published version of an application. Not all patent applications become patents. According to Google Patents, this one did not.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20020198764A1/en?oq=20020198764

Sometimes a license agreement will...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Do signed agreements giving ownership of a music video allow to use audio (recorded for and during production)?

signed agreement:  singer ".... authorizes others to use my name, voice and likeness in connection with the production [...] Producer..” (me) “...is the sole owner of all rights in and to the picture and all elements thereof, including photography and recordings of my voice and likeness. [...]... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 24, 2019

It would be necessary to read the agreement in order to understand the deal between the parties. It may seem "fair" for a producer to have the right to use audio, but the rights are determined by the agreement.

It is difficult for an individual to achieve a desired outcome when dealing with...
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