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Maryland Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland on

Q: Is it legal for me to use “Fruit Loops” as a flavor?

I own a CBD brand and we sell terpene infused vape pen cartridges. One of our flavors is “Fruit Loops”. We own the image on our packaging but I’m curious if the use of the term violates any trademark/patents owned by Kellogg’s. Thanks so much!

Mark Oakley answered on Nov 17, 2018

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... Read more »

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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 Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

in our community just informed me she took at a trademark in my business name. Do I have any chance of fighting this - she's doing it because she doesn't like me.

Mark Oakley answered on Jun 29, 2018

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.

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

Q: Current status of Patent

Patent #7,998,476 B2

Kevin E. Flynn answered on May 30, 2018

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

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

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

The specification for the new application does not mention the concept on which the claim is based.

The old provisional application was authored by the same person as the new application.

The new application is based upon first to invent.

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Mar 14, 2018

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... Read more »

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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, 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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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on

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

Benton R Patterson III answered on Aug 7, 2017

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.

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

Disclaimer: I am not in any trouble. I was just hoping to get an expert's opinion on this matter. Thank you.

My understanding is that theft is Maryland's version of the common law crime of larceny. However, common law required the personal property being stolen to be corporeal, and this... Read more »

Thomas Joseph Maronick Jr answered on May 1, 2017

Theft of intellectual property I have never heard of in criminal court. It sounds more like a civil case.

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 28, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

We have a very aggressive competitor who wants us out of business. He has placed a display banner on top of our supermedia line listing that jumps out of the banner when a consumer is looking for our trademarked company. Isn't this piracy?

Ray Beckerman answered on Sep 5, 2014

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

I just have something made up or invent myself and I want to be sure that no body have made it yet, and I would like to know who I need to talk with to help me about it, is something simple but may work.thank you

Mr. Ilya Libenzon answered on Aug 18, 2011

I would recommend consulting a patent attorney who will give you advice as to whether your invention is worth patenting.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

Mr. Ilya Libenzon answered on Jul 28, 2011

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Maryland on

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

Paul Overhauser answered on Dec 9, 2010

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...
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