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Wisconsin Intellectual Property Questions & Answers
Q: What are the first steps in protecting a concept for/of a new business? Does it involve patents or copyright?
Kevin E. Flynn
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 Contracts and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: I purchased a lecture on a CD set and made a transcript. Is this legal? May I gift CD sets and transcripts I've made?

I use the CD set and transcript as part of my psychological therapy. I would like to purchase additional CD sets for my therapists and also give them a copy of the transcript that I made. Is this legal?

May I purchase CD sets and present them along with a copy of the transcript to... Read more »

Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema answered on Nov 30, 2018

Preparing the transcript might be considered fair use or a derivative work. So long as you purchase as many copies as you are giving to others and using within your practice, the likelihood of a possible copyright infringement claim falls significantly. But without further information about... 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
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 Intellectual Property and Trademark for Wisconsin on
Q: How would I go about trade marking Build A Blunt?
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Jul 20, 2018

You should speak with a trademark attorney in a confidential conversation. It may be possible. An attorney would need to know more about your business.

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
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Wisconsin on
Q: For how long does an inventor(s) maintain the right to control the dissemination and usage of their patented content?

Is there a federal maximum number of years which is applicable to all patent applications? How would this length of time be negotiated? Can the length of time be adjusted later on, in a re-application of some sort? Does average length of time tend to vary by state, by industry, number of... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Feb 19, 2018

Patent term is more confusing than it should be. The one part that is simple, is that patent term is not a function of the technology. There is not a way for the applicant to apply to extend the patent term (unlike trademarks or copyrights). (but as noted below, there are things that can shorten... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Wisconsin on
Q: Third World Media settlements?

Does anyone have information about settlement status with Third World Media LLC plaintiff for copyright violation issues?

Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser answered on Dec 2, 2010

Third World has filed 5 cases. The first two are concluded, and the last three are still pending:

1 Third World Media, LLC (cd) cacdce 2:2009-cv-01603 820 03/06/2009 10/28/2009

2 Third World Media, LLC (pla) cacdce 2:2009-cv-01603 820 03/06/2009 10/28/2009

3 Third World Media,...
Read more »

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