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California Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If I have a product that I would like to register under a CC license, do I need a trademark for the logo and brand name?

Its music that I wish to allow the public to distribute while retaining commercial rights by licensing my work as CC BY NC 4.0. However, I would like to use a band name and a logo to promote this music while also selling physical media and merch.

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 22, 2020

Registering your name as a trademark is not required to accomplish this goal, but it is definitely advisable! A registered TM gets you lots of additional federal protections (nationwide rights, presumptive priority, ability to sue for attorney's fees, etc). Please consult an IP attorney to see... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: a German attorney is threating to take us to court unless we sign Declaration of Cease and Desist

He sent an email threating to take us to court under the German Law if we didn't sign this by

9/30/2020- The person named below as respondent

1Zumba address (respondent) hereby undertakes in respect of

Anthony Ayiomamitis, Oropos (www.perseus.gr) (complainant)... Read more »

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 6, 2020

He would have to demonstrate that he could get jurisdiction over you in a German or EU court. I have no idea what actions he is accusing from this above description, but it seems unlikely he would be able to accomplish this feat. You should consult with a copyright lawyer with DMCA experience as to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If I used the "LA' from the LA Dodgers & printed on a hat to sell, is that trademark infringement? Upside down as well?

For example I use the iconic "LA" logo on a hat to sell for my business, would that be trademark infringement. Let's say I change the font size, or flip the letter upside down, or add coloring, does it make a difference? Does this apply for the "SF' in SF Giants as well?

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Sep 27, 2020

If a mark being used is confusingly similar to another trademark and/or causes confusion as to the source of the goods or services (ie. where consumers may believe the other company to be the source of the goods), the use may be deemed trademark infringement.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: _A German attorney claimed that his client's moon photo was published by our site and that we need to pay him for

the photo was originally published publicly by Facebook & Google two years ago and it was never brought to our attention that it was owned by his client.

The site is made for students @ Berkeley non profit is called 1Zumba.com

Under the Fair Use of the American Law, can we ask... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 25, 2020

He would have to obtain jurisdiction over you to sue you in a German or Greek court. If he comes here, you are probably protected by the public domain doctrine and the fair use doctrine.

Justia disclaimer below incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Does an addendum to a talent release for services override the original release? Or is it in addition to?

Signed talent release for my services as an actor(music video) and photographer(still film self-portraits). Part of the release grants license for prod. co. to use photos I took on set but explicitly states I get to keep copyright/ownership of my photos (which I made sure they added in). Long after... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 6, 2020

You took the trouble to outline your matter in considerable detail and you await a response for five weeks. It could be difficult for the copyright, entertainment, and intellectual property attorneys here to answer your question. Any attorney is going to need to see the contract, and the format of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: I would like to trademark the name ab roller for example. Would I registered it as "the ab roller" or "ab roller"?

Furthermore, if I only register the trademark under the name " The Ab roller" can someone later on come and a file trademark under "Ab roller" for the same line of business being conducted?

Greatly appreciated your help~

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Sep 2, 2020

Trademarks are registered in the exact way that they are used in commerce. If someone attempts to register a confusingly similar name for the same class/category of goods or services, where there is a likelihood of confusion, their application for trademark registration will very likely be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: I have an abandoned trademark I started through LegalZoom is there a way to pickup where things left off?

I started the process through LegalZoom and wasn’t familiar with corresponding and had a few quick address changes so things were lost in the mail. Is there a quick way to respond to something like that or does the process need to being again

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Sep 2, 2020

If it's a federal trademark, then there are several ways to handle it but it's going to depend on when and why it was abandoned. Your best bet is to consult with a trademark attorney to discuss the details and decide on the best course of action for your specific situation.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: I signed a non-compete with a toddler/ infant lifestyle company. Would a job at a children’s food company violate it?

I’m a freelance illustrator and am in a contract with no termination date with a toddler lifestyle company. There a potential job I’m interested in illustrating children’s books for an upstart children’s superfood and edutainment brand. Would this be a violation of my non compete even if... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Aug 31, 2020

The generality is that non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California. That is only a generality. Situations exist where a service provider must not compete whether or not there is a non-compete agreement. Your question does not include facts that would be necessary to make a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Is it possible to get an outside USA patent for the same product that has a USA patent?

Assume there is a product with a USA patent. Can someone who is not the inventor apply for a patent in another country?

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 20, 2020

Generally speaking, if no international application was filed based on the U.S. application before it issued as a patent, it's too late to file in other countries. In that scenario, the U.S patent would be considered "prior art" to the later filed international applications on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Do most patents stay valid for the entire 20 year period? If not, what factors alter a patent's lifetime?
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 10, 2020

U.S. patents have "maintenance fees" that are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years. Some patent owners don't pay those fees for various reasons, and the patents expire for non-payment.

Sometimes a patent is litigated in a federal court and found to be invalid or unenforceable for...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for California on
Q: I'm curious if I have any legal options to reclaim my deleted podcast from Spotify/Anchor or hold them accountable?

The company deleted my show with no explanation and I no longer have access to the platform to recover my content and redirect my show. I'm wondering what can be done here?

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk answered on Aug 4, 2020

The first step is to determine the reason for the deletions. There is a factual question to answer. Did they identify a breach of the terms of use? Are they correct? Was it simply an accidental deletion? Is the content recoverable by them, or is it simply lost? Contact their customer service and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Later utility patent adds claims to an expired patent - is previous claims protected again or only delta is covered

I have a technology for which the patent is expired. A later patent filed by another group used added something new to the old technology. Is the technology covered in the old patent (without the additional changes) is still public domain? E.g. I patent chair. The patent on the chair expires.... Read more »

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 18, 2020

Generally, for infringement to occur the product being analyzed will infringe a patent if the product being analyzed contains all the features defined in a claim of an active patent. This is called literal infringement. (Example: if the analyzed product has features A, B, and C (with or without... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Need assistance with patent information.

Hello,

Im seeking assistance with the review of some trademark applications I have completed and I'd like to review for accuracy before I submit. I also have a few questions about technology IP; specifically with the use of some thermal imaging products and supporting software... Read more »

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Jul 16, 2020

Use the Find a Lawyer function on Justia and go from there. Call the lawyers and determine if the work can be completed and ask for a quote.

For some issues you have a wide variety of lawyers to choose from. For federal trademark applications and patent applications, those applications...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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 B. Hudak
John B. 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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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 »

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