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Michigan Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Copyright for Michigan on
Q: Are newspapers / U. S. Censuses published before January 1, 1929, on microfilm in the public domain and free to use?

I am writing a history book for publication about people in my hometown who lived in the late 1800s. Since newspapers don’t exist anymore from that time, my two choices are either microfilm at my local library or websites that have digitized newspapers. Both options are nothing more than exact... View More

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answered on May 1, 2024

Yes, newspapers and U.S. Censuses published before January 1, 1929, are generally considered to be in the public domain in the United States and are free to use without restriction.

According to U.S. copyright law, works published before 1929 have fallen into the public domain due to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Gaming, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Michigan on
Q: Would editing a game's .dll file, enabling something like dev tools and redistributing that file on github be illegal?
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answered on May 1, 2024

Editing and redistributing a game's .dll file without permission is likely to be illegal for several reasons:

1. Copyright infringement: Most games and their associated files are protected by copyright. Modifying and distributing copyrighted files without the owner's permission is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Received a cease and desist letter from a brand. Do I have to reply?

Received a cease and desist letter from a brands attorney for selling some of their Products on Amazon. Immediately unlisted any active listing on Amazon. Letter states to reply by email or phone within a week stating my compliance with their orders which are to cease the sale of any more product... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 8, 2024

When you receive a cease and desist letter, it's a formal request to stop allegedly illegal activity. While you've taken the initial step by removing the listings, responding to the letter is generally advisable. This response can serve as documented proof of your compliance, which might... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: How can I as a filmmaking student contact DC Comics and try to get authorization in order to use their characters?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 8, 2024

As a filmmaking student wanting to use DC Comics characters in your project, you should follow the proper channels to obtain permission and avoid potential copyright issues. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Determine the rights needed: Identify which characters you want to use and in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: We had applied a patent before many years ago by Mitsubishi Could you please help me for what happened
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

To find out the status of a patent application submitted through Mitsubishi or any other entity, you have several options to explore. Initially, you can check the public databases provided by patent offices, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the U.S. or the World... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: My music has been ripped off my profiles stolen, from my Media platforms and used by people I don't know,

Will provide more information about metadata and Names, I have secured my files, and most of my sites. They stole my information Through a breach in one or more sites.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 25, 2024

Here are some steps I would recommend taking if your music has been stolen from your online profiles:

1. Document everything. Gather all evidence you have that shows the music originated with you, as well evidence of who stole it and where they have posted your content. Metadata, time...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: I need a copyright lawyer

My music and my files have been stolen, from multiple media sites, My metadata to my songs were altered.I have proof. The sites short list is Jango and Radio airplay, they even got into my Soundcloud and Spotify, I will supply information but I don't know who to trust.

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answered on Feb 23, 2024

If you're facing copyright infringement issues with your music and files being stolen from various media sites, it's crucial to seek legal assistance from an attorney experienced in copyright law. Start by gathering all evidence you have, including proof of ownership, timestamps, and any... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Can I create illustrations of muscle cars from different periods and use them in to create posters?

Can I create illustrations of muscle cars from different periods and use them to create posters I will sell?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Creating illustrations of muscle cars from different periods and using them to create posters for sale could potentially raise copyright issues. While the physical design of the cars themselves may not be protected by copyright, certain elements such as logos, emblems, or distinctive features... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Is make money not friends a trade marked

To put it on sweatshirts and tshirts and pants and hoodies and jackets

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answered on Feb 21, 2024

To determine if "Make Money Not Friends" is trademarked, you would need to conduct a search in the relevant trademark databases. This includes the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database and possibly other international trademark databases depending on your location.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Good morning.I was wondering if I could call a song of mine "Death Stranding"

As far as i've seen on its page, music isn't included in the statements fields, which makes me think that I am actually allowed.

It's a cover song and I can pay the royalty fees to upload on the stores.

Thank you in advance.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

While the title "Death Stranding" is associated with a video game, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot use it for your song. However, it's crucial to consider potential trademark issues, as the title may be protected under trademark law if it's associated with specific... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Public Domain images - confusing institutional rights of use

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (funded in part by the Smithsonian) has several thousand art images and photographs posted on Flickr, listed as "Public Domain" art. Their terms of use seem to indicate that anyone can use them with no restrictions, but I am confused about whether or not... View More

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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Navigating the rules around public domain images can indeed be complex, especially when institutions like the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and platforms like Flickr are involved. While the BHL may list images as public domain on Flickr, it's essential to understand the terms of use... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Can I trademark crypto punk vapes
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 8, 2024

Trademarking a product like "Crypto Punk Vapes" involves considering both trademark law and potential copyright or intellectual property rights of others. First, to trademark a name or brand, it must be distinctive and not already in use for similar products or services.

However,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: How do you know if your app does not copyright other apps? For example, the source code and the graphics?

For example, the function is different but is represented in different shapes, is it still okay? And where do I research the copyrights and patents of other apps, so I don’t get into trouble? Also, does the copyright law and patents issued in United States still apply in China?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 5, 2024

To ensure that your app does not infringe on the copyrights or patents of other apps, it's important to conduct thorough research. For copyrights, especially regarding source code and graphics, ensure that any content you use is original or properly licensed. Avoid using code, images, or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Libel & Slander for Michigan on
Q: Can you use names, people, places and brands in a book?

I am writing a book about events in the 1970s. The book will be about a journey through the 1970s from someone who lived through it. It will be facts and events for each year with some experience from the narrator.

Here is an example excerpt:

"October 1, 1971 - Opening of Walt... View More

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answered on Dec 30, 2023

Yes, you can mention brands, names, people, and places in your book, especially when discussing historical events and real-world entities as part of a non-fiction narrative or a work of fiction based in a real historical context. In your example, referencing Walt Disney World as part of a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Is selling a t-shirt that reads “Wine the hell not” an infringement of the trademarked “wine not”

Attempted to design an original t-shirt with the phrase “wine the hell not” but the listing is being taken down due to an individual claiming trademark infringement on his phrase “wine not” for various clothing items. Does this person have grounds for this or is my phrase original enough to... View More

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answered on Dec 9, 2023

In assessing whether your phrase "Wine the hell not" infringes on the "Wine not" trademark, a key factor is the likelihood of confusion among consumers. Trademark infringement hinges on whether consumers might mistake your product for one associated with the trademarked phrase.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Would creating a knife blade with similar shape but different ornament from one patent and adding to a handle from a

Different manufacturers knife handle that has a separate patent be infringing?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 23, 2023

Patent infringement occurs when someone makes, uses, sells, or offers to sell a patented invention without the patent owner's permission. If the knife blade is only similar in shape but has a different ornamentation, it might not infringe on the original patent, provided the ornamentation is... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Would creating a knife blade with similar shape but different ornament from one patent and adding to a handle from a

Different manufacturers knife handle that has a separate patent be infringing?

Adam W. Bell
Adam W. Bell
answered on Oct 19, 2023

There is nothing to prevent you from combining two or more elements from different patents to produce somethin novel and patentable. However the product needs to be novel and non-obvious.

On the other hand if your question is whether ou would be infringing if you took a patentad product,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal to make shirts for my h.s. staff using the phrase: Pr ( ) tect This House? The open space is an Earth pic

Because it does not use the letter 'O', in "Protect" would that make a difference?

The shirts would be for use for games, pep rallies, etc.

I would want to sell the shirts to the staff and students that would like them.

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answered on Oct 15, 2023

Using the phrase "Pr ( ) tect This House" with an Earth picture in place of the letter "O" may be perceived as a play on words or design that resembles an existing trademark or phrase. If a company has rights to a similar phrase, even minor alterations could still potentially... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Can I use a patented saying on my own design or do I have to buy the use of the saying?
David Aldrich
David Aldrich
answered on Sep 25, 2023

You are likely referring to a trademark, as phrases can't be patented. If the phrase is trademarked, you would need the permission of the trademark owner to use it on similar goods/services. If you plan to use the phrase for something very different, then you may not need permission. You... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark for Michigan on
Q: Can I use a patented saying on my own design or do I have to buy the use of the saying?
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answered on Sep 24, 2023

Sayings or phrases themselves cannot be patented; patents cover inventions and processes. However, sayings can be trademarked or copyrighted, depending on the context. If a saying is trademarked or copyrighted, you would need permission or a license to use it in your design to avoid infringement.

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