Will Blackton's answer It is not legally permissible to have someone recreate an image exactly or copy an image directly to use for your logo. Contact the artist who created the image that you want to use and see if you can purchase the rights to use that image for your logo.
Benton R Patterson III's answer You have likely created a derivative work, a work that is based on one or more previous works. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to prepare derivative works. By doing so, you likely infringe the songwriter's copyright.
Peter D. Mlynek's answer If a patent is expired, then whatever is in the patent is generally considered in public domain, meaning, that anyone should be able to use it. There may be some weird exception to this, but that is the whole idea behind patents: the inventor discloses the invention to the society, and return the society lets him go after infringers for a limited time. Once the time expires, it belongs to the society.
However, you do need to be careful, though: there may be other patents out there....
Will Blackton's answer I'm only going to address the portion of your question relating to copyright law, that is: can your former employer legally publish your article without crediting you? Yes, almost certainly.
This is known as "work for hire." In the case of a work made for hire, copyright law provides that the author of the work is not the person whose individual creative efforts produced the work, but the party that employed or commissioned that person. As the author of the work made for hire, the...
Mr. Michael O. Stevens' answer First, she would have to have already registered the work. You might ask her for a copy of the registration so you can see how close it is. Likely she has not registered, but if she has, then sit down with a local copyright attorney to examine how close the works are.
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