Kevin E. Flynn's answer Possibly, but it will be difficult. After the decisions in Supreme Court Cases Bikski and Alice, it is fairly difficult to patent a computer program unless the computer program makes the computer operate more efficiently.
Step One is that you should look at recently issued patents to see if any are close to what you are doing. The slide set at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching is a good start to learning how to search for relevant patents.
Kevin E. Flynn's answer It would be highly unusual for something that came out in 1961 to still have a patent as patent term back then was 17 years from issue. However, if for some reason they battled for decades to get a patent out, then a patent application filed back then could come out tomorrow and have a term of 17 years. These are known as submarine patents as they stay submerged in the patent office for many years.
I would bet this is not the case. But to check -- you can do two things. One is to...
You can start to protect your intellectual property right away. The most important for you will likely be trademarking your product names, logos, etc. You can file for federal registrations before you ship your first bottle, or you can do it after you've been in business for years, or anywhere between there. There are, of course, business reasons why you'd want to do it earlier or later.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.'s answer Well, first I don't know how you didn't live at the apartment complex when you said that it was YOUR apartment complex. The facts that the car was not registered and there were no updated tags will not help in court. You need to consult with local defense counsel if you can afford it. If you cannot afford it, then a district attorney or another local counsel on a list can be appointed to you. Does anybody know that you did it?
Kevin E. Flynn's answer There are a lot of people that are pretty unclear on the difference between patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
I cannot see a way for John Deere to own generic images of tractors under a utility patent. They could chase protection for a particular way their actual tractor (or a toy tractor) looks under a design patent for a limited time (15 years). They can seek trademark protection. One can seek protection for a distinctive color when used for a particular product. This is rare...
Glenn B. Manishin's answer This site is not a great vehicle for retaining counsel. Use Lawyer.com, Martindale or UpCounsel and limit your inquiry to attorneys admitted in TN so they would be in a position to file suit on your behalf.
Will Blackton's answer Have you filed for copyright protection for the image? If so, it's likely that an attorney would assist you for a portion of any money recovered from the person infringing. Filing for copyright protection for a single work of visual art is $35, it's $55 to file for multiple works. Determine who owns the rights to this logo, you or your client, before filing for protection.
Consult with an attorney if you have additional questions about the process.
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer Payment of taxes does not entitle the person paying to any special rights in the property ( except perhaps a right to be reimbursed for paying those taxes). I would be very happy if you would pay my taxes, so feel free to do so if you want- but by doing so you are just making a gift. Tennessee has a statute that says a person who pay taxes for over 20 years is "presumed" to be the owner- but that presumption can be overturned. Its extremely rare for someone to die without ANY heir, there's...
Adam Studnicki's answer You raise a great question. You should definitely consult with local intellectual property counsel about the specifics. You might make sure in case you have ownership of something valuable.
You only have to register your work before instituting an action for infringement. Since a cease-and-desist letter only threatens a civil lawsuit if the recipient continues the undesired activity, technically it does not constitute an action for infringement, and hence the registration is not required. I would recommend registering your work anyway in order to give your cease-and-desist letter more weight.
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