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California Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
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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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Graphic illustration for t-shirt.

Hello,

I'd like to create an illustrated image, print it on t-shirts and sell it online. This image would contain the name "Lambo" (slang for Lamborghini) and car that would look similar to Lamborghini sports car (without logo). So basically it would be a bit different.

So I'd like... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 23, 2019

Many people say, "So basically it would be a bit different." Sometimes that is true. Other times it would simply be wishful thinking. Even so, the criterion is whether there is confusion as to whether you might be seen as falsely indicating a relationship with Lamborghini.

I do not know...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Law, Collections and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: I invested in a UK company, then the founder moved to the US and re-formed without notifying me.

I invested in a UK company. The founder claimed that he was shutting down the company. Next thing I know, he goes to the US and restarts the company. Now the company is successful and is operating strongly in the US. Do I have any grounds for a lawsuit? He did not give me any compensation, new... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 16, 2019

It might be possible to bring an action against the founder. The facts must be examined by an attorney to see if they support bringing an action in the United States rather than in the UK. The facts must be examined to see if the founder committed any improper activities. The range of possibilities... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: A company that applied for a trademark in Aug 2019 is trying to claim a trademark for a domain I have owned since 2002.

The company is threatening action if I don't release the domain to them. Is the company able to take me to court over this? Note that I am not using the domain for commercial purposes but I do use it for blogging and email.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 11, 2019

are you using the domain?

if you have a legitimate use, you can win a dispute over it.

obviously if they have the money, they can make your life very difficult.

Consult with an attorney so you can explore your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: If I report a trademark infringer to customs can that person/company sue me? I own the trademark.

I filed a protest with the USPTO to stop their application. The USPTO accepted it but gave them 6 months to file arguments why they should be able to obtain the trademark. I also mailed them a Cease and Desist letter. They’ve ignored both and continue to sell their goods in the US.

I... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 10, 2019

That is the challenge of property ownership. Just like you need to maintain your car, fill it with gas, obey the laws, etc. you have to do that with intellectual property.

You need a good analysis to make sure you have a basis for all your actions.

Consult an attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Is it possible to patent a voyage?

A thematic cruise route spanning over 4 continents and 10 cities.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 16, 2019

This does not sound like a fit for the patent system.

35 USC 101

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Hi! I´m an illustrator and i wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark my name and copyright my work or is it not?

I have heard that the copyright is automatic when I create my work and I would be using my name but I wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark it and copyright my work to have any protection or if it is enough to creeate it and use the symbol on the work without paying. Thanks

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Aug 5, 2019

By law, a Common Law copyright is created the moment you put your work into tangible form (i.e. once you create an actual work, beyond just the idea in your head). If you have a copyrighted work, you are authorized to sue for damages if someone uses that work without authorization, however with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Can I withdraw from a partnership LLC but keep trademarks? Moving from CA to AZ.

I was a sole proprietor consultant and developed a software application, then got married. My then-spouse and I reorganized as a partnership LLC in CA. I don't think we have an operating agreement.

We are equal partners with his mom being a 2% partner, but I do all the actual work of the... Read more »

John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla answered on Jul 30, 2019

If the application(s) for the trademarks' registration filed with the USPTO lists the LLC as owner, the LLC remains the owner regardless of your LLC's status, dissolved or otherwise.

The LLC will need to transfer ownership to you or your new entity. You should consult a California business...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Will I have any copyright infringement?

Hi. I'm Alex. I will be brief. I develop a technology based on Artificial Intelligence which produces its own music in real time. The thing is that I teach MY system by using copyrighted music. Will I have any copyright infringement if I monetize the technology? Thanks.

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

As a generality, if you copy music and use it, it is copyright infringement whether or not you monetize it. There are exceptions for "fair use." However, those exceptions are much narrower than most copiers think they are.

Serious companies consider paying a license fee. Sometimes the cost...
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Q: If a patent is assigned to a company, would the inventor get royalties or just the company?

My father was involved in patents and was not sure if the family is entitled to anything from them.

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

If your father was employed by a company and made inventions as part of his normal job duites, then the employer might consider your father fully paid in that he received his paycheck. As a paid to invent employee, the money paid by the company to your father would serve as consideration for the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Is it legal to sell wireless earbuds that look like Airpods but have a different brand and no reference to Apple at all?

The Idea would be to sell functioning wireless earbuds for cheap with my own brand and wording without any reference to Apple or their specific product (Airpods). Would there be any legal problems I could get into if I was sell these wireless earbuds on Amazon?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jun 21, 2019

I will defer to trademark attorneys on possible issues under trade dress.

However, if Apple has a design patent on the ornamental appearance of these earbuds, then you may be subject to suit for patent infringement.

For an introduction to patent searching --...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: How do I go about owning the trademark for "Girl Gang"? It seems to stand as abandoned. Thank you.

I want to trademark "Girl Gang" for a women's sports apparel company, I'm looking to start. It seems to stand as abandoned. What does that mean? Thank you.

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Jun 10, 2019

You should apply for a trademark application.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Intellectual Property and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Property management company wrote us a letter saying we needed to remove our pool in our backyard. Do we have too?

Been living in the house for 5 years have had a plastic pool up every summer for 5 years never been an issue got a letter saying it need to be removed because it violates paragraph 11:USE OF THE PREMISES: The premises shall not be used for any propose other than as a residence for the authorized... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 6, 2019

Let me break it down for you: Regardless of how many years you have been able to enjoy a portable plastic backyard pool, your landlord has now taken the legal position that your portable plastic backyard pool violates one or more of the nuisance rules governing your rented home or apartment, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Intellectual Property, Consumer Law and Internet Law for California on
Q: A Los Angeles based hosting company without warning denied 100k customers access to their intangible personal property.

The company the 100K customers contracted with is called AlphaRacks. AlphaRacks contracted with a company called QuadraNet to provide the actual computer servers. Those two companies have some type of dispute. Without warning on 5/16/19, QuadraNet disconnected access for all of AlphaRacks... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 30, 2019

The only way to solve this problem is to read all the written contracts made between the two warring companies and then read all the contracts made between you and whichever company you had a contractual relationship with. If you think there is a class action hiding in these facts, hire a lawyer

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