Skip to main content
Philip Leon Marcus

Philip Marcus’s Answers

943 total


  • Got rights to use song lyrics in book from artist, Now designers changed book title and has same name as song. Problem?

    I wrote a travel book and got rights from artist to use few of his lyrics from a famous song inside the book. .. The song's name was a small part of the book subtitle. Later my designers changed the book cover so that the main book title is n...

    Philip’s Answer

    Book and song titles are not controlled by copyright law at all. It is a free for all.
    :
    A book title is also not registerable under u.s. trademark law. Again, a free for all. The cover art is part of the book 's copyright but be sure to register at copyright.gov.
    .

    See question 
  • Can I sell a service which gives away products?

    Basically I want to sell the subscription/service not the product. When a customer buys a subscription they are given x number of products free. For example they subscribe to my service and they receive a free name brand toothbrush. Is this legal?...

    Philip’s Answer

    Whether you give stuff away or sell it is not relevant. What is whether you are licensed by the distributor to resell the brand name. If there is no brand name then you can redistribute the products, but you need if they are medical type OTC products to mark them with your own company as being distributor. Of course, if they cause harm then your company will be sued, so get insurance.

    See question 
  • I WAS A PARTNER IN A RECENT START UP COMPANY WHO FORCED ME OUT BUT THEY ARE STILL OPERATING AND MAKING MONEY ON MY LICENSE.

    COMPANY IS SET UP AS A TRADE ALLY WITH THE POWER COMPANYS ALSO USED MY LICENSE FOR THE APPLICATIONS TO BE APPROVED TO DO WORK

    Philip’s Answer

    If the company is using your electrician's license and you are not involved then there is a fraud. Contact the power company promptly by letter and advise them you are not part of the company and not involved in the work. Then contact DLLR by letter, which issued the license, and tell them someone is using your license without your permission.

    You should also hire an attorney to get you disentangle financially; do not try to do it yourself, no more than I should install 440 volt service entrances.

    See question 
  • In Maryland do I need to charge sale and use tax on an intangible item?

    In Maryland do I need to charge sale and use tax on an intangible item? For instance a graphical design delivered electronically to client through email. If I delivery it to client on a CD do I charge sale and use tax on the design cost or just th...

    Philip’s Answer

    If I recall right, and I am not a tax expert, in Maryland most intangibles are not subject to sales tax. That would include shares of stock, promissory notes etc. Software is special. Software or music created custom for the user is not taxable, and I do not think how you deliver it is the key--it is a service. But if it is not custom then it is taxable, regardless how delivered.

    See question 
  • What is the process by which a blocked account is accessed after a ruling in favor of granting a withdrawal?

    Our first attempt at this. Account is malpractice excess for a minor. Are we to pay for whichever service we want for our child and then bring receipt to the courthouse to ask for the withdrawal? Then would we be reimbursed or do they allow st...

    Philip’s Answer

    I do not understand the facts here. If the account is proceeds from a suit or settlement for malpractice and you are the parent, how did the account get "blocked." Who blocked it and how?

    See question 
  • Using disney character's name in the title of a for-profit event, do I need any license for that?

    A private health clinic planning an event for young girls, where they get their school physicals for a fee but with a disney character theme, they will be provided free goody bags, the nurses will dress up as character. Mostly themed birthday part...

    Philip’s Answer

    If Disney never finds out, no harm no foul. What if they do? They probably have no confusion argument because no on is going to believe they suddenly own a string of medical clinics. The question is whether they get concerned someone gets mistreated medically and comes back on Disney’s reputation. So the goody bags, flyers, signs, etc., need to disclaim any connection with Disney or its characters. And then hope Disney is as open hearted as I am.

    See question 
  • Can my employer take $400 a month from me and than 6 months later take $500 more a month for a total of $900 a month?

    I have been with a company that employs about 65 people. I have been there for 33 years. The owner of the company died about 1 year ago. I have always been a dedicated employee. I have called in sick maybe twice in 20 years once for a heart attac...

    Philip’s Answer

    While I agree that MD is an "at will" state, this smells a bit like illegal age discrimination. Time to file such complaints is quite limited. I would suggest you promptly contact the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights about filing a complaint. See http://mccr.maryland.gov/.

    See question 
  • I work 12 hours and some days I have to get kids from daycare can only do 10.5 hours. is there any way I can stop the company

    From penalizing me from getting the kids. Im confused about personal leave policy or FMLA policy.

    Philip’s Answer

    I agree that getting kids from daycare is not covered. (See link below.) That means you need to negotiate something with your employer that allows your either taking leave of 1.5 hrs or changes your job requirement in exchange for something employer may want from you. Or you may need to look elsewhere.

    BTW, both state and federal law mandate breaks during long work days. Is your employer complying? Is there a wage and hour poster at work place? Legally there must be.

    See question 
  • Can I Trademark a Sentence in Literature?

    The sentence is from a book of poems I wrote years ago: "The future is (word)." There is an existing 2008 trademark, in banking, according to one search tool, for two sentences together: "I am the future. The future is (word)." I wish to tradema...

    Philip’s Answer

    The only way to register a mark is to use it in commerce to mark or brand a product or service.

    Nor can you register a copyright on a single sentence. Finally, copying one sentence from a poem is an infringement.

    BTW, next time you write a poem or a collection, register at copyright.gov. Many advantages.

    See question 
  • Do I need license to sell knives in maryland?

    I make the knives knives myself

    Philip’s Answer

    I would not stand around an airport selling them, but AFIK there is no regulation in Maryland, other than prohibition on CARRYING certain types of knives such as switchblades. I am attaching a link for your review.

    See question