Maryland Copyright Questions & Answers

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?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 27, 2019
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
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 you can file for it right away.

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...

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
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 impossible to be more specific, so meet with an intellectual property lawyer to be sure. The fact that you “came up with” the name 10 years ago but never used it does not help you.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Formation, Business Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
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 cannot realistically answer the question. More than likely the agency maintaining the website can answer the question.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Civil Rights for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 6, 2018
Gary Kollin's answer
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 legend?

Who are they?

Who is telling the police it is?

Take your time in school Write out a cogent and gramatically correct inquiry. If you cannot, then it appears you should...

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

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on May 28, 2018
John Espinosa's answer
Here is a helpful resource: https://www.uspto.gov/patents-maintaining-patent/maintain-your-patent

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Products Liability, Business Formation and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 19, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
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 giving up the word. A lot more goes into tradename infringement than one word, unless it’s a unique brand name like “Google.” Have a lawyer respond with a letter that your use of the word is not an...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 5, 2018
Benton R Patterson III's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Internet Law and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 14, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
In my opinion, your proposed idea is not a prudent one and could very well be a costly one.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 2, 2018
Benton R Patterson III's answer
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. The first step is to settle on a specific name or design and the products you intent to use it on. Then contact an intellectual property attorney.

It is not necessary to change the name of...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 28, 2017
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
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 to be clear that their improvements flow to you without additional compensation as you are already paying them to be smart.

Each state has an organization that helps small businesses that is...

Q: I want to file an international patent; what are specific procedures and requirements?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, International Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 18, 2017
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
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 http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/pct_contracting_states.html. This is a Patent Cooperation Treaty Application (PCT). People sometimes call this an international patent but that is not accurate.

You can file a utility application here in the US and then file your PCT application within 12 months of that...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 18, 2017
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
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 improvements.

2) When you are the first to file a patent on X-- then you tend to get broader protection and have a stronger patent than someone filing the 100th patent on an improvement to X....

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

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 27, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
If you registered for a trademark, yes. If you worked with an attorney, contact your attorney.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 11, 2017
Griffin Klema's answer
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 application to register the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office is a bit more expensive ($225 filing fee for a TEAS Plus online application). Again, consider getting some assistance from a...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 2, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
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 copyright notice and statements, including the disclaimer, and that the same appear on ALL copies of the software, database and documentation, including modifications that you make for internal use or for...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 7, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
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 liable for copyright infringement.

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