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Alexander Patton Montgomery

Alexander Montgomery’s Answers

58 total


  • Do you think it is illegal to use a Sesame Street muppet's face in a local cafe's logo?

    I checked the World Intellectual Property Organization's database and saw the muppet whose face I want to use is not registered in service sector category (class 43) as a trademark. Is it still illegal to use the muppet's face because it belongs t...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Using this muppet implies an affiliation with Sesame Workshop, which it appears you do not have. This opens you up to liability under a number of legal claims. Organizations like Sesame Workshop are sophisticated entities that aggressively protect their intellectual property across the world, so the fact that you will be in another country probably doesn't do much good. Stay away from using the muppet.

    Any branding decision should be done with the guidance of local intellectual property counsel. You do not want to be in a situation where you are forced to re-brand your entire business (and potentially face legal liability) due to an issue that could have been easily identified by your attorney early on in the process.

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  • Is it copyright infringement or illegal in some way to have a celebrity image on a sidewalk poster for a business?

    I want to create a poster with an image of Christopher Walken's face, pulled from a screen shot of a you tube video of a Saturday Night Live skit. The poster will say "Walkens Welcome. Get your pc fixed today, no appointment needed." A play on wor...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Using his image for a commercial purpose without his permission violates his right of publicity and can subject you to liability. I don't see any way around that. You do not want to create that poster.

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  • Can you be fired from a job if the company doesn't follow disciplinary procedure in it's handbook ?

    I received written warning no suspension but was fired

    Alexander’s Answer

    I agree with the answers above. I would only add that, even if your termination was not unlawful, you might qualify for unemployment compensation benefits if your termination was without "just cause." That may be your remedy in this situation.

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  • I stay in Ohio I want to start a clothing line. I would like to know what I need to do to get rights to the name I want to use

    I would also like to know where I need to start what fees I need paid to get rights to that name. I would like to know if and when I do get rights to that brand name is that strictly limited locally to Ohio, or can I sell world and nation wide Ple...

    Alexander’s Answer

    These are all great answers. I would only add that there are many legal issues involved with starting a business other than clearing and protecting your name (albeit the trademark issue is very important). The ancillary benefit of sitting down with an attorney is that an [good] attorney will help you identify other issues to consider as you get started.

    Good luck,

    Alex Montgomery
    CMRK Law

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  • Can I use a "fake" diploma, that I can buy off the internet, to apply for a job?

    I have applied for a job where they require a high school diploma. I do not have mine anymore (40yrs.), and my high school doesn't keep copies, but I do have transcripts from high school showing I graduated. If I buy a fake diploma off the interne...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Representing that diploma as your own when it is not is fraud and will likely lead to your termination. Your employer is probably more concerned about determining whether you actually graduated high school rather than seeing an actual diploma. If you have the transcripts showing you graduated high school, why not be honest and simply show those to your employer?

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  • Buying and Selling T Shirt With My Own Logo

    There is a live camera on a wildlife nest thanks to a state game commission, wildlife group, wildlife camera group. They have a live feed and a chat room. They take donations, but do not sell anything to over a million watchers. I wanted a t s...

    Alexander’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Ballard. If you actually created the shirt yourself (rather than copying an image from the feed) you have less to worry about. However, the answer to this question is entirely dependent upon the content of the shirt itself, which you should not disclose on this forum but rather seek the advice of private counsel.

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  • What type of form do I need for these authors to release their blog/journal entries to me?

    I want to write a book. I want this book to be a compilation of my work and the work of various bloggers. I have bloggers who have agreed to submit their writing to me for use in this book. Their writing will not be edited without their consent. ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    A work for hire or license agreement depending upon what your goals are and your relationship with these bloggers. By sitting down with an intellectual property attorney you can identify which particular document you need and ensure it is drafted in a manner that reflects your expectations and protects your interests. Your attorney can also help you address other legal issues surrounding your book you have not even considered.

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  • Is a non-compete legal, that requires me not to work in most of ohio counties ?

    I work in the service industry, started my company in april.The company I worked for says I can not work in my field,or solicit customers in,all of the counties by my home And most of the counties I have not worked in for 2-3 years,when I was wit...

    Alexander’s Answer

    I must disagree with some of the answers presented by my colleagues. Generally, a non-competition agreement in Ohio is considered reasonable if (1) the restraint is no greater than is required for the protection of the employer; (2) it does not impose undue hardship on the employee; and (3) it is not injurious to the public. This issue varies by state, so it is important to consider Ohio law.

    I think a restriction like this is entirely enforceable as long as your former employer is actually doing business in those counties and the temporal restriction is reasonable. It is not uncommon to see multi-state restrictions in non-competes, or even nationwide restrictions.

    However, it has been correctly noted that the only way to know for sure is to have an attorney examine the contents of the non-compete agreement to determine its reasonableness and the facts specific to your situation. For further reading, I've attached an article I wrote on this issue.

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  • If a contract doesn't say they will seek damages if contract is not met can they seek damages if contract is not met

    Publishing contract unable to be met because of financial cost for copyright permissions that became too high

    Alexander’s Answer

    My colleagues have provided some excellent answers on the general rules governing contracts. The answer to your specific question, however, will depend upon the terms of your contract and the facts and circumstances surrounding your situation. Don't discuss these on a public forum like this, but rather contact an attorney to which you can explain the situation in confidence.

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  • I will be publishing a memoir, in which I quote a 1965 radio commercial for a used car lot. Are there possible copyright issues?

    I used to hear this catchy commercial ditty on the school bus in South Bend, Indiana when I was 13 years old. The business, Miller Auto Sales, still exists. Would this material have been copyrighted? If so, who would be likely to own it?

    Alexander’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Ballard. Are there potential copyright issues? Maybe, given that a copyright attaches automatically to a fixed, creative, and original work.

    Copyright law, however, does not protect titles, names, slogans, and short phrases. Also, as Mr. Ballard suggested, the strength of your potential fair use defense is a significant deterrent to any attorney taking on a copyright infringement case against you.

    The risk of any copyright liability seems very low. As always, you can speak with a copyright attorney to go over the specifics and give you a formal opinion. If you're publishing a memoir, it may not be a bad idea to speak with a copyright attorney anyhow. Best of luck.

    Alexander Montgomery
    www.cmrklaw.com

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