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Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: I have a novel use for a product that’s been out for years Is that patentable?
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 13, 2020

Without knowing more, I'd say that it is unlikely but possible. If your invention doesn't change and improve an existing thing, then you'd only be looking at patenting a method to do something useful or to make something. If the method of using the existing thing is new, useful and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Can you help me to sell my patent?

Patent number: 7851255 filed in 2010

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak answered on Aug 13, 2020

Search patent brokers – give them a call – some can be hit or miss if they will pick up their phones.

There are some non practicing entities (NPE) – which can have a bad reputation as abusing the system – although some aggregate electronic patents to be bought or sold. Also a NPE...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Intellectual Property and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: Have someone living in our house that is in our grandpa's will. But he hasn't died yet and the will is in our name this

This crazy lAdy just cAme moved in and started staying and said she wasn't going anywhere

Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw answered on Aug 13, 2020

If she was never invited to stay, you should contact the authorities (police) and have her removed for trespassing. If she has been invited to stay, you will need to move to have her evicted.

We wish you well.

-The Upshaw Law Firm, (770) 240-0922.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for South Carolina on
Q: Hello. I am trying to figure out if the phrase "Be Kind" is trademarked or not. It says "Abandoned", but just in case.
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 11, 2020

This is not legal advice, but an informal glance at U.S. Trademark Office records suggests that there are over 100 pending applications or active registrations using the phrase "BE KIND" as a mark or as part of a mark.

Numerous factors are considered in determining whether a mark...
Read more »

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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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: How will I know if a logo is trademarked? Can you modify an existing logo and use it nationally?
Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Aug 10, 2020

You can perform a search on the USPTO website for registered trademarks. Note however that trademarks may accrue common law rights prior to registration so it is also important to work with an attorney to perform a clearance search to determine if there any other trademarks in use that may be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: Can I use a trademarked name for a business if the goods are completely different?

I would like to use the name Wookiee as part of our business name. We sell cookies and baked goods.

As per checking via this website, Wookiee is trademarked but for clothing, toys and headgear.

Is this possible?

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Aug 5, 2020

It is possible to use a trademark so long as there is no likelihood of confusion between the trademarks and the marks are not being used in the same or related class/categories. However, it is still important to ensure that neither the trademark owner nor any other person is using the trademark in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Michigan: copyright question regarding rewriting of scientific articles in simple language

Hi, student from Michigan. I'm considering starting a nonprofit project where we rewrite published free, publicly accessible scientific articles in simple language and re-publish them on the Web through our own website (freely available of course). I was wondering whether this counts as fair... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 5, 2020

I would say no. Best to get permission from the authors before doing this. They might appreciate your efforts.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property, Trademark and Business Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I intend to register a trade mark.

l want to inquire about the possibility of registering a joint name i.e. "PETER and PAUL". I would like the use both names to label my product or would either use PETER or PAUL separately for the same category of product. Is this allow in U.S trademark law.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Aug 5, 2020

Generally speaking, you may use the trademark you choose so long as it complies with trademark law, ie. it is not confusingly similar to another trademark in the same or related class/category or misleading, etc. However if you register a trademark, you should use that trademark with the spelling... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal to screenshot a Getty Images image I have embedded into my website from that website and then post it?

Getty Images has an embed feature where one can embed a photo into their website for free. If I make a private Google Site, embed a photo, and then screenshot that photo (from the Google Site), is it OK to include it in a non-commercial post on Instagram, or do I have to obtain a license for the... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Aug 4, 2020

Getty Images is not someone to mess around with. They are incredibly active in copyright infringement suits.

If they give you an embed feature, then they absolutely have terms and conditions on how the license works for that. I can practically guarantee, though will not without actually...
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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property on
Q: What resources(products/works created by others) in the public domain can be used freely for commercial purposes?

(excluding books, photos, video)

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Aug 3, 2020

If something is truly in the public domain, then it can be used by anyone for any purpose. The trick is being able to tell for sure whether the work you want to copy is truly in the public domain.

You can find a definition of the types of "works" that are protected by copyright...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: i run a large social platform and have got some copyright claims, the copyright holder refuses to work with me.

is there any legal process i can go through to get claims resolved on a un-responsive holder?

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Aug 3, 2020

Not really. except for certain streaming music licenses, copyrighted work does not require a compulsory license, and so if the copyright holder does no want to work out a license to you, they are under no obligation to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Intellectual Property and Divorce for Arizona on
Q: Our car was in both of our names. She trade in our car for a car in her name only. Can she do this without my signature.

I'm without a car.Is there anything I can do to get my car back from the dealer.

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 29, 2020

She can and did do this without your signature. It sounds like your car title was an "or" title. This type of title would allow either one of you to trade or sell the vehicle without the signature of the other. It is very unlikely that you will be able to get the car back from the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Federal Crimes, Intellectual Property and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: I received an email about because I got a notice of le a legal proceeding should I take it seriously

Case File : PS0103019

Court House Address- -United States District Court 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007.

Lawsuit Cost - $4526.65(Including Attorney Fee/Court Fee/All Taxes)

Last Date to File Lawsuit - July 28th 2020.

Attorney Name- Paul Smith (Sr. Attorney in... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 28, 2020

It's a scam. Ignore it.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida on
Q: How can I buy a trademark that is listed as unused since 2008?

I was researching for a brand name and this one appeared as unused in the Justia Trademarks display page. Just the steps to acquire the brand name before using it Online.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Jul 28, 2020

While some people do purchase rights to use a trademark from trademark owners, if the mark is not being used by anyone, then the right to exclusively use a trademark is acquired through use for goods and services. Before filing for registration of a trademark, it is important to determine whether... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for North Carolina on
Q: What do I need to do to collect fines from songs that I wrote that was illegally published?
Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Jul 27, 2020

You have rights but your damages depend on whether you registered the songs with the US Copyright office prior to their unauthorized publication. In any event, a cease and desist letter and demand for damages will Be your First course of action. If you would like assistance with this feel free to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for Missouri on
Q: Would I be able to write a musical titled, “Danny Phantom the Musical” and use the likeliness of the characters?

I am looking to write a musical and I would love to write a musical based on the cartoon Danny Phantom. I noticed that there is a trademark on Danny Phantom. So I was curious if I could use the name Danny Phantom and attach Musical to it, while also using the likeliness of characters in the... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jul 26, 2020

The biggest thing that you have to worry about is probably copyright because you would be making a derivative work by making a musical. Viacom has the registration for the show, and when you adapt and derive content from one medium into another, you need a license from the respective owner(s).... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: What if a patent has claims that r both trivial&prior art? And just a few claims that might be original? ....

Is the patent valid?

Can the use of those claims where there’s prior art be persecuted?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 24, 2020

Patents are often a mix of independent claims (that start from scratch) and dependent claims (that add something to an independent claim or to a chain of an independent claim and one or more dependent claims).

Often what is added in a dependent claim seems trivial. Here is an example to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Does researching feasibility of patent claims in eg a prototype or a pilot product require licensing?

The prototype/pilot is not to be sold or used for anything more that research as PoC or the feasibility of a final product?

I understand that if I use a patent for a working instrument in my lab the licensing is required, but not if it applies to an object of research?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 24, 2020

The general rule is that developing a prototype is not immune from patent infringement. I have seen a suit against a university for doing qualification tests of a new device that arguably infringed a patented method.

As a practical matter, it is unlikely that a patent owner will know or...
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