Maryland Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

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 for me to use “Fruit Loops” as a flavor?

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 17, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Almost certainly your use violates their trademark, and the penalties for exploiting their trademark for commercial gain to sell your product are severe (you not only pay all of their attorney's fees, but penalties and forfeiture of all profits earned as a result). Kellogg's will hire very expensive and aggressive lawyers. Consult a trademark lawyer going forward so you can understand what you can and cannot do exploiting other trademarked brands. Generally, you must obtain permission (a...

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: I'm operating a new business and someone, who is a known harasser

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 29, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
As long as you were already using the name before she took out the trademark then she can’t stop you using the name, if that is your concern.

Q: Current status of Patent

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on May 30, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
PAIR shows this case as alive and the fees were paid at 3.5 years so next fee window opens 8/16/2018.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

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: Can I include a claim based on an old expired provisional patent application into a new application

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 14, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
If you are seeking to file a patent application to claim something in a provisional application by some other inventor -- that does not work as you need to be the original inventor. You cannot file a patent application on a good idea that someone else had -- even if they did not seek to claim that invention in a later patent application.

If you filed a provisional application A and then filed a non-provisional application B before A expired and you want to claim material that was in...

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: 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: What does etal mean after a persons name on property tax bill

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 7, 2017
Benton R Patterson III's answer
It usually refers to additional owners other than the first named owner. For example, if a property was owned jointly by Abe, Bill, and Charles, the bill may say Abe, et al.

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: Is intangible personal property included under Maryland's theft statute. What about intellectual property?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2017
Thomas Joseph Maronick Jr's answer
Theft of intellectual property I have never heard of in criminal court. It sounds more like a civil case.

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.

Q: Can I use the name Jelly Belly Barbecue for a barbecue business?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 28, 2017
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
This online forum exists for general questions, not so much for attorneys to research a particular question. That being said, to see if a particular name is available one can contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. Even if a name is available per the Maryland SDAT, a business owner needs to make sure that names and logos it uses do not violate any existing copyright, trademark or tradename and that they are not "misleadingly similar" to an existing name / logo.

Q: Can a local competitor place an internet banner on your line listing with supermedia.We R trademarked

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 5, 2014
Ray Beckerman's answer
Your question is very unclear. I would need to see the sites in question, the banner, etc., and would probably have further questions for you.

Q: Who lawyer I need to talk with when you invent something it may work?.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 18, 2011
Mr. Ilya Libenzon's answer
I would recommend consulting a patent attorney who will give you advice as to whether your invention is worth patenting.

Q: Is it better to settle or get a lawyer in the case of copyright infringment

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 28, 2011
Mr. Ilya Libenzon's answer
It really depends on the facts of the case. I would recommend consulting an intellectual property attorney to assess whether it is better to settle or proceed with the litigation.

Q: Can district court prosecute you for a counterfeit trademark offense.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 9, 2010
Paul Overhauser's answer
Yes, a Federal Attonrey can prosecute you for a counterfiet trademark offense. per 9 USC 1715:

In order to show that a trademark used by the defendant was a "counterfeit mark" the government must prove the following:

The mark is spurious. 18 U.S.C. § 2320(d)(1)(a). A mark is "spurious" if it is "not genuine or authentic." Joint Statement on Trademark Counterfeiting Legislation, 130 Cong. Rec. H12076, H12078 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 1984)(hereinafter "Joint Statement").

The mark...

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