I want to trademark a brand name for a line of clothing that was used by a company in the past, but that company has not been in business for several years. What is involved in making sure the name is available and how do I go about trademarking i...
This is a very common issue. In fact, only today I filed a trademark application for a company that is attempting to use the name of a once famous chain of bar/restaurants that went out of business. We filed this trademark application only after conducting an exhaustive trademark search and analysis in all relevant markets (U.S. and foreign) where my present client expects to operate. We also conducted extensive research and investigation to determine whether the prior trademark owner had truly abandoned the trademark, or might still be holding onto it.
You can start the analysis by conducting a search of the USPTO data base, and then expand it to the proprietary data bases that law firms use to permit more comprehensive searches of state, federal and foreign trademarks. In the case I am working on today, our searches revealed that previously registered trademarks had been abandoned in the U.S., Canada, Mexcio and Europe according to governmental regulatory authorities. Even so, it is not enough to search governmental registration data bases to be sure that the trademark has been abandoned. There are many examples of famous, successful companies who fail to renew and maintain their registered federal trademarks, but continue to use their trademarks in their businesses. In this regard, it is important to note that registration is not necessary to have trademark rights in the U.S.---even a company that abandons its federally registered rights may maintain those rights in "common law" by continuing to use it in commerce. Thus, your abandonment analysis (which should be conducted by experienced counsel) must go beyond the standard governmental data bases, and include a comprehensive common law search. It is my practice in such situations to attempt to contact the prior trademark owners (or the company) and confirm the owners that the brand is no longer being used. If you can find the prior trademark owners and establish that they truly ceased using the trademark and did not assign it to third parties, that will probably mean you are safe in using it.
This, obviously, is a complex matter. Thus, I strongly advise that as a first step, you retain experienced, competent counsel to conduct a comprehensive search to make sure that the trademark has really been abandoned. If so, then you can easily apply to register a trademark in the abandoned brand name,
I note that you say that the company "has not been in business for several years." That may be so, but that does not mean that the trademark has been abandoned. I have often found out over the years that companies that go out of business may transfer or assign their trademark rights to others who use the trademark in a similar business, but who may not be as prominent or well known. The only way you will know whether the mark has been abandoned from a legal standpoint is to retain legal counsel to conduct a comprehensive trademark search.
Be wary of lawyers or on-line search firms that offer to conduct this work for you for small amount of money (i.e., a couple of thousand dollars). In a situation like this, you need to invest in a comprehensive search by competent, experienced counsel. And it won't be cheap if it is done right. Abandoned brand names can be very valuable, but it takes a significant investment in legal resources before you can be confident that you can freely use the abandoned brand name.See question
Getting them straight is hard! _______________________ ) ) ) ...
Truth is most lawyers have experienced secretaries and paralegals who handle this,
But if you are writing motion papers in a court proceeding without legal assistance, you are probably going to find that the format is the least of your problems.See question
Hi, my name is Albert I am a product developer I would like to ask if I take three different products and put it together to make one new product. is this legal. And patent it as my new idea. My e-mail is--> email@example.com
Probably not, but I would need much more information be I could definitively advise you. If the products that you want to combine together are covered by patents or trademarks, chances are you can't do this without permission of the manufacturers. A classic example is a Christmas gift basket---a company that makes a high quality bottle of wine might not want its trademark associated with a company that makes cheap generic cheese and crackers. Therefore, using the trademark of the company that makes the fancy wine in connection with sale of a gift basket that contains products of less quality could give rise to trademark infringement claims since the public might be confused as to the source and quality of the items in the gift basket. Further, there may already patents covering the combination of the three products at issue into a single product, and you could not safely make such a combination without retaining legal counsel to analyze whether it would violate existing patents.
Your proposal to combine three products into a new one also raises substantial consumer safety, regulatory, and product liability law issues. A product that has been tested and declared safe by regulators for one use, may not be considered safe when combined into a new product. There are very complex federal and state regulations applicable to products like this. You will have especially difficult problems if your product could be used by children, since there are especially tight federal and state safety regulations for products that could be used by children.
Before could go down this road, you will need to retain a law firm with expertise in several areas of the law including intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks), consumer product safety, product liability, corporate law and perhaps others.
The good news, is that assuming that you have the licenses and regulatory permissions you will need to transforms the three products into a new product, you can probably get a patent on the new product if it is novel, non-obvious, and "enabled" (the basic requirements for getting a patent). But even if you can get a patent on the new product, that won't avoid liability if your new product infringes existing patents, copyrights, trademarks or other IP rights. Nor will a patent absolve you of your responsibility to comply with consumer safety regulations. Your next step, if you want to proceed down this road, is to retain a law firm with expertise in the disciplines that you need (no one lawyer can possibly have expertise in all these areas---that's why lawyers practice in laws firms), which include intellectual property law, licensing, corporate law, consumer product safety, FDA regulation, and probably others.
And of course, you will need funding to lay the proper legal foundation. This will not be a simple $5,000 problem. The legal foundation for something like this inevitably is six figures or more. Companies that bring new products to the market (even small companies) invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Think about it this way: a 30 second commercial on an NFL football game in prime time is about $350,000 or more. You have to be realistic regarding cost--because bringing a product to market in legal and successful manner cannot be accomplished without adequate funding. And nothing is more important than laying the proper legal foundation. Many IP lawyers work with clients to help them develop strategies for obtaining the funding they need to pursue their dreams.See question
I was randomly searching the web and found my picture pasted on the front cover of an article? Is that legal and can i take legal measures?
I would need substantially more information before I could advise you. However, the First Amendment provides broad protection for journalists and publications to write about matters that may be interesting to members of the public, and this includes the right to post photographs of persons who are discussed in an article.
If your photograph was used without permission to endorse or sell a product, then it is possible that your right of publicity was violated.
Also, if you own the copyright in the photograph and it was published without your permission, you may have a copyright claim. But you don't own the photograph merely because you appear in it. Copyrights in photographs are owned by the photographer or the photographer's employer. Assuming you did not take the photograph, you have no claim for copyright infringement.
You might have a claim for defamation if the article makes false statements about you and the photograph shows you in an unflattering manner, But it is extremely hard to win defamation claims--you would have to prove that the publication or the author of the article acted with reckless disregard for the truth. And statements of opinion are fully protected by the First Amendment. So if someone expressed an unfavorable opinion about you, or posted a bad review of your services, you probably have no claim.
Without knowing many more facts and circumstances, it is hard to give you specific, definitive advice. But there is no general right to be "left alone". If you appear in a public forum or venue and someone takes your picture, it can be posted on the internet and there is not much you can do about it.See question
Good afternoon. I'm from Russia. I spent chaturbate live on the site. Then in my college people know about it and began to persecute me. My friend told me about this, that the pictures from the broadcasts are present on the internet just at the re...
I have worked in the school system for many years and I have seen how social workers do many things other than focus strictly on the issues at hand like split house holds, homelessness, etc. My wish is to create a academic based program hat could ...
You cannot patent a mere idea. Patents cover technological inventions such as a new drug, a new device, or a new method of treating a disease. Further, in recent years courts have made clear that "business methods" that involve abstract ideas cannot be patented.
If you develop textbooks, workbooks, and other such materials to implement your plan, these materials can be protected by a combination of copyright and trademark law. If you want to protect your IP rights in this plan, you will need to retain and work closely with IP counsel to develop an effective IP rights strategy. But it will not include patents.See question
I've been using Facebook with the same name for over 10 years, and today they sent me an email saying that if I don't furnish a picture of my government issued ID, they'll ban me from the site. In real life, I am the person I say I am on faceb...
This could be a scam or hoax. I would be very wary of providing this Photo ID to them unless you have assurances that the request is from a legitimate source. On the other hand, there may be reasons why Facebook or other such organizations could legitimately request photo ID. And they could suspend your account if you fail to cooperate.
I suggest that you consult with legal counsel, show your lawyer your facebook account and the requests for ID, and then allow your lawyer to analyze whether the request is legitimate and whether it is safe to cooperate by providing your ID. As I said above, I am suspicious about this request, which seems unusual, and you are certainly wise to raise questions about it.See question
I have a trademark of a cartoon character wearing sunglasses, if I want to use variations of the trademark with different hairstyle, facial expression and color do I need to trademark the variations or am I protected and others cannot use my varia...
You seem to have a basic misunderstanding of trademark law, and you need some advise on copyright law as well.
A trademark identifies the source of goods and services. In contrast, a copyright protects an original work of art, music, authorship, etc. Ordinarily, a drawing of a cartoon character would be protected by copyright law. It would only be properly used as a trademark if it is used to identify the source of goods and services. A trademark (or logo) is a "brand" name used to identify a brand. Once you choose your trademark, you must use the same trademark (or logo) consistently to identify your brand.
You can use a cartoon character as a trademark if you use it to identify your "brand". But if you choose to use it in this manner, you must use it consistently, and you cannot change it. If you change the logo, you are effectively changing the "branding". You are free to change your brand, but you would need to treat this as a separate trademark, and if you want registered trademark rights, you would need to file a separate trademark application.
Of course, nothing stops you form using variations of your design on your t-shirt. These variations are not trademarks however. Rather, the would most likely be protected by copyright law---each new design would be subject to separate copyright protection.
It seems to me that your problem here arises from the fact that you have misused trademark law to protect your designs. Your designs probably should be protected by copyright law, not trademark law (although as I noted above, your designs could also be used as trademarks if their purpose is to identify you or your company as the source of the products (t shirts) that you sell.
With respect, you obviously need to retain legal counsel to guide you. Using a web-site like this as substitute for legal counsel is a mistake---it can lead to disastrous adverse consequences. If you want to have a successful business, you need to retain IP counsel to advise on an effective strategy for protecting your T-shirt designs---the strategy you have employed obviously is not correct.See question
We plan to have a New York photography show in China in 2017. We will display personal photo collections that can reflect real image of New York City. If some photos and content involved some specific New York business entity such as New York Life...
Before advising you, I would need much more information.
First, I don't know what you mean by "personal photo collection". The copyright in a photograph belongs to the photographer. In order to display the photographs legally, the photographer must either provide a license that allows use of the photographs, or assign the copyright in the photographs to you. If you are the photographer, then this will not be a problem. But if someone else took the photographs, then you will need to obtain the rights to use them in the show.
Secondly, in order to advise you, I would need much more information about the photographs, the show, and how you intend to present the photographs at the show. It is quite possible, indeed likely, that your use of photographs showing "real images" of New York City will be a form of fair use, protected by the First Amendment. However, it is also possible that use of trademarks or trade dress associated with famous companies or institutions would violate their trademark rights and/or rights of publicity. In general, it is permissible to take photographs of the exterior of buildings such as Yankee Stadium, and to use such photographs for a commercial purpose, or for purposes of art or journalism. However, if you take photographs within Yankee Stadium without permission, or on the Columbia University Campus without permission, you could be violating the restrictions that these institutions impose on taking and using photographs on their premises. Further, if you use the names of famous businesses, sports teams, or institutions to promote your show, you could be violating their trademark and publicity rights.
Note that if your use would violate the rights of these companies or institutions, it would not be sufficient to merely notify them. You would need to obtain their permission.
As stated above, most likely your use of the photographs will be justified under the fair use and first amendment doctrines, but there could be important exceptions to this. Unfortunately, these things are never as simple as we would like. You should definitely retain experienced IP counsel to advise you on this--ultimately, each photograph will have to be separately analyzed in context to determine whether it is permissible to use it in your show.See question
An organization already uses a name I wanted to trademark, but said organization operates in a completely different industry: Psychiatric help for war veterans, whereas I would operate in veterinary services. They are not trademarked however. Ev...
None of us can answer this question without more details. Trademark rights arise from use in commerce and exist even if they are not registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In this case, you are wise to recognize that an organization uses the name. And while it is in a different industry, there is an overlap because both organizations are involved in health care. If you are committed to this name, the best approach would be to work out a co-existence agreement with this other organization. Otherwise, you run the risk of expensive litigation if you use the name,
We regularly assist clients in situations like this. We are almost always able to help clients find dozens of alternative trademarks that do not have problems in common law or otherwise. My suggestion is that you retain experienced IP/trademark counsel to guide you.See question