Ohio Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: In marketing, can we mention that our products were previously sold under a trademarked brand name?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Apr 22, 2019
Joseph Jaap's answer
Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local intellectual property attorney to review all the facts of the situation and advise you if the large company might take any action against you if you do that.

Q: Is the term "Food Revolution" trademarked?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Joseph Jaap's answer
A trademark can be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, with any of the states, or with foreign countries. You can easily check the databases of any of those to find out if it has been registered. But there is no requirement to register a trademark. Many famous trademarks have not been registered. And even if a trademark is not registered, it still has legal protection under federal and state law, and an infringer can be held liable. So finding out that a trademark has been...

Q: If I paid a designer to help design a city map, can another org. then use the same designer to publish & claim that map?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Feb 14, 2019
Joseph Jaap's answer
If your written agreement with the designer did not also assign the copyright to you, then the designer still own the copyright in the map design, even though you paid the designer for it. An assignment of copyright must be in writing, otherwise, the designer retains it. If the designer still owns the copyright in the map design, then the designer can sell and use the map with others. Same as a wedding photographer. The photographer typically retains the copyright in the photos, and only...

Q: As an officer of a 501c4 corporation am I personally liable for a copyright infringement by the corporation

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Bankruptcy and Business Law for Ohio on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Joseph Michael Romano Esq's answer
Can't even answer without knowing more. Please call to set up an appointment.

Q: Can we use sound clips from a CBS news broadcast in a song, is that considered fair use?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Sep 11, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis and judged substantially on the following four factors:

1 )the purpose and character of your use

2) the nature of the copyrighted work

3) the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and

4) the effect of the use upon the potential market

In most cases, fair use is difficult to overcome and it is always advisable to obtain a license or written permission when exploiting someone else's copyrighted work....

Q: how do I know if an image/logo is trademarked?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Jun 6, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
The only way is to conduct an image search via the USPTO's database of registered trademarks. Images are a bit tougher to research than word marks, because there's a bit of subjective interpretation in the description of the designs and their potential similarity to other registered marks. With that said, an experienced attorney can help perform these services and get your mark registered. If you'd like additional info, you can email me at: Jason@altviewlawgroup.com for help.

Q: can I patent an ingredient in animal feed to prevent other feed companies from using it?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Answered on Mar 31, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
Starting in March of 2013, the rules for what could be patented changed. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/102

The relevant text is

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;

It is believed that the term sale is meant to be a public sale not a...

Q: I created healthcare processes that are currently safer and better than are currently used. Can they claim ownership?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Employment Law for Ohio on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
There is no way to answer without knowing details of what you have developed. It might fall under copyright or patent, or neither. Ideas are not copyrighted, but the expression can be. But a method or technique could be patentable. And any employment contract or terms of employment included in an employment handbook or other restrictions related to your employment might allow your employer to claim ownership. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local intellectual property law attorney...

Q: Can make a Pokémon series on YouTube without overstepping the copyright

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Feb 7, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
If you use any images or other graphics, characters, or other related recognizable elements, you could be infringing the copyrights and trademarks. YouTube could take down what you post, and the owners of Pokémon could then make claims against you, seeking an injunction, civil damages, and/or criminal penalties, including having you pay their attorney fees. Use the Find a Lawyer tab and retain an intellectual property attorney to review your materials and advise you before you post them.

Q: Is a copyright on a Sound Recording valid if the entity registering the copyright never existed?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Answered on Jan 17, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
Yes, the copyright (i.e. the legal right, not the registration) should still be valid. A copyright registration which includes erroneous information can be corrected. Review the procedures under section 1800 of the copyright office Compendium.

Regarding ownership, a copyright is always initially owned by the creator, unless assigned. Generally, the registration itself doesn't change ownership.

Q: Do I have complete ownership of lyrics to have anyone I choose to write the music?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Nov 28, 2017
Joseph Jaap's answer
The author of lyrics automatically gains copyright protection under US copyright laws. The author can register that copyright to get added protection against infringement. The composer who does the music also gains copyright protection in the musical composition. So a song has 2 copyrights. When the song is recorded, the person creating the sound recording also gains a copyright in the recording. Three different people can own copyrights in a recorded song. The author's copyright in the...

Q: I created a class and would like to get it protected but dont know what I need.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Oct 25, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
What type of class? How is the class material presented?

It's likely that copyright is the appropriate type of protection, but it's unclear without more information.

Q: My eBay listing keeps getting removed because my "listing used their copyrighted image without permission."

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Antitrust, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Answered on Oct 7, 2017
Benton R Patterson III's answer
Try the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They sometimes take cases involving DMCA harassment pro bono.

Q: Hi, a proposed bar in my town is using the name "Studio 54". How can I find out if they're using it legally or not?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Aug 11, 2017
Joseph Jaap's answer
You can ask them, but they have no obligation to tell you anything about their business dealings.

Q: Can a logo that was purchased on Etsy by numerous people be trademarked?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Answered on Aug 8, 2017
Michael Gerity's answer
There are an awful lot of issues here that can't be addressed without more facts, but here are some initial thoughts. First off, any copyright would be held by the designer of the logo. Presumably, if you purchase the logo from the designer, then it would come with at least a license to use the logo. That's something you would want to confirm with the seller.

As for using the logo in conjunction with your business, that would depend entirely upon whether or not another business...

Q: Doing a guardianship application for Ohio?

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Copyright, Family Law and Child Custody for Ohio on
Answered on Jul 31, 2017
Joseph Jaap's answer
The guardian for an Ohio resident must also be an Ohio resident. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult an attorney in the location where the person lives.

Q: I am starting a podcast and I want to name it: "Marlon Brando...then everything else." Can I use his name?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Jul 25, 2017
Joseph Jaap's answer
Using the name and likeness of a person without permission could invite legal action against you. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local copyright and trademark attorney who can advise you of the risks before you do anything.

Q: What must a performance look like to be considered private by US Copyright Law

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Jul 21, 2017
Joseph Jaap's answer
The copyright law does not provide a specific answer, beyond the text you quoted. Prior copyright cases that have been decided, might give a court's decision on a specific set of facts in a particular case. That decision might provide some guidance in a case of similar facts, but another court might disagree, and might not be bound to follow it, unless the Supreme Court has issued an opinion. That is what legal research is - to review prior cases and find similarities or differences....

Q: Made a logo for business as a favor for a friend who worked there but is now gone. Can I order cease and desist

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Answered on Jun 28, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
You were not an employee of this company, so absent a written transfer of rights, you retain the copyright in your work. As to the rest of your questions, an attorney will need to review any communications between you and your friend or his former company to determine what your rights may be.

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