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Lee Kim’s Answers

23 total

  • What should I look for in a trademark attorney?

    I am a new attorney looking for a trademark attorney to help my parents trademark their new business name. They may have a complicated trademark issue b/c another company is already using their name (in another industry). My dad said one atto...

    Lee’s Answer

    An additional suggestion is that you can check their ratings by way of Martindale-Hubbell, a well-regarded attorney directory. If the attorney is "AV" rated, this is considered the best rating available.

    DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE NOR DOES IT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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  • We wish to show movies (DVD's) at a non profit science fiction convenction, what do we need to do to be protected and not break

    What do we need to do to be protected from breaking any copyright laws?

    Lee’s Answer

    You may want to consult licensing rights societies such as the one that is linked below to see if they can be of assistance in granting your entity the appropriate copyright permission(s).

    DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE BUT RATHER FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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  • ASCAP or BMI vs. Copyright

    What is the actual different between what ASCAP does and what a copyright does to my original songs...? Will being a member of ASCAP automatically make my music copyrighted? Or do composers and song writers usually have to be part of both?

    Lee’s Answer

    The federal copyright law states copyright protection subsists for an original work that has been fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyrightable works include music compositions and lyrics.

    In other words, as soon as you finalize your work, it is automatically copyrighted. However, in order to enforce your copyright against an alleged infringer in federal court, you need to register your work with the United States Copyright Office.

    DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE NOR DOES IT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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  • Are we liable?

    We are a not-for-profit club. We will be conducting parenting classes with a local hospital. We want to use information and quotes from a book. We also want to promote the concept to various health care organizations and prospective sponsors with...

    Lee’s Answer

    You should contact a qualified copyright attorney in your jurisdiction who can advise you on whether or not this would be fair use.

    DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING IS NOT INTENDED TO CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP NOR IS IT LEGAL ADVICE. THE FOREGOING IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

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  • Selling a Patent

    How do you find a buyer to a patent if you have never done anything like that in your life and what do they usually charge?

    Lee’s Answer

    It would seem that you should start looking at the businesses that may be interested in the subject matter of your patent. Then, perhaps with the help of an attorney, you can negotiate the sale of your patented technology to the other company.

    Another suggestion is that you may want to look into intellectual property auctions or intellectual property brokers. I have heard of them, but have no information or experience otherwise.

    Best of luck.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The foregoing information is for educational purposes only. **

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  • How I can determine whether my invention is novel

    how I can determine whether my invention is novel or not

    Lee’s Answer

    You can enlist the help of a qualified patent practitioner who can help you conduct the search. However, better quality searches may result from the use of the "EAST" system which is available at the United States Patent and Trademark Office's public search room. (The patent searcher may use this tool to conduct the search.)

    The patent practitioner can analyze the patent search results to help you determine whether it is worthwhile to pursue a patent application.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not legal advice, but rather for educational purposes only. It is not intended, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I have an idea and I don't want it stolen. How can I go about seeking investors and partners and still protect my idea?

    I am just starting out with this. I trust too easily and know that it is not in my best interest to do so.

    Lee’s Answer

    I would also suggest that you seek the services of a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction to draft a non-disclosure agreement. This may be a wiser choice than trying to draft the non-disclosure agreement yourself.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship nor is it intended to be legal advice, but rather is for educational purposes only.

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  • Should I register my domain name even though it is a common word/phrase?

    I have owned my domain name and website since Feb 2007. It is a common word (for example diet-tutor.com -- just made that up), Continuing with this example, I call myself "The Diet Tutor" and have been offering information (over 250 pages) that ...

    Lee’s Answer

    The term that you use may be considered descriptive or generic by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") if you were to file a federal servicemark application. Descriptive and generic marks are not protected under the federal trademark law in the United States. However, descriptive marks may receive protection if they acquire a "secondary meaning" in the minds of consumers to distinguish the services of your business from that of others. (It can be an uphill battle trying to prove "secondary meaning".)

    It may be wise to seek the counsel of a qualified trademark attorney who can assist you with a search and analysis to determine if there is anyone else using this term and, if so, whether there is any cause for concern.

    The federal trademark system works on a "first come, first served" basis. In addition, one cannot obtain a registration for the same or "confusingly similar" term.

    DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP NOR IS IT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.

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  • Can I alter a public domain image and reproduce it and sell it?

    It appears that someone's copy of a public domain image does not fall under copyright law but what if words are added to the image or the color of the image is changed, can I sell the altered image?

    Lee’s Answer

    In addition to the information others have provided, I wanted to add that some people mistakenly believe that a work is dedicated to the public domain if it does not have a copyright notice. Copyright notice on published works (which includes works published on the Internet) is optional as of March 1, 1989. (But, having a copyright notice on a work is a good practice.)

    Also, original works enjoy copyright protection as soon as they are finalized in a tangible medium of expression. While copyright registration is needed to enforce a copyright in federal court, it is not at all necessary for a work to be protected under the copyright law.

    Unless the actual owner of the copyrighted work has stated that a work is in the public domain, it may be a safer bet to assume that the work actually is copyrighted.

    --

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I have an idea for a device that combines two readily available technologies. Is such a thing patentable?

    I have an idea for a device that takes two readily available machinery technologies (which likely have simple electronic components too). I assume at this point that the basics of each technology are not protectable. I did a pretty thorough We...

    Lee’s Answer

    It may be a good idea for you to retain a qualified patent attorney who can conduct a reasonably thorough patent search and give you an assessment about whether your invention is patentable. Searching the web is not a bad idea; however, a patent search which utilizes the "EAST" system at the USPTO is generally much more thorough.

    As others have stated, the patent attorney can evaluate your invention to help your determine whether the device appears to be novel, non-obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art, and useful, especially in view of the "prior art" results that were found during the patent search. In other words, the patent attorney can help you assess whether you should pursue a patent for your invention.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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