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...
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...
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. https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/pro-bono/patent-pro-bono-program.
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.
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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