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Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Ballard’s Answers

7,692 total

  • Can I do business on a website and domain that is not my D.B.A. as long as I put my D.B.A. in the About page of the website?

    The reason for this, is to have a couple websites where I can experiment with marketing, web design, and other variables to determine their effectiveness, without disturbing the 'optimized' content on the main website, and without filing multiple ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    I have a different take than my colleagues.

    Let's put some facts on your question:
    You own a company that does business as "Rick's Painting Supplies." You've properly filed an assumed name certificate for that name and it does business via the SEO and marketing-optimized website.

    You want to market-test different SEO techniques and website designs. So you set up websites at and from which you will do business to evaluate your efforts.

    Are you required to file assumed name certificates for "Pete's Painting Supplies" and "Jack's Painting Supplies"? I think you do -- even if you note somewhere on those websites that your company is also doing business as "Rick's Painting Supplies." A company may have more than one assumed name. But, if it does, then it's necessary to file assumed name certificates for all of the names.

    IF your two test websites simply use the and domain names but those names are not used on the websites themselves and the contents make it very clear that visitors are, in fact, dealing with "Rick's Painting Supplies" then I think you do NOT have to file assumed name certificates for "Pete's Painting Supplies" and "Jack's Painting Supplies."

    Speak with your own New York-licensed intellectual property attorney. Only he can review what you're actually doing and then provide you with actionable advice. Good luck.

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  • What are the minimum requirements for a great app idea to become copyright protected?

    I have a thorough articulation of a mobile app down to every detail as far as aesthetics and utility go. The only problem is it involves streaming copyright protected material. I want to protect the function and design of the app so I'm able to se...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Company A owns lots of copyrighted material. You have an IDEA for a software application that would permit Company A to stream its material to ... who? Subscribers to that content? Anyone? Everyone?

    I think you're putting the cart before the horse. Why do you think Company A is interested in streaming its content? Isn't it very, very likely that it's already considered doing so? Distributing a significant amount of content digitally requires a very sophisticated licensing program and a technologically sophisticated rights management program -- both laid atop a proven profit-making business model.

    Your application may have a place in Company A's business plans. But not likely.

    My colleagues have already provided you with good information regarding protecting the intellectual property -- if any exists -- in your IDEA for the software application. Actually converting the idea into a functional application, however, will be a real chore. Which Company A will not even consider doing. That would be your job. Speak with your own Florida-licensed intellectual property attorney about how to do that. Good luck.

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  • Are Google blogs protected under Copyright?

    Hello, I was wondering if Google blogs are automatically protected under Copyright or do I still have to purchase copyright like anything else? Thank you in advance.

    Daniel’s Answer

    Copyright attaches automatically to the material that's published on a blog [so long as, as my colleague notes, the material is original to its creator and is sufficiently creative -- which covers most everything]. The author does not have to "purchase" the copyright. It's free.

    To enforce the copyright against infringers, however, the copyright must be registered with the Copyright Office. Doing so is quite inexpensive, even for a blog that often has material added to it.

    You need to discuss the registration process with a Nevada-licensed intellectual property attorney because the Copyright Office rules for registering the copyright in websites are tricky. One thing noteworthy is that the Office considers websites "unpublished" works unless the author provides the means for the material to be downloaded.

    To reiterate: You only need to register the copyright in the blog material if you intend to enforce its copyright. The vast amount of blog material, however, will never be copied by anyone else and, in fact, most blog authors ENCOURAGE copying and further distribution. If your goal is to be read then enforcing your copyright is unwise. Good luck.

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  • Are employees bound to the intellectual property clause between employer and a vendor?

    My employer is about to sign a contract to hire a contractor to provide a special service. Prior to my employment, I was and still am developing a similar service. My project has some clear differences, but the concept and idea are the same. My pr...

    Daniel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A contract entered into between an employer and a third party does not, by itself, grant an employee any rights nor imposes on an employee any obligations.

    However, the promises made by the employer in that contract could, in turn, require the employer to impose obligations on its employees. For example, if in that contract the employer agrees to use only the third party's services then the employer cannot use an employee to perform those services.

    I don't understand how your "project" relates to your employer -- that is, is it something you're doing for the employer or for your own benefit and is it related to your employer's business?

    Assuming you signed an California-law compliant intellectual property assignment agreement with your employer then your employer could very likely own the rights to your "project" if it relates to the company's business [even if you do the work on your own time]. You should read a few Avvo questions and answers on this topic via the link below. After you do, you should speak with your own California-licensed employment or intellectual property attorney. Good luck.

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  • What steps do I need to take to open a LEGAL operational ecommerce retail business?

    Hello, I'm trying to open up an ecommerce retail store. I thought it was easy as pie. Just make the website, set up the domain, and bam, instant sales. However, I realize this is not the case. Through some online research I decided to create ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    You need to read two or three or ten books on how to start a business in California and and then some on how to start an e-commerce business. Visit the links below. Then speak with a California-licensed business attorney -- who will call in or refer you to an intellectual property attorney as needed. Good luck.

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  • Using the Chicago Cubs name commercially

    Can a company use a photo of the famous Wrigley Field's entrance, with the "Home of the Chicago Cubs" sign — as the artwork (photo will be manipulated to add the company's logo) used for their Christmas card?

    Daniel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As my colleagues note, the Wrigley Field sign serves as a trademark. Visit the link below to view its federal registration. Changing the sign to add your company's logo [and delete, I assume, the name "Chicago Cubs"] would not be sufficient to preclude trademark infringement because (1) the remaining name "Wrigley Field" is closely and long associated with the Chicago Cubs and (2) the shape of the sign itself is also distinctive for Wrigley Field -- and, therefore, the Chicago Cubs. Speak with your own Illinois-licensed intellectual property attorney to discuss alternatives. Good luck.

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  • I have a fantastic game idea and I am not sure how to pitch this idea to the people who can finish the project.

    I have been playing d20 games for 12 years and I have been developing my own d20 game for 3 years. I have a fantastic game idea that can easily be a tabletop d20 game on "Drivethru RPG" but it has so much more potential than that. I have developed...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Your own Missouri-licensed intellectual property attorney will need to explain to you the terms of the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Game System License that Wizard freely provides to everyone to create and sell Dungeon and Dragon game rule systems [visit the first link below]. As you know, many people make and sell such games [visit the second link below]. Only Wizards, however, has the right to make and sell such games as played via a smartphone application. Because there are so many fan-created game rule systems it's unlikely that Wizards would purchase your particular game. But maybe. As my colleague notes, you should discuss this matter in private with your own attorney. Good luck.

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  • Question for patent attorneys.

    Is it possible to patent a method outlining an alternate use of hardware equipment that enables it to provide broader benefit.

    Daniel’s Answer

    An "alternate use" of an existing invention is patentable only if that use is a useful, non-obvious and novel use of the invention. Which is very, very, very unlikely. And, moreover, even if likely, seeking such a patent is very likely not a wise use of a company's funds. Speak with a Florida-licensed patent attorney who is interested and competent to advise you on your BUSINESS plans -- not just someone interested in charging you $10K for drafting and filing a patent application. Good luck.

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  • I have an LLC with several DBAs. Do I need to list the LLC on my DBAs' website? If so, where does it go on website(s)?

    I have one main LLC with 6 DBA's that each have a website. Am legally required to put the LLC on each of the websites and if so, would that go in the Terms of Use section?

    Daniel’s Answer

    As noted by Attorney Patil, the legal name of your company must be used in the Terms of Use agreement with your website visitors. That agreement -- if properly drafted and presented to visitors -- is a legally binding contract with website visitors from around the country who do not have ready access to your fictitious business name statements that you filed with your local County Clerk [assuming, and hoping, that you properly filed such statements].

    You need to have your own California-licensed intellectual property assist you with your [obviously complicated] branding decisions and ecommerce legal needs. For example, did you clear the rights to lawfully use those SIX fictitious business name? Good luck.

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  • My exes girlfriend posts photos of our child publicly online. Can I legally make her stop?

    I found out that my exes girlfriend has been publicly posting images of my child online for over a year. I was never asked for permission as the primary custodian of my son. Background/My concerns: My ex and I have been separated for over 10 years...

    Daniel’s Answer

    I think there's very little likelihood you have a legal basis to object to the father displaying photographs of his child on a website [I assume a social media website]. Except, of course, if a photograph is objectionable because it's pornographic or shows the child in a unsafe situation.

    COPPA does not apply because the website on which the photographs are posted is not collecting personal information "from a child." See, 15 U.S. Code § 6502(a)(1). The information -- assuming a photograph can even be "personal information" -- is being provided under the authority of the child's father.

    A court can, of course, consider ALL the factual circumstances related to the well-being and upbringing of the child -- including the website display of the photographs -- to determine what's in the best interest of the child and has the authority to order that no photographs of the child can be published [including by you]. So speak with your own California-licensed family law attorney to talk over this matter. Good luck.

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