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Ohio Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: Under fair use, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit org permitted to use copyrighted images in a YT video for educational purpose?

I'm talking about still (not moving) images, obtained without a license, in a video work that criticizes religious or political developments for the sake of advancing public knowledge, without any profit motive whatsoever, and without any financial gain.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 27, 2020

If you are sued for infringement, fair use would be your defense in court. But the outcome would depend on all the facts and evidence submitted to the court. Sometimes the person with the most money to spend on litigation wins. If the court finds it is an infringement, and not a fair use, it can... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: Can you publish a book as a sequel to a CS Lewis series not in public domain? No changes were made to his original work.

Chronicles of Narnia: Susan was left behind in the final book "The Last Battle". Lewis recognized the story was incomplete in a 1960 letter to Pauline Bannister and suggested she finish it. This is my attempt to do just that and complete Susan's story. I was very careful to make no changes to his... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 17, 2020

There is a lot of fan fiction published on-line, so it is difficult for the owners of copyrights to monitor all that. But since the Narnia books have been made into movies, the production companies or whoever still owns the rights to those works could take action against you. Use the Find a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: is it legal to use part of a poem, written in 1794, in a song written now?

i'm writing a song and i like the line "tiger, tiger, burning bright" which was a poem published in 1794. would it be safe to include it in my own writing or do you think i would still be sued by the writers family or estate?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 9, 2020

If the poem has passed into the public domain, then it would be available for anyone to use. If it was written that long ago, it probably is now in the public domain. And even if a work is copyrighted, if only 4 words of a copyrighted work are used, that might not be enough to be an infringement.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: How do i find out if someone has a patent on an idea

I worked for a company that had many non-disclosure agreements

Enrico Schaefer
Enrico Schaefer answered on Oct 24, 2019

Hi. Good question. You have to do a prior art search. Not an easy thing to do, often containing two levels. First is a outsourced company doing the prior art search. Second, a patent attorney analyzing and providing opinions on the prior art.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: I would like to have a hard copy of a patent I originated. How much does that cost?

Worked for Lennox Industries for 19yrs; this was my final project. Even the events to my termination were questionable; at best, in my estimation.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 28, 2019

Congratulations on being an inventor on a US patent. You can download a PDF of the patent at and then print the patent out.

If you want the patent on some thicker stock, you can buy one from the USPTO for $3. I have not done...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: This question is based around a project I’m doing that is of a copyrighted IP.

I’m currently making a fan project that is completely non profit. I want to know if I would get sued or not.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 16, 2019

You can get sued.

Whether you will or not will depend on the company.

A lot of fan projects are left alone because of the potential for negative publicity, but that does not mean they do not have the right to do it.

Consult with a branding and intellectual property attorney...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: I'm seeking to produce unlicensed NCAA logos with "terds"/"turds" illustrated over them, in the effort of fair use.
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams answered on Aug 1, 2019

What are they for? Fair use exceptions allow news outlets, artists, comedians and such to use copyrighted material on a limit basis for their stories or acts. It does not allow for commercial mass production. So, if you are a comedian, and you want to have one such logo for a bit, it’s fine. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: Do I need permission to organize an event with a "where's Waldo" theme? Does this infringe on the current copyrights?
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jul 16, 2019

If you use images of Waldo and other recognizable features of the books, then yes, it would infringe the copyright. Getting permission might be difficult to track down the owner. The book publisher might have the rights, or the author might have retained them. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: I was wondering if the headband underneath a sunhat was patented yet..Thanks in advance
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on May 15, 2019

Short answer is that I do not know without looking. Eventually, you may want a patent attorney to help you. I am not sure whether you are looking to obtain a patent or just want to be clear of the patents for others. The searches for these two questions overlap but they are not exactly the same.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: Are there any patents for online databases for gravesites/cemeteries?

For example, a site to where a User can search a specific section of a cemetery/gravesite or the entire cemetery as a whole and looks for certain groups, people of interest and whatnot?

Sean Erin Serraguard
Sean Erin Serraguard answered on May 10, 2019

I'm not aware of any such patent and a cursory search of the available databases don't turn up any such patents. (though there was an interesting one which incorporated video into a gravestone!) However, this doesn't tell us if one exists either in the US or in other jurisdictions. To answer this... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: In marketing, can we mention that our products were previously sold under a trademarked brand name?

Our products were sold exclusively by a large fortune 500 company under a trademarked brand name. They have recently stopped selling our products in lieu of creating their own line. I'd like to know if, in our marketing, we can say, [our product name] has been sold by [their company name] under the... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 22, 2019

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.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
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?

I co-designed a map for my business that helped with navigating an area...then had an organization go to the designer i paid to tweak the map a little, and put it out as their own. I have some questions.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 14, 2019

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Bankruptcy and Business Law for Ohio on
Q: As an officer of a 501c4 corporation am I personally liable for a copyright infringement by the corporation

The debts (loans by me) of the corporation far exceed the assets of the corporation and the corporation cannot pay the requested settlement fee.

Joseph Michael Romano Esq
Joseph Michael Romano Esq answered on Oct 31, 2018

Can't even answer without knowing more. Please call to set up an appointment.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: Can we use sound clips from a CBS news broadcast in a song, is that considered fair use?

I play in a local band and we are in the process of recording an album. We want to use a short segment from a news broadcast in one of our songs, do we need to get permission before using it, or is it acceptable under Fair Use?


Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Sep 11, 2018

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...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: how do I know if an image/logo is trademarked?

i work at a bar, and created an image of ohio using the logos of the breweries in ohio. i want to be allowed to sell the image on shirts but dont know how to go about doing so. i do not know how to find if images are copyrighted or trademarked and therefore am unsure about my next step. any help is... Read more »

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Jun 6, 2018

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... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: I want to sell a gift with this engraving “Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station”. Do I need permission from the company?

A friend suggested I find out before marketing and selling the gifts to current and former workers at the power plant. Also, I am a current employee of the company that owns the nuclear plant.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on May 27, 2018

Yes, you need to get permission.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio on
Q: can I patent an ingredient in animal feed to prevent other feed companies from using it?

I have researched benefits of specific vegetables and fruits and started using them in animal feed production with great results in animal health and performance. No other feed company includes these ingredients in their feed. Can I patent this to prevent competitors from duplicating my feed /... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Mar 31, 2018

Starting in March of 2013, the rules for what could be patented changed. See

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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Employment Law for Ohio on
Q: I created healthcare processes that are currently safer and better than are currently used. Can they claim ownership?

I work in healthcare and have found a medical procedure that is much more efficient and is safer than current “best practices”. I’d like to start a business teaching these techniques but am worried about them claiming ownership since I work there. I saw the current practices were not... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 12, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: Can make a Pokémon series on YouTube without overstepping the copyright
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 7, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: Is a copyright on a Sound Recording valid if the entity registering the copyright never existed?

The person who took responsibility for registering the SR Copyright on a CD of original music and was supposed to finalize the legal paper work for the entity that was going to "own" the copyrights didn't actually finish the registration of the business entity to own the copyrights. There is an SR... Read more »

Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema answered on Jan 17, 2018

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...
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