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Massachusetts Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Probate and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I find out about a will from my great grandfather??

He was an inventor and patented at least 2 machines that I no of. How can I did out about patents payments inherited residual or my rights???

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 21, 2019

If you are the Court appointed Personal Representative of his estate, then you have authority to

contact the Patent Office or you can engage counsel or a search service. Also, you will be able to

review his tax returns, and financial and all other records.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Copyright, Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m an aspiring lawyer, any advice?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 24, 2019

Yes. Stop wasting time asking silly questions here on Justia.

Meantime, study hard, make really good grades, get an undergraduate degree that will be there to fall back on if you flame out, apply to as many law schools as you can afford to, if several schools accept you, select the one...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Would trademarking be the best route to go in order to protect a brand you've built on social media?

For example you have a page that posts quotes and sells merchandise. Would a trademark protect quotes and merchandise with the brand name on it from being stolen?

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Mar 29, 2019

Trademarks protect the indicia of the source of goods. So, yes.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi, I created unique aphorisms and want print them on clothes. How prevent copying of aphorisms?

Should I patent it as intellectual property? or copyright?

Should I go to lawyer or I can do it by myself online?

Thank you

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Apr 4, 2018

Patents are not the answer as the patent part of the PTO does not care about the text; they care about the function or the ornamental design.

You can chase a trademark (need to specify trademark to get this to a TM lawyer on JUSTIA).

Not a perfect fit as a trademark is intended to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: We have been using the words Orca Envelopes for years to describe their high strength. we did not attempt to trademark

the name Orca. A week ago a trademark for the words was granted to someone who has not been using those words before. Can my company protest the issuance of such a trademark (words) to that party?

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Mar 19, 2018

It depends on the context in which you use the word Orca and the context that the trademark applicant plans to use the word in. You may have grounds to cancel the trademark. An attorney would need to review all the facts to determine if you have a case.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: What is the usual fee or percentage given to the person who's intellectual property I'll be teaching?

I've trained as certified coach and I'm planning on teaching and certifying people in the same coaching in a different language. The person who certified me and I are creating a royalty, license agreement and I'd like to know what is the usual profit % or fee that is standard or usual.

I... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Mar 1, 2018

It depends!

What are you coaching?

From what language are you translating and to which language? That's an atypical piece of the puzzle.

What type of IP are you using?

How will you be reselling the IP?

The answers to those questions and more will...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Internet Law and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I legally add the word 'fund' to the url for a website?

I am not a registered nonprofit or charity, but I help fundraise for one. Example: billsfund.org

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 23, 2018

It could be considered a material misrepresentation unless there is an agreement in place that protects, you, the charity and the donor.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal to sell a dice game based on a real copyrighted game for fake currency that has no real world value

I regularly attend a LARP in which we created a dice game that is based on Pirates Rollin' Bones (https://www.amazon.com/Pirates-Rollin-Bones-Dice-Game/dp/B004RL774A).

Our spin-off version has several significant differences (6 instead of 4 sided dice, different images, slightly different... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Aug 7, 2017

This is a difficult question to answer without studying the two games in detail because there are several aspects of a game that can be copyrighted. But, I can try to give a few pointers. Illustrations and the bone shaped pieces are protected by copyright. Basic game of chance concepts with dice... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: What qualifies as trademark infringement? If a company produces a product that looks similar to another's, is that okay?

I recently purchased many portable speakers from a vendor in China. The company produces many authentic speakers (iLepo), but they also wholesale "fake" JBL speakers on a international wholesale store.

The speakers look pretty similar, but they intentionally took off the logo on the... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Aug 2, 2017

if you use the stickers you are infringing on another company's trademark. The speakers may also violate someone's patent but you can assume not for the moment. if you want to sell them then use the name of mfg or create your own brand.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal to sell a CD of cleaned up graphic/photo files of vintage advertising signs for use on scale models?

For instance, old gas station signs, Western Union telegraph signs, food advertising signs, etc.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 18, 2017

You have to first determine if there are Intellectual Property rights related to such signs and ads. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me on my law practice website. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Libel & Slander for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a public domain image of a politician be used for a commercial product, or do personality rights come into play?

I'm curious if all the humorous political paraphernalia that includes an actual photo of a person is legal or not. (For example: Trump or Obama toilet paper)

Glenn B. Manishin
Glenn B. Manishin answered on Jan 7, 2017

Copyright in images typically does not apply to parodies, and it is unlikely you can libel a famous person (a "public figure") with a political humor under the First Amendment and New York Times v. Sullivan unless your statement is presented as a fact and you have "actual malice" — knowledge the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts on
Q: Is the actual punctuation mark semicolon trademarked by this company?

I've heard of people having their jewelry on etsy removed due to having a semicolon in their design. It does refer to the project semicolon organization but is just the actual punctuation mark, not their logo or anything like that. Is it still not allowed?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 29, 2016

I see no basis for an IP assertion of rights re: simply a semicolon. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me on my law practice website. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Massachusetts on
Q: Forum Copyright infringement: Is this infringement?

If you copied someone else's work on a forum, and the author was using just a nickname, can he or she file Copyright infringement on you? Can he claim his work as his by just using a nickname all the time? example: his username is ohmygod. What if you copied a few of his posts. How much will this... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 29, 2016

Yes, you could be sued for copyright infringement for copying posts in a forum. It does not matter if they only use a nickname. This type of infringement is not criminal, so you would not be found guilty, just liable. Statutory damages are a minimum of $700 per infringement, plus you would be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to use pictures on my website, but don't want to pay for them. The bloggers don't seem to pay - why should I?
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Nov 29, 2010

The safest answer is that if you pay the copyright holder, you will have a license and will not be subject to being sued by the copyright owner. The bloggers could be at risk of being sued. However, there is a a great deal of public domain material on the internet that you can use free of... Read more »

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