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Michigan Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Can I get sued for writing a non-fiction book about a tv show without the show's permission?

I was hired by a publisher to write a non-fiction book on a very popular television show where I discuss the history of the show, the themes, the characters and provide my opinion on each of the series episodes. Publisher states because I'm providing an opinion there is absolutely no copyright... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 18, 2019

Your concerns are valid. You should consider seriously getting permission. Make sure the hiring party give you a contract where they take full responsibility or liability. Consult with an attorney before doing anything.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: I need to add a trademark for my business an amazon store, Need only one trademark number how much and how long thank u
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 11, 2019

It would take about six months.

Cost will vary but expect to spend around $1,000 to $1,500

We will need to make some searches to make sure the brand is not taken, and will not conflict.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Michigan on
Q: ex-employer shared files with me on my personal file sharing/ email account 15 months after I was fired. do I hv 2 gv b?

I was working for a pharmaceutical wholesale distributor in mi. I had a 1 year non compete agreement. I was fired 8-17-2017 and my non compete ended 8-17-2018. Two months after the non compete ended, I noticed that the owner of the company was sharing files with me via onedrive (a file sharing... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 7, 2018

Although your noncompete has ended, it is likely that any confidentiality agreement that you had with the company, whether in writing or in a employee manual, still applies after termination of your employment. The information that you mentioned is recognized by Michigan law as trade secrets, and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Michigan on
Q: How does Tangle Inc still have the patent for the tangle toy? I remember grew up having it as a toy in my childhood.

How does Tangle Inc still have the patent for the tangle toy? I remember grew up having it as a toy in my childhood. Now I'm 30 years old.

I'm doing patent law research and came across the US patent 7601045 from Tangle Inc. It seems this patent only apply to the textured toys, not the... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jun 10, 2018

This type of a question is fairly common. How can there be a patent on something that has already been in existence many years before the patent was ever filed?

The answer almost always is that the patent claims a product that is somehow improved over the old product. There is something...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Can I use an abandoned trademark name / Make money doing so without repercussions.

What are my options?

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Jun 7, 2018

Not necessarily. An abandoned could be revived, and could already or still be in use in commerce so is not necessarily available for use https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/overview-final-rule-revivals-reinstatements-and-petitions-director

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: If you take patten ingredients and by chance come up with a cure for shingles, Could there be a legal problem?

Can the company that has the patten ingredients come after you?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Dec 28, 2017

This is a fairly common situation in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies come up for new uses of patented drugs all the time.

Generally speaking, a new use for a previously patented ingredient will still infringe the existing patent, and the patent owner may still come...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Michigan on
Q: If I own the patent to a product and I produce the product can someone sell the product without my permission?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Dec 23, 2017

If you make a product, and you sell it to, for example, a wholesaler, then the wholesaler will be able to sell it someone else without your permission. There are ways of preventing the wholesaler from selling it further without your permission, but that is unusual.

If your question is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Is what I'm being requested to do legal? And, do I currently have the legal right/rights qualifying me to proceed?

I was asked by someone to make a number of hard(CD)copies of music for them. This request requires me to "rip" the content(given to me in CD format) on a computer and then burn the music onto the requested number of CDs( also provided to me). The requester(the commissioner) has told me that the... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Sep 18, 2017

You may be at risk of committing copyright infringement if the person commissioning the project does not have the appropriate rights. If the commissioner does own the copyright to the content on the CDs, he should be willing to cover any loss you may incur from copying the content (indemnify you).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Hello, to anyone that can help,what are the steps I need to take to trademark a comic book company I want to start?
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Sep 6, 2017

The first step is to research the mark to determine if anyone else is using it or something similar. There are a variety of trademark search services that can perform a search for you. Once you know what other trademarks exist, you may want to change your mark or proceed with a trademark... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: I want to make a game that references a band as homage. Is that copyright infringement?

I am a fan of the band Supertramp, and very inspired by their music, I've been making a game that pays direct homage to them. Here are some of the examples of things I've inserted:

- reference to album art.

- some musical references in the soundtrack, such as a small riff to... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Mar 1, 2017

This question is probably too fact-specific for an attorney to be able to give you a clear answer without seeing the game. That being said, it is a dangerous strategy to rely on fair use in a questionable scenario. Fair use is a defense to a lawsuit, which means that you're already in court and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: I got a state trademark registration in Michigan, but now a similar business is using the same name for a store across

The border in Indiana. Do I have any rights?

Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Dec 2, 2010

If there is actual or likely confusion caused by the similar name, you probably have rights that can be enforced. Both state law and the Federal Lanham Act allow claims for infringement of trademarks, even if there is no state or federal trademark registration. You should consult a trademark... Read more »

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