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Pennsylvania Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I use the name nex and trademark it for use in the e-cigarette/ dietary supplement classes?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 19, 2019

You need to find out if someone else is using it. The Navy PX is called NEX and would have at least a service mark if not a trademark. There would be a problem if a Court found there was confusion. So I think unless you get their permission that isn't likely but I would suggest you contact a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: how do i get around a trade mark in a description text?

I've been asked to take down a product on my art shop that is listed as "The Boston Marathon" apparently that text or logo is trademarked by the baa. I do not use any of their logos or trademarks on my product, just describe the product as the Boston Marathon. Am I still infringing on their... Read more »

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Apr 17, 2019

You can't use that phrase as it is owned by someone else. There's no way to get around it other than asking for permission to use it and being approved.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I create decals on Etsy. One decal I created is a combing of all the Pittsburgh teams in one. Is this infringement?

Many vendors in Pittsburgh sell merchandise with this logo. My listing was removed by Etsy after notice of intellectual property infringement from NFL Properties, LLC. This logo can be looked up on Google as "Pittsburgh Combined Team Logo". The only portion of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo is the 3... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 5, 2019

Nope. Most leagues have enforcement teams and will depend on how strongly they enforce their rights.

You want logos or brands that are as far away from those registered products as possible.

NFL owns the names, logos, art of all teams, so you run into problems the closer you get to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I sell illustrations of the entrance of a defunct amusement park that was sold at public auction/demolished in 1933?

The park was part of a larger failed chain across the US that went under around the same time.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 4, 2019

I don't see why not--assuming the images aren't copyrighted. If they were the copyright may have expired.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I wrote an essay for a collection, and the editor completely rewrote it while still attributing it to me. Is it illegal?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 28, 2018

Read the fine print. If you get attribution, that's the major point. You can always redo another version your way.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm a war/vintage style artist and I was wondering how can I legally use aircrafts and vehicles in all my prints?

I have been a huge fan of ww1 and ww2 engineering and designs. I love to use military items to create totally new designs that celebrate a famous ship or a plane for example. I also create fictional stories within the ww1/2 era by using famous planes and cars in scenes (like artist James Dietz does... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 20, 2018

As long as you aren't lifting the entire image and photo reproducing it no. You may paint a subject already painted--many art students do this. I'm not seeing the concern. If you are painting an aircraft shown in a photo it's not a copyright violation. I believe you may be over thinking this but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: My former employer is refusing to remove pictures I took that are displayed on their webpage. Is this illegal?

This is a high school website, and the pictures are from a class project I ran. I do not want that information displayed since I don't work there anymore. Thank you.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on May 29, 2018

It depends on who owns the copyright to the pictute, you or your former employer. Here is a resource from the copyright office that explains works made for hire: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ30.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Me and my friends are trying to start a clothing line

The name we choose is I.U.W.T but the only problem that I see is that someone else has the name but without the punctuation marks. Can we still use the name?

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on May 22, 2018

It depends on several factors, such as the goods and services associated with the other mark, what is claimed in the application, how long the mark has been in use, among others. An attorney would need to review all the facts to answer this question.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can you use music in a presentation to teachers?

I am creating a presentation to do at a conference to teachers. It deals with self esteem and the music is from the Greatest Showman. There will be some students dancing to some portions of the music from the show. I will also be doing a traditional lecture on self esteem between parts of the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 4, 2018

If it's no charge then I believe if it's a limited use and no recording then you may use the music; if you are really concerned call the library of Congress copywright office.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do we have the right to make a PowerPoint with images of a book we own?

This is for a history course we are publishing. As part of the course, schools will purchase a number of trade books. The classroom PowerPoint will include images from those books. The schools will own a print copy of any such books already; do we need to pursue permissions for placing the images... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on May 2, 2018

Yes, you need to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Purchasing a book does not provide the right to reproduce images in the book.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I quoted a famous person & credited the person online. Is that copyright infringement?

I was answering someone's question and to make my point used a quote from Billy Graham that is posted on the Billy Graham public website. I copied and pasted what he said, put it between quotes and credited him before and after the quote. It wasn't until I posted it that it occurred to me I may... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Apr 23, 2018

In the vast majority of cases, using a short quote from another person's work is not copyright infringement.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have received a copyright infringement notification on my eBay account about a product I am selling.

The product is a dumbbell fitness bracelet that has the words "Live","Lift" on the bracelet. The notice is coming a company that sell similar bracelets that h that has the words "Fit", "Life" on it. The bracelets are very similar but clearly different based on the text. Is this truly copyrighted... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 13, 2018

An attorney would need to review the two products to answer this question. From what you have described, it seems unlikely that your bracelet would infringe a copyright for the other bracelet. While jewelry is protected by copyright, the rights are not so broad as to cover entire design concepts.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm creating a campaign video using clips from popular music and tv videos. Can this be considered Fair Use?

The video can be seen here: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/thegrind

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

Doubtful. Go online and read the section of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 which defines what is a fair use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello. Would this logo be an infringement of our logo? https://trademarks.justia.com/873/79/mf-87379413.html

Many people are copying our company and we'd like to end the confusing likeness. Thank you.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Jan 6, 2018

Hello. You actually haven't provided what YOUR logo is, so it's impossible to compare the two.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: I want to start a business named RZR edge performance, would that create a legal trademark issue with Polaris Industries

RZR is a trademark registered to Polaris Industries

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Jan 2, 2018

It depends on what line of business you are in and the scope of the other trademark. I recommend discussing your business plans with a trademark attorney in a confidential conference.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: What are the legal risks for me selling a game system that looks like a nintendo nes but bears no trademark

what could I potentially face if caught

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Oct 16, 2017

You could potentially be liable for trade dress infringement, which is very similar to what you are describing.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: My college merged with another school and the name was changed. Would I be able to print the old name on shirts to sell?

My school was named Philadelphia University but we recently merged with another college and are now named Jefferson. Would I be able to print the old name and logo (Philadelphia University) on shirts and sell them?

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Jun 3, 2017

You can find out if someone owns a live trademark on "Philadelphia University" by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System. Pennsylvania also has a state trademark registration system, so search there also. If someone owns the trademark, contact... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I use certain disney scrap kit for personal use on social media sites to make cover photos and profile pictures?

I want to make cover photos and profile pictures for my friends on FB using a few kits I bought online that sort of resemble disney characters, I contacted disney and they told me to contact an attorney/lawyer to see if my proposed use may run afoul of any laws. I have examples of what I want to do... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Jan 27, 2017

You would have to consult with an attorney, there is not enough information in your post to determine if you're in danger of trademark infringement.

So, you have three options:

(1) make these cover photos without consulting a lawyer and risk a lawsuit;

(2) make these cover...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I claim statutory damages and attorney costs if I registered my photos from multiple years in one submission?

We're a portrait photography studio. A client of ours infringed on our copyright. We send them a bill - they refused to pay and hired a lawyer.

Now this lawyer says that our registration with Copyright office "may not be proper" - because we registered images from multiple calendar years... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 11, 2016

you may have a claim regardless of copywrite based on the contract. But you really should have an artists rights/copywright attorney look over your paperwork. Quantum meruit, unjust enrichment are other possibilities. Don't count on attorneys fees.Within the discretion of the court. Get a... Read more »

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