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Frank A. Natoli
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Frank Natoli’s Answers

6,138 total


  • Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Notice from a manufacturer

    We sell on Amazon and a manufacturer claimed that we were selling counterfeit items, specifically data cables. Due to this complaint, Amazon has shut our account down and refuses to reinstate unless the manufacturer retracts their complaint. W...

    Frank’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague. Your relationship with Amazon is governed by their terms which of course places all control in their hands. Your only recourse is to take action against the manufacturer for interrupting your business by filing a false complaint with Amazon. this issue comes up a lot and very often manufacturers purposefully send complaints because they try to mitigate the flow of their products from unauthorized channels but of course you have the right to sell any lawful product provided it is not infringing or materially different.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

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  • Are music pools legal for DJing? What sources are legitimate for a Digital DJ to get music? What would be required to start Dj?

    What are legitimate sources to get music to DJ? I have been looking into music pools such as iDJpool, mymp3pool, DJCity I can't decide if this is a legal option as I am very interested. I am also wondering what steps would be necessary to become a...

    Frank’s Answer

    Usually the venues are paying into ASCAP, BMI to cover the performance license obligations and by virtue of playing at those venues you would be covered under that, but not in every case. When you refer to yourself as a DJ it connotes at least the possibility that you will require your own radio license as well, which I would explore. You may also have to consider more broad applications like whether you stream music online for example.

    There is a lot of info online you can look at, but if you need further clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Trade Mark/ Patent Name or Intellectual Property of my Company

    Hi Folks, iv'e just started my business in UAE but just got shocked that the same business name is already registered and running in USA. it provides same services which is online media & marketing services. i am confused that its a same...

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If the US entity has no market presence in the UAE then it will not matter UNLESS you plan on branding here in the US in the future. But you are always smart to do your homework thoroughly first before investing in the mark in the areas you intend on using it. And in places where there a language and cultural differences it makes sense to explore all of that. Below explains the process a bit as done in the US.

    Your trademark will be one of if not the most important and valuable business assets you will have and you will ultimately spend more money in support if it than you will anywhere else (advertising, marketing, PR, branding, packaging, etc.). So you owe it to your business and yourself to make sure you handle this properly upfront and the first order of business always starts with a proper and comprehensive clearance.

    Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence upfront and before you start spending any money in support of it or submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property. See the link below for a brief article from Fox Business News on the importance of the due diligence process and our overview guide.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • I own a book. I want to use it for teaching. it has a crossword in it. can i photocopy and hand it out to the students in class?

    it is for inmates in jail. the book does have a copyright notice. what denotes "fair use" does the teaching statute apply to teaching inmates in a religious service setting?

    Frank’s Answer

    Your exposure in this regard is slim to none. This not the kind of infringement a copyright owner is policing for. In fact, there is an exception in the copyright law for non-profit educational institutions that use material within he classroom learning environment. Now granted you likely would not fall under that exactly, but your use is most certainly in the spirit of that exemption. It is also possible as noted that your use may fall under the realm of fair use in any event although that is not entirely clear.

    You are not exactly describing the kind of thing that a publisher would sue over and I agree that you should ask them as they may just permit it.

    If you need further clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Can someone use a picture of my house for their construction business without my permission?

    I saw an ad on Facebook from a construction business using pictures of my house with my car in the drive way. They also have them on their website under "new jobs". They have it set up as they built my house but they did not. My house was built...

    Frank’s Answer

    I agree, you need more than just your annoyance over the fact that they used an image of your home. You need legal standing. I mean, you could ask them nicely or maybe not so nicely and threaten them with legal action as a tactic in the hopes that they are able to make a change quickly and without a hassle but if they already invested in this I would not bother. And no lawyer should ever send a demand without a good faith basis grounded in law to do so. So a weak claim is fine, but having no claim I would not send anything. If you do believe that there might be more to this or if the image used clearly shows material beyond just the structure, consult with a lawyer in private.

    The fact that your car was depicted adds nothing to your argument and if the extent of these ads are over FB, I honestly would not allow yourself to waste too much energy or space of mind over it.

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  • Can a company stop me from using their trademark?

    I want to allow users to access experts in different realms. If the expert has a coaching credential, say WeightWatchers, could weigthwatchers stop me from using that word "WeightWatchers" on my site?

    Frank’s Answer

    You received some very good advice here. Think of it this way, when you go to a restaurant and look at the beverage section the establishment lists "Coke" or "Pepsi" on the menu right? This is called nominative fair use. If they were not permitted to do that, they would have to write "cola flavored carbonated beverage."

    So long as you are not creating any market confusion such as presenting a false association, endorsement, sponsorship or other affiliation with the mark holder you should not have an issue.

    If you need further clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • I received an email from a person that claims he owned a domain name that I currently own and wants to buy it from me.

    While his email was courteous and to the point, he claims that he once owned it but lost it due to an error (which I also have done in the past with domains). He says that also owns the patent and trademark on it (I checked and I don't se...

    Frank’s Answer

    As noted, of course you should proceed with caution. If you do wish to sell the domain use a proper escrow service to handle the transaction and there are many options some that are geared to the website / domain sales space and some more general.

    You should also be consulting with an attorney that can prepare a proper asset purchase agreement so you have some recourse and to mitigate any misunderstandings.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Dear Sirs. Would a copyright registration of a sample issue of a magazine protect our unique combination of topic areas? Thanks.

    We developed a magazine that has as a distinctive feature, a particular combination of a certain number of topics. One chapter of the magazine per specific topic area (e.g. Health), each with several articles. No existing magazine has a similar to...

    Frank’s Answer

    You received some good advice here to be sure. I'm not going to be redundant, but just reinforce the proposition that ideas are not protectable, which is what it sounds like you are seeking to accomplish though copyright. There are of course a number of ways of protecting your product in the marketplace and you should explore all of them with a lawyer in private.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Can I sue for plagiarism, and blackmail?

    I am a corset designer I was working with a factory previously that would manufacture my corsets for me. I hand drafted and designed these corsets. The manufacturer I was working with was producing corsets made of lower quality than I was paying f...

    Frank’s Answer

    As noted, designs for clothing in the US are not protected under copyright law which is why we see all the same dresses on the red carpet available a week later at H&M on the rack under a number of off-brands.

    There are aspects of clothing that may fall outside of the general copyright law such as utility patents (e.g. a novel feature of the corset that affects how it works and functions), or a design patent that can be obtained to protect its ornamental features. And of course trademark protection which can not only be for text names and logos but even trade dress aspects.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • I'm writing a book should I get a lawyer for my release forms for the people I'm putting in it?

    I had 7 atrokes

    Frank’s Answer

    It always best to get written releases of course and if you have any concerns about the book or your exposure having a lawyer go over it with you if money well-spent.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question