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Wisconsin Copyright Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Wisconsin on

Q: Is it legal for an author to use the name Baby Ruth candy bar in a book?

Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 13, 2019

You are getting close to potential infringement.

You should consider using a different name.

Or try to get permission from the owners of the brand.

Q: What are the first steps in protecting a concept for/of a new business? Does it involve patents or copyright?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jan 23, 2019

Might not be a patent. The Supreme Court has recently made it fairly difficult to patent a method of organizing human activity. See the documents used to train patent examiners -- https://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/examination-policy/subject-matter-eligibility On the other hand,... Read more »

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

Q: When can the "name" of a character be protected under copyright law, even though it typically wouldn't?

Copyright itself doesn't protect only just a name, you can't copyright just a name at all. But, "characters" should be protected under a copyright if they are unique, but isn't a name an intrinsic part of a character and its accompanying story?

Bryan Thomas Kroes answered on Aug 9, 2018

A full answer to your question will require a more fact-intensive analysis. Generally, copyright law will afford protection of the fictional character itself when it has appeared in a copyrightable work and has a life of its own within that work, however, achieving a level of distinctiveness such... Read more »

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

Q: Copyright Use

Hello I am currently developing a college football website, and I created a logo that I am wondering if it would be OK to use. The logo uses the Big Ten conference font and says "B1G" like the Big Ten logo, but it is stretched out and there is a football filled inside of the letters (might be... Read more »

Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on May 7, 2018

You probably should discuss this with an experienced intellectual property attorney. The issue may implicate issues of both copyright and trademark law. Your proposed logo may infringe the trademark rights of the Big Ten Conference if your logo creates consumer confusion as to the source of your... Read more »

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