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Randall B. Bateman

Randall Bateman’s Answers

32 total

  • What can I do?

    Can I sue my boss for being cheap and selling off brand cereals at a self-serve frozen yogurt store and lableing and claiming them as name brand cereals.

    Randall’s Answer

    Yes, in America you can sue anyone for anything. You can also get thrown out of court and have attorneys fees awarded against you. You can also be fired and get a negative job evaluation. If you boss is truly passing off cereals as the name brand, write an anonymous letter to the company that owns the cereal brand and let them deal with it.

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  • If a contract was never signed, who will be responsible for a lawsuit or fines?

    Let's say I have a friend who came to me and said to create a website. The website was created with my design, which is proprietary but let's say to use images on the website, he told me to Google it and use applicable images. Say 2 years lat...

    Randall’s Answer

    Both of you are liable for infringement. This is why you should never copy an image off the web without a license or documentation that it is public domain. Your best bet is to negotiate a settlement and learn from the experience. 1) always produce a written agreement for your work and 2) do not steal other people's work. If you are going to be in the web design business, you may get short term success by pirating images without licenses, but eventually it will catch up to you and you will have many angry clients who will likely sue you when they have to pay Getty Images, etc. to avoid copyright lawsuits.

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  • Was being accused of trademark infringement and cuber-squatting and now the lawyer has disappeared . What could be the reason?

    Back in the beginning of January I was sent an letter from a lawyer urging me to stop using a domain I registered and was developing because it was in violation of trademark infringement , cuber - squatting and the Lanthanum act . I decided ( agai...

    Randall’s Answer

    It is possible that the lawyer was not getting paid and stopped working on the matter. It is possible that the lawyer misplaced your communication or simply is busy with other matters. It is also possible that the lawyer's client does not have the money to pursue you. However, it is also very possible that the lawyer is preparing a lawsuit or a UDRP proceeding against you. You might want to follow-up with the lawyer and determine the status. Otherwise, you can wait and hope it goes away. However, if there is a good argument for infringement, continued use of the mark may only help the claim of willful infringement.

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  • Can I use the name of my town on t-shirt "I love x" with my own created visual? if so, can I use this format with other towns?

    I live in a small rural town in California. Population 5, 000. I am not interested in any trade mark since if the shirts do not sell well, I would move on with other designs.

    Randall’s Answer

    If the X is your town, then yes. There is nothing which prevents you from using the name of a city. Just be careful if the name of the city is also a name of a company that your art work does not suggest some affiliation with the company. Based on the limited facts here, you should be OK.

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  • I have been divorced 5 years im struggling financialy can I go back and get alamony from my ex we were married 26 years

    My ex had been chesting on me he was physicaly and mentaly abusive. I didn't go for alamony at the time of divorce as we live in the same town and he threatened me

    Randall’s Answer

    You definitely need a good divorce attorney. With that length of marriage, the courts will usually give alimony. However, a divorce attorney will be able to give you the odds on the courts changing the decree 5 years later.

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  • I cashed a check that I later learned was stolen and forged. My account is now frozen and the bank is demanding I pay.

    I cashed a check at Wells Fargo, drawn on a Wells account. Later that day, Wells called me and claimed a warrant had issued for my arrest because they said I stole and forged the check. Wells told me "the charges would be dropped" if I brought i...

    Randall’s Answer

    You should get a copy of the police report and take it into the bank. That should unfreeze your account. However, you will probably have to reimburse the bank for the fraudulent check. If that does not work, go see an attorney

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  • Can I patent a mousepad for a different use

    Can I patent a foam mousepad with a image printed on it, as a archery target? I would make it larger than a regular mouse pad and put grommets in the corners.

    Randall’s Answer

    Yes, what you described is potentially patentable. It is hard to give more a more thorough answer, however, without additional information. Does it have some unique benefit? Is there some surprising result?

    To get a patent you will need to know novelty (i.e. no one has done it before) and non-obviousness (it is not an obvious modification to what is already out there). While a design patent is usually easier to get, it provides much narrower protection. I would strongly advise you to sit down with an experienced patent attorney and discuss your options. In light of your now public disclosure, you should get to a patent attorney ASAP.

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  • Does a 'famous' wannabe have a legal standing with censorship?

    A well-known 'wannabe' has her attorney sending cease and desists because we are negative about her. The atty. says we can't, because her name is trademarked, and that she is NOT a public figure, despite having been on a reality show, millions of...

    Randall’s Answer

    Your question really falls into three different areas of law - Constitutional (Free Speech), Tort (Defamation/Right to Privacy/Harassment) and Intellectual Property (Trademark).

    In the U.S. you can generally say whatever you want so long as it is true or is opinion. If, however, you make false factual allegations against someone, you are asking for a defamation suit. Thus, free speech usually prevails unless a party can show that they they have been injured by false allegations of fact (your negative opinion is protected); or you have invaded a right of privacy (a little difficult to show if they are on reality shows, but not impossible); or you are harassing them. Most of these are applied generally under a reasonable person point of view.

    With respect to infringing the trademark, that is usually the type of situation trademark attorneys laugh at. If you are commenting about her as a person, you are allowed to use her name regardless of whether it is trademarked or not as long as you are not creating a likelihood of confusion.

    The challenge in responding any deeper than this is that each of these areas of law are very fact dependent. Thus, whenever you receive a cease and desist letter, it is best to find an attorney that addresses these kind of issues. While she may or may not have a case, few legal problems ever get better by ignoring them.

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  • Can an artisan get in TM trouble for re-using (recycling) a bottle made by a beverage company and making a lamp out of it?

    A particular liquor company has sent a very nasty letter to a friend of mine who has created beautiful lamps out of many types of liquor or wine bottles. She adds flowers, ornaments or feathers or beads and lights inside the bottles to create very...

    Randall’s Answer

    I usually agree with Bruce, but I do not think it is as cut and dried. The test is whether the average consumer is likely to be confused into believing that the liquor company is the source of the goods. Sometimes you see the products of others used in such a way that you are pretty sure that the original maker of the product is not making the recycled product.
    Get to a a good trademark attorney and have them look at the facts more carefully. At a minimum you can probably get them to come off the $4750.

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  • Illegal or not?

    When writing a screenplay based off a mafia family, Could I use the name of the actual real life people. Are could I get into some type of trouble for using real names? Also, after researching as much information as possible, would it be breaking...

    Randall’s Answer

    A fictional account seems much safer. You also have to be very careful that you do not defame the people involved. Assuming they use the legal system, instead of other obvious alternatives, you may be asking for large legal bills if anyone thinks they have been libeled or slandered.

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