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Maryland Copyright Questions & Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on

Q: If someone has a patent on an idea how long do I need to wait to get a design patent on the same idea?

The person holding the patent has never brought the product to market. My design is different but the idea is the same.

Peter D. Mlynek answered on Feb 27, 2019

You can't. You can't patent something that you did not invent. And you can't patent something that is already available to the public.

Now, if you have an invention that is sufficiently different from, or an improvement over, an existing product, then you should be able to patent it. And...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on

Q: I am starting my own business. I came up with the name in 2008, but there's a 2017 tv show with the same name...

I invented the name for my business back in 2007-2008 and want to use this name as I am starting my own consulting business. However, in 2017 there was a documentary/TV series created with the same name. Is this copyright infringement if I go forward using the name I'd come up with? It's not really... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Jan 2, 2019

As long as you are not creating written or media pieces (film) with the name as a title (assuming the name is unique and identical to the TV show) then there is probably neither copyright nor trademark infringement. But without reviewing the specific title and nature of your business it is... Read more »

Q: Is it legal to get data base off of a local gov't website

It would be to create a business with the information obtained

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Sep 18, 2018

Many government websites make information readily available for search but have a disclaimer that the information cannot be harvested by an auto-bot, software programs, etc. Harvesting an entire database is probably not going to fly, but without knowing what database you are trying to access, one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Civil Rights for Maryland on

Q: Where I live the police say it is gang related and can't be worn into school? Is this true?

They are saying this is a gang-related paten. Which it is not. How are they allowed to tell the police it is.

Gary Kollin answered on Sep 6, 2018

I do not know what "it" is. Platen is defined as "a plate, typically made of gold or silver, used for holding the bread during the Eucharist and sometimes as a cover for the chalice."

The police say. Who says? An individual police officer? A supervisor? Is it in writing? Is it an urban...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on

Q: Hello, when do I need to renew my patent?

John Espinosa answered on May 28, 2018

Here is a helpful resource:

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Products Liability, Business Formation and Trademark for Maryland on

Q: We are bring sued by a DC firm. We are a nonprofit.

They say they have one common word trademarked! HOW can this be, with that word, which is used by many.

Can we keep our non profit name?

Mark Oakley answered on Apr 19, 2018

Have they actually filed suit (in which case, you are being sued), or did they merely send a threatening letter? I doubt you are in actual legal jeopardy of losing the word, “Heroes”, from you company name or losing a damage suit in court. My guess is that they are trying to scare you into... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on

Q: Im in a band . Another band has recently started calling themselves the same name as ours. How can i keep the name.

Benton R Patterson III answered on Mar 5, 2018

This is actually a trademark issue. An attorney would need to know more about the situation to determine who has the rights to the name. Important facts include, who used it first, has either party registered it as a trademark, and whether the audiences for each band overlap.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Internet Law and Trademark for Maryland on

Q: Question about registering a legal entity in the software industry using a well known trademark.


I am a mobile application developer, specializing in app development for Apple’s iOS platform. The trademark “iOS” is owned by Cisco and leased to Apple for their mobile operating system.

With that in mind, can I register an LLC or a DBA using iOS as part of my legal... Read more »

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Feb 14, 2018

In my opinion, your proposed idea is not a prudent one and could very well be a costly one.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Maryland on

Q: What route to take, copyright or trademark? Ive recently be selling shirts, hoodies and tanks under a brand I created.

I want to know if I need to get this brand copyrighted or trademark and if so what would be the first step. I have a business which in a few weeks I plan to put in a name change request to make it the brands name. Will that be suitable or should I do more. Really would like some insight.... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III answered on Jan 2, 2018

Both copyright registration and trademark registration are important to prevent others from copying your designs or selling counterfeit versions of your products. Copyright protects creative works. Trademark protects words, symbols, and other ways of designating a goods or services in commerce.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on

Q: With a Provisional Patent; What are next steps to keep secure while shopping invention?

I have a gaming/dining table I am marketing with the provisional patent in place. What what be the best moves to make next in terms of trade secrets, non-competition agreements, non-disclosure, copyright, etc.?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 28, 2017

You need to get connected with an attorney that has been down this road many times before. You will need a non-disclosure/non-use agreement that is used with folks that are given access to your design.

To the extent that you work with vendors to improve your design, the paperwork needs...
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Q: I want to file an international patent; what are specific procedures and requirements?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 18, 2017

There is not really an international patent. There is a process to file a patent application which serves as the front end for the patent application systems for 152 countries or regions This is a Patent Cooperation Treaty Application (PCT).... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on

Q: When filing an patent; what are specific differences relating to an improvement on an invention vs. an invention?

I have made an invention that can simply be completed by altering any type of table; end result being a what I'd term as an improvement on dining and gaming tables. I did not invent dining, gaming, or the combination of the two. However, I did invent without using any prior as inspiration, until... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 18, 2017

Great question.

Here are some points to consider.

1) It is extremely rare that someone submits a patent application for the first x (first transistor, first airplane, first telephone). We remember those folks as they are few and far between. Most patent applications are filed on...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Maryland on

Q: Can I get the document that says you registered for a trademark?

Will Blackton answered on Jul 27, 2017

If you registered for a trademark, yes. If you worked with an attorney, contact your attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on

Q: i created a t-shirt that went viral and is now being copied on multiple websites. what can i do?

the shirt says "Dear Racism, I am not my grandparents. Sincerely, These Hands."

Griffin Klema answered on Jun 11, 2017

First things first: register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. The filing fee is small ($30). An attorney can help you with that process, and it's important to ensure that the registration is properly filed.

You may also want to try trademarking the slogan. Filing an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on

Q: Hi, I want to use the WordNet dictionary in an app.

Hi, I want to use the WordNet dictionary located here.

It's available available for commercial use

Is it enough to have something in the About section of an app... Read more »

Will Blackton answered on Mar 2, 2017

An attorney representing the commercial interest should review this WordNet license with respect to the intended use.

WordNet® is unencumbered, and may be used in commercial applications in accordance with the following portion of the license: "you agree to comply with the following...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Maryland on

Q: I registered a domain name that belonged to a LLC. Can I continue the business they started using that domain name?

The company was an LLC company that had a few backlinks from popular websites. They also had a patented product. Can I use the domain name to continue the service/product the original owner had? i have actually done this with 2 domain names but i havent recreated the website/business ideas of the... Read more »

Will Blackton answered on Feb 7, 2017

The content of websites is copyrighted as soon as it is created. If you are copying the code and content of the old website, you would face liability for copyright infringement.

Additionally, if you use any images on these sites, to which you do not own the rights to publish, you could be...
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