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Jennifer K. Craft

Jennifer Craft’s Answers

3 total

  • I am an artist starting a business with partners. My part is art and theirs is funding. Should I license or sign over © of art?

    My brother and I are starting an apparel business with two other partners. Our part is creating the art and design for everything while theirs is funding plus sweat-equity of basic operations and managing sales. We will all be equal shareholders. ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Whether you assign or license your copyrights to the company is more a business decision than a legal one. If you can get the other shareholders to agree, keeping the copyrights and licensing the rights to use the artwork to the company would be ideal because once the relationship ends (depending on what the license agreement and corp docs say) you would still retain ownership. To their concern about "security" in holding the copyright, this can be addressed in the license agreement with strong language as to exclusivity and duration. Also, have you considered joint ownership with a clear agreement as to what the other joint owners can and cannot do? I don't always like this option, but sometimes it's the only answer if everyone's at a stalemate. Hope that helps.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It should not be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such.

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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 -- just made that up), Continuing with this example, I call myself "The Diet Tutor" and have been offering information (over 250 pages) that ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Following up with what Lee Kim wrote, if your domain name and product name are generic (for example, the word APPLE is generic for the sale of apples), there may be very little you can do by way of protecting the word. If your domain name and product name are descriptive of a feature of your products and services (for example, DIET-TUTOR.COM would likely be considered descriptive for books because it describes the contents of your books), you may still be able to federally register the name. If you can show that your name has acquired distinctiveness (i.e., it does more than just describes your products/services, but identifies you as a source of diet advice and materials) then you may be eligible for registration on the Principal Register. If you can't show that your name has acquired distinctiveness, then you may still be eligible to register your name on the Supplemental Register. Lastly, while I know your question focused more on trademarks, you should also look into protecting the copyrights embodied in your website, books, etc.

    Disclaimer: this answer does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely upon it as such. Also, this answer does not create an implied attorney-client relationship.

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  • Would using the name or a picture of a a Trademarked food product in a cookbook qualify as any type of infringement?

    We are publishing a cookbook that will feature many recipes using common consumer food products. It will be marketed online. Does using the Trademarked product name in the recipe or showing a picture of that product in the book constitute any ty...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    I agree with all of the above answers. It depends on how you use the product name and photo. If you're simply listing a product name as an ingredient, it's much less likely to be an issue. If you call your dish or your cookbook by that trademarked product name, then that can be a problem. Also, notices of third party ownership of the trademarks would be helpful. As for the photo itself, you or your IP attorney should "clear" your rights to use the photo first. Resolve any issues involving the copyrights in the photo and if applicable, rights of publicity and rights of privacy. Then, look at how you're using the photo and determine if there are trademark issues - Does it cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace that by using this photo, I have created a false association between my cookbook and the trademark owner? As with the other contributors, you should have an IP attorney, someone like myself, look at your cookbook and go over all of these issues with you. Hope this helps.

    Lastly, this answer does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely upon it as such. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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