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Gary K. Marshall
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Gary Marshall’s Answers

102 total


  • Can i trademark or copyright the name of a sauce i have developed and plan on bringing onto the market?

    i have a sauce name that i would like to have copyrighted also the recipe is that possible?

    Gary’s Answer

    You can not claim copyright protection for names. You may be able to obtain trademark protection. Recipes are hard to protect. You can not copyright the underlying concepts and ideas, but you can protect your creative expression, which is the way you describe the recipe. That is a difficult line to draw, even for experienced attorneys. If you want to pursue this further you need to talk to an attorney.

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  • Is it illegal in the State of Washington to Blackmail a person?

    If it is a crime how do I prove it and what is the punishment for it?

    Gary’s Answer

    In Washington it is illegal knowingly to obtain or attempt to obtain by threat property or services of the owner. See RCW 9A.56.110. Extortion and blackmail are closely related topics. There is no clear definition of the difference, but a common distinction made is that blackmail is a form of extortion that threatens to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless money is paid to purchase silence.

    RCW 9A.56.120 Extortion in the first degree.-
    (1) A person is guilty of extortion in the first degree if he or she commits extortion by means of a threat as defined in RCW 9A.04.110(27) (a), (b), or (c).
    (2) Extortion in the first degree is a class B felony.

    RCW 9A.56.130 Extortion in the second degree.-
    (1) A person is guilty of extortion in the second degree if he or she commits extortion by means of a wrongful threat as defined in *RCW 9A.04.110(25) (d) through (j)
    (2) In any prosecution under this section based on a threat to accuse any person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against any person, it is a defense that the actor reasonably believed the threatened criminal charge to be true and that his or her sole purpose was to compel or induce the person threatened to take reasonable action to make good the wrong which was the subject of such threatened criminal charge.
    (3) Extortion in the second degree is a class C felony.

    You do not prove a criminal case, the government does. The more information you can give the government prosecutor, the more likely it is that they will take your case and will win your case. You should talk to a criminal attorney for more specific advice, or the local police or the local prosecutor’s office to determine what is specifically needed in your case.

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  • Regarding an L&I case, is it legal for someone to video tape a claimant inside a store in Washington state?

    Labor and Industries

    Gary’s Answer

    I am sorry. This is probably not what you want to hear. But ...

    The law is not that clear. And it depends on what is being recorded and under what circumstances. There is no substitution to talking with an attorney about your specific case.

    In Washington it is illegal to audio record a private conversation without the permission of everyone being recorded (RCW 9.73 Privacy, Violating Right of). But there must be some expectation of privacy. If the recording is say on a playground, then there is no expectation of privacy. Oddly, it is generally not illegal to record video only. There are some exceptions, such as when the person being recorded has some expectation of privacy.

    And there can be restrictions on how the recording is used. Defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, copyright and many other areas of law may come in to play.

    Based on what you have said, there is usually no reasonable expectation of privacy in a store, and usually no restriction on using a video taken in a public place like a store as evidence of whether you have an L&I claim.

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  • I received a subpoena to inspection of my premises because illegal downloading movie

    I did not download movie but it may have been my son or his friends.What me need to do whis this letter?Please help!

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You probably received a subpoena for your ISP to release your name and address, not to inspect your premises. I agree with John, do not concede any facts in a public forum. You should be concerned. A federal law suit for copyright infringement is a serious matter. Your situation is too complicated to discuss in this forum. If you go to the EFF.org website you can find a list of attorneys who deal with this issue. I am on that list. So is John Whitaker. Either of us would be a good choice. I have dealt with close to 100 of these cases over the last almost 3 years. Please give me a call at 206 524-0655.

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  • Can I be denied service by a retailer and/or on what grounds?

    I re-sell a national retailers' products on Amazon (I buy retail, mark up and ship to locations where the retailer is not operating). I was asked not to shop at the retailer by a store manager and by the corporate spokesperson (I called the head o...

    Gary’s Answer

    Not a simple question. The answer is rather complicated, and is very fact specific. If you want some general legal information on this subject, look at my article “Legal Issues for Online Sellers” available for free download at http://www.marshallcomputer.com/resources.html.

    I assume you are talking about territories within the United States. Under copyright law’s first sale doctrine, you have a right to buy products that are protected by copyright and resell them. But the retailer/manufacturer has a right to choose not to sell to you if they don’t want to. They do not need a reason. And Amazon has a right to kick you off of their website, for any reason or no reason at all, and they usually do kick people off their website when a manufacturer or major retailer complains to them. Under trademark law, you may be infringing on the retailer/manufacturer’s trademarks, depending upon the specific facts. And as the other attorney pointed out, if you have a contract with the company, then the terms of the contract are usually controlling. There may be other legal principles that apply as well, depending upon the specific facts.

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  • Is it illegal to record a conversation in public without the other persons concent?

    My Ex wife has a history of being verbally abusive toward me in front of our Son. We tried to have a discussion about a disagreement over our parenting plan and i recorded the conversation without her knowledge. Once again she became verbally abus...

    Gary’s Answer

    This type of question comes up often.

    The law is not that clear. And it depends on what is being recorded and under what circumstances.

    In Washington it is illegal to audio record a private conversation without the permission of everyone being recorded (RCW 9.73 Privacy, Violating Right of). But there must be some expectation of privacy.

    And there can be restrictions on how the recording is used. Defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, copyright and many other areas of law may come in to play.

    You should consult an attorney who is familiar with this area of law, such as myself, and go over the specific facts of your case with that person if you want a more definitive answer.

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  • How do I fight against a suit for allegedly infringing on copyrights?

    Allegedly on 10/23/2012 at 11:08:28 am GMT on a IP address assigned to my address, I supposedly uploaded or downloaded a movie without permission from Riding Films INC. If I have not provided enough information please let me know.

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I assume you have received a notice from your ISP threatening a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement. . You should be concerned. A federal law suit for copyright infringement is a serious matter. Your situation is too complicated to discuss in this forum. If you go to the EFF.org website you can find a list of attorneys who deal with this issue. I am on that list. I have dealt with close to 100 of these cases over the last almost 3 years. Please give me a call at 206 524-0655.

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  • I received a letter from Comcast saying that I violated some copyrights and they need to release my info to some company.

    The letter is saying I'm infringing the copyrights by uploading or downloading a movie without permission. The letter is attached with a subpoena & a court order. here's a copy from the letter (please type the following link in your browser DON't ...

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You should be concerned. A federal law suit for copyright infringement is a serious matter. Your situation is too complicated to discuss in this forum. If you go to the EFF website that the other attorneys mentioned, you can find a list of attorneys who deal with this issue. John is on that list. I am also on that list. I have dealt with close to 100 of these cases over the last almost 3 years. Please give John or me a call. I can be reached at 206 524-0655.

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  • Someone posted a picture of my 2 year old grand daughter without the mother's permission on Facebook, is this legal?

    Someone posted a picture of my 2 year old grand daughter without the mother's permission on Facebook, is this legal? The mother has asked the Facebook page owner to take the picture down because she did not give permission and they will not take i...

    Gary’s Answer

    Under most circumstances it is permissible. But there are many exceptions (such as right of publicity, invasion of privacy, child pornography, defamation, copyright infringement, harassment, etc.) For a more definitive answer, you need to consult an attorney and go over the specific facts of your case.

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  • Is it against the law to audio record someone without their knowledge in Washington State, and then share it with others?

    I am a high school coach. I had to reprimand my team for a social media issue and I have recently found out that one of my team members was recording me on her cell phone. She shared it with friends and parents. Is this legal? I did not know s...

    Gary’s Answer

    In Washington it is illegal to audio record a private conversation without the permission of everyone being recorded (RCW 9.73 Privacy, Violating Right of). But there must be some expectation of privacy. Every case is different and is dependent upon the specific facts and circumstances of that case. If you want a definitive answer you need to sit down with an attorney and discuss your case. But based on the facts as you have stated them so far, if you were addressing a large group and one of the people in that group recorded your conversation that was directed at the group, it is hard to see how you would have any expectation of privacy.

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