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Mark Raymond Leonard

Mark Leonard’s Answers

8 total

  • If I have a trademark (lets use for example Bryant), would Bryant in italics be a "material alteration"??

    I need to know if it requires a separate application. Or can I add Bryant (in italics) to the existing trademark Bryant.

    Mark’s Answer

    Assuming you have a federal trademark registration, it depends on whether you registered your trademark as a design mark or a word mark. Look at your registration certificate or the USPTO record for your registration here, http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp. Does the mark appear in all caps? If so then you likely have a word mark registration and displaying the mark in italics would not be a material alteration. If instead the mark appears in a particular font you have a design mark and it may be a material alteration. Check with an experienced trademark attorney if you are unsure.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Is it legal to build a database consisting of business "contacts" ; email, business name, phone number, web address-

    if the information is collected from their copyrighted websites, and then posted on my website?

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree that it is unlikely that type of information can be protected by copyright, however pay very close attention to the terms and conditions of any websites you collect the information from. Many sites include in their terms that use of the site is restricted to personal, non-commercial use. If you were to take information from a site with such restrictions and violated those terms, you could face liability for your violation. If you are unsure about whether your planned use violates such terms, consult with an attorney before you begin collecting any information.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • What can my friend raise as a defense to minimize damages from copyright infringement lawsuit?

    My friend owns a wholesale clothing store and she is being sued for copyright infringement for garments sold through her retail vendors. She simply didn't know that the design belonged to someone else and although she's not disputing liability, s...

    Mark’s Answer

    She should immediately stop selling the infringing garments and also speak with an experienced copyright litigation attorney as soon as possible.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I own a pet store named Sylmar Pets. I owned a website named www.SylmarPets.com. A web site squatter purchased it. Is this Legal

    Can trademark my business name and then go after these people. They want alot of money to sell it back to me. They are holding 50% of my business hostage!

    Mark’s Answer

    The fact that the new owner of the domain is asking for money to sell it back to you may be evidence of bad faith under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. It would be difficult to obtain a trademark registration for "Sylmar Pets" because that mark is highly descriptive. However, a trademark registration isn't essential to assert a claim under the ACPA. In any event, you should speak with an experienced trademark attorney soon to assess what options you may have to seek return of the domain.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Classmates.com has a photo of me on their add banner and it has been up for over a year. Can I take legal action?

    If so, how do I prove it.

    Mark’s Answer

    If a business uses someone's photo in connection with an advertisement without their permission, that person may have a claim under California Civil Code 3344. I recommend speaking with an attorney experienced in those types of claims to assess your situation. As for proving the use of your photo in the banner ad, take a screen shot of the page on which the ad appears.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • When does the copyright infringement statute of limitations expire for online material?

    I will be producing videos for clients, using media files obtained from online suppliers. The videos will then be freely distributed to social, and other Internet sites. Does the statute ever expire, or is there always liability as long as the vid...

    Mark’s Answer

    I believe you are asking about liability for copyright infringement for you or your clients from use of the media files you are using. A civil copyright infringement action must be commenced within three years after the claim "accrued". See 17 U.S.C. Section 507(b). However, when a claim accrues and whether infringement is still taking place after the expiration of the three years, which would still allow an action to be commenced, are highly fact dependent questions that would require the advice of an experienced copyright attorney.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I need to know if I have a legal case for copyright infringement.

    I have been helping a person running for a local political office with their campaign. I took their picture to use in advertisements that I create and on his website that I also control on his behalf. His opponent in this weeks newspaper took out ...

    Mark’s Answer

    I would qualify Ms. Koslyn's answer slightly. Although you did not have a copyright registration in place when the infringement began, if you ultimately obtain a registration you may still be able to claim attorney's fees and statutory damages depending on when your photograph was first published in the advertisements and website for the candidate you are helping. See 17 U.S.C. Section 412. I agree that you should consult with a copyright litigator as soon as possible.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Can we alter the spelling of one of the words in a company name trademark that is already taken, and be okay legally?

    We are trying to start a business and we are thinking of a name. We came up with one, but someone already has trademarked it. Can we alter the spelling of one of the words and be okay legally? Such as - "your" and we alter it to "ur"?

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Koslyn's answer as well, but pay attention to the first sentence. Whether your planned business is somehow related to the type of business the owner of the registered mark is engaged in is an important factor.

    Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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