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William Leroy Montague Jr.

William Montague’s Answers

193 total


  • Business attorney

    From September 1,2013, I started a store with 50% shareholder in Lexington, KY paying $45000.00 as a good will and $17000.00 for inventory. I started business with a guy who showed me 10 years of lease agreement. Lease started on sept 1 2013 and i...

    William’s Answer

    I'm afraid your question isn't very clear from the limited space in which you have to describe it. It also sounds too specific for an answer here on Avvo -- this forum is more for general questions about the law, not legal advice regarding specific legal issues or disputes.

    You'll likely need to sit down with a lawyer here in Lexington to discuss the matter. Feel free to contact me if would like to discuss the matter in a free consultation. Or you might wish to browse Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" section for Lexington area business and commercial litigation lawyers. There are a number of very qualified lawyers listed on Avvo that may be able to help you.

    Will Montague

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  • Can I file a motion to alter, amend a civil suit without a lawyer?

    Do I have to have an at tourney to file a motion to appeal a judgement?

    William’s Answer

    In Kentucky, a person generally does not need an attorney to represent him/her as individual in civil litigation, and the person can file a motion to alter or amend or an appeal (which are two different things) without an attorney. However, as Ms. Ries indicated, if the party is a business entity of some sort (corporation, LLC, etc.), a non-lawyer is not permitted to represent the company in litigation. So if you're in a Kentucky court and are referring to a business entity as the party, you likely do need an attorney (even if it's a tiny, one-person entity).

    Hope this answers your question. Good luck!

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  • When is it legal to use someone's email address for marketing and when is it not?

    For example, my client has thousands of email addresses that he's collected from customers through business transactions. His aim is to use these transaction emails legally to invite his customers to sign-up, "opt-in," for his commercial emails. H...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It sound to me like your client's use of his email list should be fine, but you'll want to look at the federal CAN SPAM Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq., as well as any similar state laws. Here's a link to a good FTC guide for businesses, which should be helpful: http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

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  • I will apply for a trademark. I have my own business. Is it better to apply in my company's name or my personal name?

    What are the advantages and disadvantages when applying in my company's name or personal name? Thank you.

    William’s Answer

    Generally speaking, you don't have a choice as to who will be the applicant. The applicant must be the person or entity that is actually using the mark (for a use based application) or has a good faith intent to use the mark in the future (for an intent to use application).

    As Mr. Martin urges, you really should hire an experienced trademark lawyer in your state to assist you. This particular requirement is only one of many things that can lead to a rejection by the USPTO or, even worse, being granted a registration that is later found to be invalid when you try to enforce it.

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  • I need to understand If my copy right laws were broken.

    A peer of mine found access to a personal hard drive on a computer, found my files, many of which where artistic work, then stole and distributed without my permission, he then proceeded to mock my work publicly. Is there any legal action I can ta...

    William’s Answer

    As Mr. Rafter indicates, what you describe could well be a violation of both criminal laws and civil laws, but you'll need to contact a Missouri lawyer to find out more specifically.

    On the criminal side, both federal law and most states' laws have criminal statutes that prohibit the unauthorized access to someone else's computer. The federal law is the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and the comparable law in Missouri appears to be Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.525, § 569.095, § 569.097, § 569.099 according to the website below. You're not likely to get federal authorities interested in pursuing the matter, but your local law enforcement might be.

    On the civil side (laws that allow people to sue for damages), the same criminal statutes frequently also provide a victim the right to sue, at least under certain circumstances. In addition, the copying of someone else's artistic work will usually be copyright infringement, which can be the subject of a civil suit. For these matters, you'll need to contact a Missouri lawyer experienced in both copyright law and computer law to help you.

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  • Is it legal to create an instructional DVD that teaches singers how to sing songs from one specific Broadway show?

    My hope is to create a DVD of vocal techniques geared toward singing one specific role in a Broadway show. My question is twofold: is it legal to videotape me singing short lines/excerpts from the songs from that show (not the recordings, and no a...

    William’s Answer

    Your question is one of the many fact-specific ones in copyright law that can't be answered definitely in an online forum like this one. What you describe would likely be deemed infringement unless you established that it was fair use. Fair use, however, is only determined definitively by a court weighing four separate factors, each of which is very subjective and fact-intensive. The "Measuring Fair Use" link below (from Stanford University) explains the fair use analysis in greater depth, and I suggest you take a look.

    My guess (and it's merely a guess based on very limited information) is that you would have a good fair use defense based on your description. The instructional nature of the use, the small amounts of the song used, and the likely non-displacement of the market for the song by your DVD all seem to weigh in favor of fair use. However, you really should consult a good copyright lawyer in your state to discuss things in more detail.

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  • Can I use a NFL logo on a shirt?

    Specifically, the Detroit Lions. It would be for one shirt, for my own use/wearing.

    William’s Answer

    Technically speaking, probably not. The Lions organization (or someone) presumably owns the copyright in the logo, and the Lions or the NFL also presumably have trademark rights in the logo as well. The licensing of NFL logos for shirts and other gear is big business, and the rights holders would say you must pay for permission.

    That said, and speaking more generally now, if someone uses an NFL logo on a single article of clothing for his/her own personal use only, I suspect it might be considered fair use under copyright law and mere ornamental use under trademark law (meaning okay to do). Both arguments are subject to good counter-arguments, however, and the NFL/Lions would undoubtedly disagree if pressed to respond in court.

    All in all, I think the real world legal risks of using a logo on one shirt for purely personal use are small. It may well be infringement, but the likelihood of the NFL or team being aggressive enough to enforce IP rights against a single fan in such a situation seems very remote.

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  • Can I have a website that shows my artistic talent painting Disney and Marvel characters for no profit?

    I want to start a website that showcases my paintings and drawings. I do a lot of Disney and Marvel, also some video game characters. I just want to show my skill and talent with known material along with my own creations. There's no intention for...

    William’s Answer

    Generally speaking, having a website that features unauthorized paintings or drawings of characters protected under copyright law (as most Disney and Marvel characters are) would almost undoubtedly be considered infringement. The fact that you have no intention to directly profit from the material by selling your work unfortunately won't matter much, particularly where it sounds like you would be indirectly profiting by selling other artwork.

    You might have a fair use defense, but that seems unlikely here and, in any event, is virtually impossible to predict ahead of time. It's also very possible that the copyright owners, Disney, Marvel, etc., wouldn't have a problem with the website, but that's even more difficult to predict.

    Since what you're doing falls in the category of fan art, you might want to check out a presentation on the subject recently given at Comic-Con by a law professor in Southern California: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKBsTUjd910

    If you still have questions, you should contact a good copyright lawyer in your state for some specific advice on the matter before proceeding. Good luck!

    Will Montague

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  • Am I in violation of copyright/trademark laws if I reference a partial MLB, NFL, or NBA team name in a website.

    I have a website that references partial team names, like Saints/Bills/Texans/etc. The website does not use any team colors, logos, or full team names. The area of the site where the names are referenced allows users to simply vote on a winning ...

    William’s Answer

    I'm not sure, but it sounds as though you're referring to use of the team names in the post-domain path of a URL -- for example, www.website.com/Saints.

    If so, you should be aware that there's at least one major court that has said that inclusion of a trademark in the post-domain path of URL will rarely, if ever, constitute trademark infringement: "Because post-domain paths do not typically signify source, it is unlikely that the presence of another's trademark in a post-domain path of a URL would ever violate trademark law." The name of the case is Interactive Office Solutions vs. a2z Office Solutions, and the court's full opinion can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/cqwybjk

    Opinions from that particular court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit -- are generally controlling in federal cases brought in Kentucky (my state), Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee. Trademark cases in other states, however, including Nevada, are controlled by the law of other courts of appeal, which may or may not follow the lead of the Sixth Circuit on that particular issue.

    So, my suggestion (like the other lawyers that have responded here) is that you talk to a trademark/internet lawyer in your state and get some specific guidance on the issue. And when doing so, be sure to ask about the likely impact of the Interactive vs. a2z Office case on your particular situation. Good luck.

    Will Montague

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  • I want to create artwork-custom collage for kids....

    1. I want to create artwork-custom collage for kids....combining pictures of them and their favorite sports teams logos (professional teams, baseball, soccer, etc)-would this be copyright infringement if it is considered ART? 2. Also want to ...

    William’s Answer

    The fact that something is art or is called art has little, if any, effect on whether that thing will be found to be infringing copyright or trademark rights. The custom collage you mention likely would be deemed infringement of both copyright and trademark rights of the various sports teams, and the t-shirts using famous quotes may very well be copyright infringement to the extent any quotes are more than short phrases and are not otherwise part of the public domain.

    Assuming these are products that you wish to commercialize, you should consult a good copyright and trademark lawyer in your area before proceeding. Good luck.

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