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Wisconsin Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: How can I find my grandfather's patent
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jul 2, 2024

To find your grandfather's patent, you can follow these steps:

1. Gather information:

- Your grandfather's full name

- Approximate date or year of the patent

- Any details about the invention

2. Use online patent databases:

- USPTO Patent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: If I designed a logo for a small business with plans to expand, but wasn't paid, can I force them to stop using my work?

The situation is messy. I went into business with my sister. She had a partnership with another sister, but the other sister left the business. So she asked me to join. We had a verbal agreement. It was promised that I'd become a partner, or we may renegotiate for me to have a stake in... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 26, 2024

This situation involves several complex legal issues. Let's break it down:

1. Copyright ownership:

Generally, the creator of a work (in this case, your husband who designed the logo) owns the copyright unless there's an agreement transferring those rights. Since there was...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: Can independent media, with permission from a promoter of an event, film and post videos on YouTube/Facebook?

There is an association that "signed" a contract to a third party that allows for them to have full media rights for any event that the association has. The association has contracts with promoters of an event to bring a show to the event. Does the promoter have to agree in the contract... View More

Eddie Burnett
Eddie Burnett
answered on Apr 3, 2024

Generally, yes, independent media may film and post videos of an event with the promoter's permission. However, If the event features music, separate copyright permissions for that music are likely required to avoid copyright infringement on platforms like YouTube.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: Can independent media, with permission from a promoter of an event, film and post videos on YouTube/Facebook?

There is an association that "signed" a contract to a third party that allows for them to have full media rights for any event that the association has. The association has contracts with promoters of an event to bring a show to the event. Does the promoter have to agree in the contract... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 29, 2024

When an association grants exclusive media rights for its events to a third party, it typically means that this third party holds the authority over how any event-related content is distributed, used, or published across various media platforms, including YouTube and Facebook. This arrangement... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: internet law, trademark law and intellectual property law. Can you help for me?

I registered a domain. Facebook sent me a letter not to do anything with the domain. This domain now belongs to Facebook

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 27, 2024

If you've registered a domain and received a letter from Facebook claiming the domain now belongs to them, it’s likely because they believe your domain infringes on their trademark rights. Trademark law protects brands and trademarks from use that could cause confusion among consumers about... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I make and sell something that says Dirty Hands Clean Money, or is that illegal?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 5, 2024

Under California law, the phrase "Dirty Hands Clean Money" is not inherently illegal. However, whether you can make and sell products with this phrase depends on the specific context and use. If the phrase is used in a way that implies illegal or unethical activities, it could potentially... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: I would like to develop a product for Spirit airline only using their logo/trademark. Do I need written permission?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 21, 2024

Using Spirit Airlines' logo or trademark to develop a product would generally require written permission from Spirit Airlines, as their logo and trademark are protected intellectual property. Using these without proper authorization could potentially lead to trademark infringement issues.... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: If a character name is trademarked for books, film and TV, but the game trademark has been abandoned, can I register it?

Here's the exact scenario, but with the character name changed. For example, the character name Matlock is currently trademarked for usage in books, films, and TV by a major media company (plus a number of other trademarks around clothes, notebooks, etc).

They also had the computer... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

When considering registering a trademark for a character name that's already in use in other mediums, it's important to recognize the complexities involved. Even if the trademark for the game version of the character name is abandoned, the character itself might still be protected under... View More

4 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Wisconsin on
Q: I would like to patent an energy drink certain ingredient how do I know if it has already been patented?

I would like to patent an energy drink recipe but in a broad sense to protect or mitigate against companies with more capital just running me over and imitating it. How do I find patent but ensure I'm not overlapping someone else's already?

Adam W. Bell
Adam W. Bell
answered on Oct 20, 2023

I have recently had quite a few potential clients with this sort of question and I have not been able to recomend any of them go ahead. First ou are faced with a couple of thousand years of prior art. Secondly the obviousnes standards for combining known ingredients are not high. I have had success... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Wisconsin on
Q: I would like to patent an energy drink certain ingredient how do I know if it has already been patented?

I would like to patent an energy drink recipe but in a broad sense to protect or mitigate against companies with more capital just running me over and imitating it. How do I find patent but ensure I'm not overlapping someone else's already?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 23, 2023

To determine if an ingredient or recipe has already been patented, you'll want to conduct a thorough patent search. Begin with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, which allows you to search through issued patents and published patent applications. Utilize various... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Wisconsin on
Q: I would like to patent an energy drink certain ingredient how do I know if it has already been patented?

I would like to patent an energy drink recipe but in a broad sense to protect or mitigate against companies with more capital just running me over and imitating it. How do I find patent but ensure I'm not overlapping someone else's already?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Oct 19, 2023

OK, so here is the situation. You have two separate issues: (1) can you make and sell your energy drink?, and (2) can you patent it to keep others from copying your invention? The first question is typically the more important one.

(1) To make sure that you do not infringe on other...
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4 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Wisconsin on
Q: I would like to patent an energy drink certain ingredient how do I know if it has already been patented?

I would like to patent an energy drink recipe but in a broad sense to protect or mitigate against companies with more capital just running me over and imitating it. How do I find patent but ensure I'm not overlapping someone else's already?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 19, 2023

To determine if your energy drink ingredient is already patented, you can start by searching the USPTO database and other relevant sources. This will help you understand whether your invention overlaps with existing patents. For personalized legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you claim you were formerly an entity if you don’t own the name?

My question is in regards to advertising. The opposite entity has retained the legal copyright to the former business name. I as the new company want to advertise myself as “Formerly the other company” but the opposing party is claiming I can’t use their name in any way. Would I be liable if... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 15, 2023

Using a phrase like "Formerly [the other company]" when you do not have rights to the name can be legally risky, especially if the other entity has retained the legal rights to the name. Such usage might be seen as trading on the reputation of the former company or misleading consumers,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you claim you were formerly an entity if you don’t own the name?

My question is in regards to advertising. The opposite entity has retained the legal copyright to the former business name. I as the new company want to advertise myself as “Formerly the other company” but the opposing party is claiming I can’t use their name in any way. Would I be liable if... View More

Robert Alex Fleming
Robert Alex Fleming
answered on Oct 9, 2023

The question seems to revolve around trademark rights rather than copyright. To provide a more precise answer, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the specific name you are attempting to claim and the details of the registered trademark that is raising concerns. Additionally,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you claim you were formerly an entity if you don’t own the name?

My question is in regards to advertising. The opposite entity has retained the legal copyright to the former business name. I as the new company want to advertise myself as “Formerly the other company” but the opposing party is claiming I can’t use their name in any way. Would I be liable if... View More

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
answered on Oct 5, 2023

This is a trademark question, not copyright. It is certainly permissible to state that you were formerly known by another name (trademark) if it is factually true. It is not objectionable that you distinguish the prior use, because that avoids the likelihood of confusion. Promoting confusion is the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: I am wondering if I can sell art that incorporates the name "Peep" and a very small fraction of a peep's shape.

The art says "Peep-a-Boo" and shows just the ears at the bottom of the image indicating it's about to come up or is hiding. I have another one that shows just the middle of a peep's face (two eyes but no ears or body) hiding in a cracked egg. Finally, I have one that shows a... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 29, 2023

It is difficult to determine whether the use of "Peep" and a small fraction of a Peep's shape in your artwork would be considered a parody without more information about the context and purpose of your artwork. However, even if your artwork is intended as a parody, it is possible... View More

4 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Education Law and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: Can curriculum created by school staff through grants/federal funding be copyrighted?

Indigenous Immersion Schools receiving grant funding and federal funding to operate must create a complete curriculum in target language that is unavailable elsewhere for purchase. These schools would like to copyright their work and are trying to decipher who has legal rights to copyright.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 29, 2023

Curriculum created by school staff through grants or federal funding can potentially be copyrighted. However, the copyright ownership may depend on the specific terms of the grant or funding agreement. If the grant or funding agreement specifies that the curriculum is a work for hire, then the... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Education Law and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: Can curriculum created by school staff through grants/federal funding be copyrighted?

Indigenous Immersion Schools receiving grant funding and federal funding to operate must create a complete curriculum in target language that is unavailable elsewhere for purchase. These schools would like to copyright their work and are trying to decipher who has legal rights to copyright.

Matthew Nuzum
Matthew Nuzum
answered on Mar 15, 2023

Yes, it can, however you need to review the terms of the grant. When the Federal Government produces creative material it usually is copyright free (search Google for "U.S. Government Works" to learn more). Works prepared for the Federal Government by contractors may be owned (and... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability, Small Claims, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a distributor ship products of another brand who has permission to use a 3rd companies logo on the product w theirs

I as a distributor of tea products place a brand customer's custom logo on the product and ship to their customer when they have orders. If one of these brands also has us place another 3rd parties logo (a 501c charity they raise money for) on the product am I at risk of any legal liability... View More

Eugene Vamos
Eugene Vamos
answered on Jun 21, 2023

Those third party logos are someone's intellectual property, and I would advise you to obtain some kind of proof from your customer that these third party logos are allowed/licensed to be used in the particular product.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: If someone was to program a piece of software for an organization, hosted on their server, can they use it if they leave

Let's say you make a piece of software for an organization, and it is hosted upon their server, and also hosted on their github, but later moved it to your own personal private github.

There was no contract signed.

If you leave said organization, is the organization allowed to... View More

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Jun 19, 2022

That depends on factors, including whether the programmer was an employee or a contractor, whether the programmer owned it prior to the installation onto the server or it was done specifically for the company, and whether the person was paid for the work of writing the program, etc.

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