Virginia Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: how can multiple companies sell sewing tape measures without infringing on a patent?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Copyright for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2018
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
There are a few options for how multiple companies sell a product when there is a patent for that product.

1) The patent has expired at the en of its normal term or early for failure to pay a maintenance fee. Once the patent is no longer in effect, companies are free to create a generic product.

2) The companies took a license to a product. This is fairly common with computer equipment where the patent becomes necessary to comply with the standards and then everyone needs to...

Q: should I worry about a lawsuit about downloading a movie from popcorn website want me to settle for $4300

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
If you were served with a lawsuit you must respond within a certain period of time or you lose by default. If you received anything that is captioned as a "Summons" or "Complaint" and is accompanied with the name of a specific court, contact a lawyer in your state as soon as possible.

If you received a demand letter stating that a lawsuit will be filed if you do not pay an amount in settlement, more investigation is probably required before writing a check. There are many scams which...

Q: If I just created a new invention or concept what's the best way I can protect if I have no money

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 16, 2017
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
You've asked about an invention, which is covered by patents, but you posted your question under copyrights. Let me answer your question both ways.


If you are trying to protect something that is copyrightable, then the protection does not cost you anything. If you write an article, or a book, or a movie script, or shoot a movie, and like, then it is copyrighted when you fix in a tangible medium. It used to be that you had to submit it to the Copyright Office, but...

Q: How can I protect my ideas if im dead broke?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 11, 2017
Kevin E. Flynn's answer
For a short period of time, you can keep your idea a secret. This may not work forever as others may eventually come to the same solution for the same problem.

There is a pro bono program for inventors run at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I have not used this program but can get you started with a link to their web page.

Ideally you find an attorney that can...

Q: Copyright Infringement- What do I do now?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 20, 2017
Benton R Patterson III's answer
The ownership of the copyright to the photographs will depend on your employment arrangement and any applicable contracts. An IP attorney needs to review all the facts and documents to determine who owns the rights to the photograph. In the future, it would be best to have an attorney prepare a contract that clearly defines who has the rights to the photographs.

Q: I have an idea for a system which can predict a large earthquake. Please let me know how I can find a lawyer willing to

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 3, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
You can find a lawyer by contacting the Virginia Bar Association. Here is a link to their referral program:

Q: I am seeking to pursue copyright options; Can you represent me? Copyright 2020BMW

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 9, 2016
Mr. Michael O. Stevens' answer
Attorneys cannot solicit your business in a forum such as this. You will have to seek out one, which you can use the find a lawyer link above to try and find a copyright attorney near you.

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