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Texas Intellectual Property Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: I was working as an independent contractor for a company, can I sue for intellectual property?

The company’s owner was involved in a lot of fraudulent activity upon which his father “bought out” the company and requested I create a new company name, logo & slogan. I did so and because of refusal to compensate fairly, my

contract was ended. I’ve sent a cease & desist letter to... Read more »

Griffin Klema answered on May 3, 2019

A lawyer would have to evaluate the contract you signed to determine if you agreed to transfer your creative rights to the company that contracted you. Contact a Texas attorney, assuming your contract is governed by Texas law (it could be any state).

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Tax Law for Texas on

Q: My Husband inherited property from his late Father who left no will. He has two sisters, one wanted to sell, my Husband

doesn't want to sell. My Husband has been paying taxes on the property for the last five years. We want to place a house on the lot. How does he claim full ownership of the property? My Husband's Mother is still alive, and wants him to keep the property. The spouses divorced years ago, but there... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 1, 2019

Since there was no Will and the wife apparently predeceased, the property will pass to all three children under Affidavits of Heirship, a Small Estate Affidavit or an Application for Determination of Heirship. While your husband may have been paying taxes for five years, that gives him a claim for... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: Dear Sir/Madam, My IP or patent rights stolen by Texas Instruments Inc. I need help.

My IP or patent rights stolen by Texas Instruments. I did not give rights to TI about this patent or application. I need help.

Application #20180348152:

https://patents.justia.com/patent/20180348152

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Mar 27, 2019

The assignment database lists an assignment from you to TI. https://assignment.uspto.gov/patent/index.html#/patent/search/resultAbstract?id=20180348152&type=publNum

You should consult with a local patent attorney to sort out the nuances of what you assigned versus what is in this patent....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: Are release agreements needed from the people and institutions of photos I took to be used in a potential movie?

I was approached to use my images of people on the field at a sporting event for a potential movie. The images were taken several years ago and were on my website. I do not have a release agreements from the individuals nor the institutions they represent. I own the images. However, I do not want... Read more »

Griffin Klema answered on Mar 18, 2019

That's a difficult situation. It really depends on what is shown in the photos as far as brands/products and the context in which the images were created. Most likely, the company seeking to use the images would need to get their own release for showing the brands in the movie. But if the movie is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: How can I prove my own property on the patent after publishing?

I am Meda, a postgraduate student at International center of nanomedicine.

I've developed new nanomaterials and send it by email for a doctor who lives in Texas, USA, he gets the results and publish a US patent without know me.

I've materials, methods, and instruments used in... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Mar 8, 2019

I am going to assume that your fact pattern is that you invented a new nanomaterial and communicated details about this new material to a person in the US. That person has subsequently filed a patent application which you have seen as it has published.

Step 1 -- take care to preserve all...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: I am an author. I have recently published 7 books.

I am an author. I have recently published 7 books. They are independently published by me through amazon.com. I only authorized amazon to distribute my content. However, I have found websites distributing my copyrighted material without my permission. Also they are distributing them for prices... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 27, 2019

Feel free to schedule a consultation.

You can start contacting them, and asking them to stop, ask for an accounting and payment of royalties, share of profits.

If not, you can try legal channels.

If you filed for a registration of copyright that may be helpful to your case....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: I have a competitor that trademarked a keyword that everyone uses. Now he is saying I can't use the term. true?

The competitor trademarked the term Austin Bounce House Rentals (his company name) But it is the top searched phrase and a term I have been using. (my business was in existence before him) He is now saying I can't use that term on my website.

Peter D. Mlynek answered on Sep 4, 2018

If you are using some intellectual property (such as the phrase Austin Bounce House Rental), then it is generally not appropriate for someone to trademark it and thus keep you from using it. There are some exceptions, though.

You should seek a trademark attorney in Texas to help you on...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: If somebody steals your intellectual property rights for patents documents can you still pursue the litigation?

I have a torn of the document and no notorization proof (etc)

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 6, 2018

I am not sure that I have your precise question but let me take a guess.

FACT Pattern

I am guessing that you invented something and had some level of documentation of your development and proof of date of conception of that invention. That material is now largely gone....
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: How do you find the value of a patent?

I know which ballpark I'm in but I need to bring it on down to a science!

Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 4, 2018

The COST of getting a single US patent is several tens of thousands of US dollars. It could be as little as $10K, or as much as $50K+. It depends on many factors.

Now, the VALUE of a patent, once the US Patent Office grants it, is determined the same as the value of anything else. The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: Why would the patents show up on google and not on the uspto.gov website?

Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 27, 2018

Typically, it is the other way around. It appears to take several months for US patents to show up on Google, whereas patents show up on UPSTO the day that they are issued.

But some foreign patents do not show up on USPTO's site, but Google may have them on their site.

Overall, my...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Texas on

Q: Regarding copyright or trademark infringement, if I were to make a polo shirt to sell online with the words

If I were to make a polo shirt to sell online with the words “American Express” embroidered on the chest without a logo, and in similar but different font would I be at risk of copyright infringement? As long as it wasn’t printed on any type of financially related things that could mislead... Read more »

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on May 17, 2018

No you would not be O.K. to sell it. "American Express" is likely to be considered a famous mark and probably protected by federal trademark registration. In addition to potential trademark infringement, you might also be at risk for for liability under federal anti-dilution laws.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: If I make a polo shirt to sell online with company name, ie Chevy or American Express, is that copyright infringement ?

Or as long as I don’t use the same exact font or logo am I safe to make them?

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on May 17, 2018

Not likely a copyright infringement, but quite possibly an infringement of those companies' trademarks. More importantly, I imagine those trademarks would qualify as famous marks and likely registered with the U.S. Trademark Office. I think your venture carries some significant legal risks.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: I want to buy disposable cups from a manufacturer and then sell them on Amazon, however I am worried about patents.

Amazon ecommerce, private label, FBA, etc.

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Apr 3, 2018

You are correct that this is a legitimate worry. Patent liability attaches to those who make, use, sell, offer to sell, or possess an item that infringes an unexpired US patent.

If your supplier is located outside of the US, the patent owner may sue you and leave it to you to collect from...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Texas on

Q: Writing a famous person tribute.

we are righting a famous person tribute and wanted to know if we have the legal right to use an image, one in which we recreated through visual design software.

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Mar 30, 2018

Assuming that copyright still subsists in the image, legally, you cannot reproduce the photo without the authorization of the person who created that image.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark for Texas on

Q: I sell items I purchased from online Chinese marketplaces. Just accused of infringement and theft of intellectual prop?

Another shop owner in Etsy accused me of stealing her designed item and photos for the items that she says she owns. She forced me to remove cease selling or get sued. The Alibaba site shows the items as unbranded.? They are currently bought & sold & resold all over the world? I find them in... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 26, 2018

An attorney would need to review the specific product and the allegations of infringement to determine whether her notice is legitimate.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Texas on

Q: Doubt I can trademark my descriptive online business name so is it easier to trademark including .com with the name?

Is it easier to trade mark for example, xxxxxxxx.com rather than just the name xxxx xxxx. Additionally, if it is a small niche with very difficult market entry, would a domain and an LLC be enough protection to ignore getting a trademark for the website business?

Thanks

Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 8, 2018

Adding ".com" to an otherwise generic description would not make the trademark viable. The ".com" is generally disregarded by trademark examiners. Neither an LLC nor a domain registration provides trademark rights. Someone else could register the same name as an LLC in a different state or do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Texas on

Q: Removal of a person's image off a webpage

If a photographer post pictures on Facebook but the model did not sign the release form is there anything that can be done to remove the pictures from the photographers page.

Griffin Klema answered on Jan 17, 2018

Maybe. It depends on the relationship between the photographer and the model. Was the model employed? Was there an employment contract? How well known is the model? The photographer likely owns the copyright, but the model may not have licensed her "likeness" (a right of privacy). Facebook likely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: If a business closes that has a trademark logo can anyone apply for it?

Benton R Patterson III answered on Nov 24, 2017

The other party may have some remaining rights to the trademark. To know for sure, an attorney would need to perform a trademark search. Assuming the prior registrant has no rights; yes, someone else could apply for the trademark.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: Can I copyright an image that includes lettering/fonts within the design? Also, what if a design includes basic shapes?

Basic shapes within a larger design would include hearts, speech bubbles, stars, music notes, etc. Can I submit files to the copyright office of designs that include these elements? Example: Cat face with a speech bubble above it's head that has a heart shape within the speech bubble. Should I... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III answered on Nov 20, 2017

Basic design elements are protected by copyright as part of broader designs. Although, you cannot prevent someone else from using basic design elements (fonts, letter, shapes) by using them in your own copyright protected work.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on

Q: I have a very marketable product idea but I'm reluctant to bring any attention to it.

The first co that produces it will make a fortune? how do I trust anyone?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 16, 2017

This is a common fear. Unfortunately, if you never tell anyone about the idea it will be hard to move forward.

If you product has new features not found in other products, then you may be able to protect the idea with a patent application. Once you have a patent application on file, then...
Read more »

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