I have a shop selling jewelry and i took an idea for a ring from some one but made it my own. Is it illegal to sell that item as my own. For example, the ring is a crown ring, and the original ring has diamonds all across it. My Idea of the ring i...
No, it is NOT illegal to take an existing design and make changes to it to make it your own. Artists have been doing that since the beginning of time. The two intellectual property rights involved in your particular case are likely design patent and copyright. A design patent protects aesthetic and decorative aspects of products that have utility (as does jewelry). Copyright protection applies to original works, generally literary or artistic in nature; which in this case could apply to the design as well. You need to consult with an IP attorney to determine your rights and whether your changes are sufficient to avoid infringement. Good luck.See question
I am an independent consultant and have worked with a company for 8 years. I took a sales idea to them, which they are implementing, although they have decided to use a different "expert" to assist them. Since giving them the idea, I asked about...
It all depends on the details. Your relationship with your employer is primarily governed by the agreement between you and your employer. In addition, there is the question of proof; what is the quality of the evidence you possess to prove your case. Your best bet would have been to have filed a patent application BEFORE your presented your idea to your employer (assuming the idea would be patentable). By filing at least a provisional patent application you would have had verifiable proof of the date and content of the idea. I advise you to speak with your IP/Business/Employment attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you on your options. Good luck.See question
I worked for a small business (bail bonds company) for only a few weeks before quitting. Within that time, a couple social media accounts were made with my likeness that I did use temporarily. It's been six Months since I've ceased working for thi...
Based on the facts provided, you would have a valid and credible case for misappropriation of your name and likeness and impersonation. In California “Right of Publicity” protects a person's right in his or her name and likeness. California's statute, Cal. Civ. Code § 3344, protects a person's name, voice, signature, photograph, and likeness. You should be cautioned, however, that the mere fact that your likeness may have been used in connection with a commercial product or service does not violate the statute. Rather, the statute focuses specifically on advertising uses of a person’s likeness. However, in cases where the unauthorized use is not purely for commercial purposes, the victim can sue under California “common law”.
The California “Rights of Publicity” statute entitles a victorious plaintiff to the actual damages suffered, as well any of the defendant’s profits that are attributable to the unauthorized use. Punitive damages may also be awarded under the statute. Cal. Civ. Code § 3294. The winning side in a statutory case is entitled to attorney’s fees and costs.
Importantly, California law does not limit damages strictly to the financial harm suffered by a plaintiff. Courts may also take into account injury to peace, happiness, and feelings, as well as injury to goodwill, professional standing, and future publicity value.
Your IP attorney would be in a better position to evaluate your particular case and advise you on your options. Good Luck.See question
There is a book called American Me by Beatrice Griffith, last published in 1977, no publishing house apparently own the rights to the work any longer and I cannot find any record of the author still alive, what are the necessary steps if I want to...
You are free to use the book IF you can confirm that there are no copyrights to it that remain valid today. Given the age of the book, it was likely subject to the 1909 copyright act, which was in effect before the current copyright act went into effect on January 1, 1978. Under the 1909 Act, If no notice of copyright was affixed to a work and the work was, in fact, "published" in a legal sense, the 1909 Act provided no copyright protection and the work became part of the public domain.
You should order a formal search of the copyright office records to confirm existence of any copyright associated with the book. Your copyright attorney would be in a much better position to evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Good luck.See question
I designed a t-shirt that looks like the University of Oregon's shirt, with a yellow "O" on a field of green, except instead of "OREGON" it says "OREGANO" underneath the "O" - with a tiny change, the entire meaning of the shirt shifts into the dir...
Your proposed design may qualify as a parody and therefore not infringe the trademark as a “fair use” exception. Generally, a fair use is any alteration of a protected work done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as parody. This can be done without permission from the trademark owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of trademark infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement. You should, however, expect to receive a “cease and desist” letter from the University asking you to stop selling your shirts. Your trademark attorney would be in a better position to evaluate your case and advise you accordingly. Good LuckSee question
I am a model and had a photoshoot with a photographer who released and published pictures without my permission. Usually I sign a release form to transfer all rights to the photographer but in this case I did NOT sign anything. He published it and...
The rights in the photo belong to the photographer. In general copyright protection applies to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as photography, paintings, poetry, novels, songs, movies, theatrical work, computer software, Web sites, and architecture. Even though the copyright in the photos belongs to the photographer, the right to publish them depends on a number of factual issues, including your agreement with the photographer, your consent and other factors relating to your privacy and publicity rights. Your copyright litigation attorney would be in a much better position to evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Good Luck.See question
I am starting a project with my friends with my initial idea. I came up with team and convinced all of them to work on same. We all will be working on our respective jobs in mean time. idea is to work on project for sometime and make a prototype a...
Short Answer: You probably need to file a patent application first
My advice is for you to file a patent application before you start on the project with your friends. Under U.S. law, an inventor is the one who came up with the concept of the invention. The implementation details are generally not considered to be part of the invention. By filing a patent application first, you will have established a clear record of the invention and well as its date, which will allow you to respond to any challenges that you may face to your inventorship later. Now, keep in mind that IF, during the course of your work with your friends one or more of them make contributions that are eligible for patent protection, then they should be included as inventors along with you in this or other patents that may be filed. Your patent attorney would be in a much better position to evaluate your particular case and to advise you of your options. Good LuckSee question
We have a local man in Newnan, GA that would like to Trade Mark his name. What steps should he take?
Short Answer: Start Using It
Trademark rights are acquired by usage and not registration. Registration is evidence of ownership but it does NOT create the right. Now registration does have many benefits, including the right to sue in Federal Court, evidence of ownership and validity of the mark, the right to seek "statutory" damages of up to $2M for intentional infringement; and potential to recover attorneys fees in the event of a legal dispute.
So, in your case, the best advice is to do a search to make sure you are not stepping on anyone's else's "trademark toes" and then start using them while filing a federal registration application and waiting fo the mark to issue in about a year. Your trademark attorney would be able to evaluate your particular mark and advise you accordingly. Good Luck.See question
I have a Delaware-incorporated company in need of assistance with trademark search and registration for company name and logo.
Trademark rights are acquired by usage and not registration. However, registration of a trdemark provides the mark owner with broader, more robust rights. This is in contrast with patent rights, where the owner's right to exclude only comes to life with registration. Your best bet is to contact a local trademark attorney to advise you. Should you be interested in consuting with us, we have an office in downtown Los Angeles. Good Luck.See question
Is it possible to patent a method outlining an alternate use of hardware equipment that enables it to provide broader benefit.
Short Answer: YES
A patent can be obtained for any invention that is useful, new and non-obvious. If your proposed new use of the existing product is useful, as you say it has additional benefits over the conventional use, novel (meaning it has not been done before); and non-obvious (meaning that compared to what has come before it the differences are more than trivial, then it is, in principal, patentable. Your patent attorney would be in a position to evaluate your proposed new method and advise you of its patentability. Good LuckSee question