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Minnesota Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Minnesota on
Q: Would a US Patent only cover my rights in the US or could I use a patent cooperation treaty with a US patent to further

Protect my rights.

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Jul 22, 2019

A US patent is valid only in the US. You can use a PCT application, if you are still within the time limits, to file in other PCT countries. That requires a new application.

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Q: Does this form of business protect my right internationally, to say I patent articles under the name of the corporation
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 8, 2019

We do not have an option for an international patent. (Yes, I know many people write that they have an international patent, but they are wrong). We have a type of patent application that is the front end for many patent system. This is called a Patent Cooperation Treaty Application (PCT... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: If I created a design/logo for shirts. Should I get copy right, trademark or both? Another ? added to more infor section

Also, the design/logo includes words. So, if I change the words color and/or font does it still protect under the copyright/trademark law still? Even if I submit something to the copyright/trademark in black font and a specific font.

Sean Erin Serraguard
Sean Erin Serraguard answered on Apr 18, 2019

Based on the facts we have, it sounds like a trademark. Specificaly, it sounds like two trademarks, a word (standard character) mark containing just the characters and a design (special form) mark containing the logo. Remember that trademarks/service marks are for distinguishing goods and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: Riding dirtbike on someone private property, I didn’t know. They use force to make me leave it gets violent, details

On private property I didn’t know on my dirtbike. Man runs out and tries to push me off of my bike. That’s illegal right? Don’t they have to ask me to leave first? Then if I don’t they can use minimal force right? Also if they come out and stop me in my tracks there not aloud to just start... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher answered on Jan 18, 2019

It's difficult to answer detailed hypothetical questions in the absence of context. You might try a phone call instead. It doesn't seem that you are charged with a crime. So it does not look like a criminal law question. If you're charged with a crime, that usually defines the purpose of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: Do I have any recourse if the design team I am working with excludes me from a patent?

I am a CAD designer for a large company and was instrument in contributing to the patent IP. There are multiple patents I have been excluded from.

Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema answered on Nov 30, 2018

If you made an inventive contribution to a patent, then you cannot be excluded from it. However, improper inventorship on an issued patent can cause the patent to be unenforceable. For that reason, patent attorneys and companies generally try to make sure all inventors are included on an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Trademark Help

I just started a business doing cases for mobile device, gaming consoles, tablets, etc. I just found out today a direct competitor has the same domain name as me but adds a few characters to the end of his URL. We are both ecommerce and both sell basically the same product. I know he does not have... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 6, 2018

You are not necessarily in the wrong here. The two marks may be distinguishable. Although, its difficult to say without knowing the exact names. It is also possible the other user may have surrendered its rights by not enforcing its mark. An attorney would need to know all the facts to make a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: I brought my own CAD software and computer to use at work after signing an NDA with a new employer. Is the NDA valid?

More specifically the CAD software is pirated and unlicensed and has been used in engineering and designing products for a manufacturing business.

Andrew Zulieve Esq
Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Jan 31, 2018

Yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: Laws that protect intellectual material.

I am a Realtor out of MN and owner of twincitiessold.com, my real estate blog and advice website. The website 'Help a Reporter Out' (HARO) allows journalists to ask questions to experts about a variety of topics. One of the only reasons people answer these inquiries is to get PR exposure and build... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Sep 25, 2017

Generally, websites contain their own terms of service, determining the rights you grant to the website when you post content. HARO is no different, according to their terms of service (https://www.helpareporter.com/terms-of-service/?nav_location=footer):

5.4. You hereby grant HARO a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Is it legal to use verses from the bible on "print on demand items" to sell online? Do I need a license? I live in MN.
Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Aug 29, 2017

It depends on what version (edition/translation) of the bible you're quoting.

The ancient versions of religious texts are almost certainly in the public domain, and freely usable. However, any quote you're likely to come across in the "print on demand" context is going to be from a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: do i need to ask approval to use a trademarked name in the title of a mobile app or can i disclaim we're not associated?

i'd like to create a study guide app for a certification exam but am not sure if i need approval from the certification body to use it in the name / description...or if i can just disclaim that the app isn't associated with the certification body and i'd be clear?

Lucas Wynne
Lucas Wynne answered on Jan 25, 2017

You need approval.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Minnesota on
Q: I am interested in pitching a recovery technique/business model to a large fitness conglomerate. Do I need patent?

I am concerned my intellectual idea may be stolen and replicated as this corporation is needed to provided initial capital to develop the business idea which may then be able to be self-sufficient if the idea is successful.

Lucas Wynne
Lucas Wynne answered on Aug 7, 2016

I am not a patent attorney, but you cannot patent an idea - it has to be an actual invention/product. With that being said, you can retain an attorney to draft a contract that would offer you some protection in the event your idea was stolen.

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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: We want aprons for our cooking group for us to wear, and we have the same name as a remodeling company.Is this an issue?

We have a speperate logo

We are not selling them

We are just a group of ladies cooking together, wanting aprons

Mr. Ilya Libenzon
Mr. Ilya Libenzon answered on Sep 13, 2011

If you want to use your own logo on aprons that are used by a remodeling company that has the same name as your cooking group, then you will be fine as long as you cook some delicious food - just don't use their logo/trademark on your aprons to be on a safe side.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for Minnesota on
Q: A book I wrote was pirated and published in Russia, selling 15,000 copies. Is there anything I can do?
Robert Douglas Kane Jr
Robert Douglas Kane Jr answered on Dec 19, 2010

Yes, there may be something you can do. There are protections for unauthorized use. Here is a publication from the US Copyright Office.(http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf). Obviously, you will need to evaluate your chances of being able to obtain a judgment and collecting it.

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