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Ohio Copyright Questions & Answers

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on

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

I wrote lyrics and someone else wrote the music to create a song. She is recording her composition with her band and sending me the audio. If another musician is interested in composing a different musical arrangement for the lyrics do I need the permission of the first musician to do so? I have... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Nov 28, 2017

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.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Ohio on

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

Do I need a patent, trademark, or copyright?

Will Blackton answered on Oct 25, 2017

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.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Antitrust, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Ohio on

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

I keep trying to sell a Klipsch headset on eBay. I took the pictures of the product myself, but I keep getting my listing removed, because Klipsch is claiming copyright infringement over my images. They are my own pictures I took myself, and I feel I'm being harassed by Klipsch. Klipsch is wasting... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III answered on Oct 7, 2017

Try the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They sometimes take cases involving DMCA harassment pro bono.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on

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?

Joseph Jaap answered on Aug 11, 2017

You can ask them, but they have no obligation to tell you anything about their business dealings.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on

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

I am creating a new company and was browsing Etsy for logos. I stumbled upon a premade logo that is being sold with a company name. It is not one of a kind, therefore can be sold to other people as well. If it has not been copyrighted/trademarked/registered yet, am I able to use this logo and... Read more »

Michael Gerity answered on Aug 8, 2017

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Copyright, Family Law and Child Custody for Ohio on

Q: Doing a guardianship application for Ohio?

If I want full custody, do I apply for non-limited? Also would it be best to hire a lawyer to talk on my behalf ?

Joseph Jaap answered on Jul 31, 2017

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.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on

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

I want to also use his image in my logo as well. Just wondering if this is legal. Thanks so much for any help you can give.

Joseph Jaap answered on Jul 25, 2017

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.

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