I sketch a logo for my company that I'm starting up but I don't know if I should get it copyright or trademark. The logo will appear on apparel. Should this be a trademark or a copyright?
Trademark protects the name or logo which identifies your company as the source of your apparel. Copyright protects original creative expression. Depending on how you intend to use the design, one or both may apply.
since the logo is being applied to clothing, a determination must be made about whether the design is a source indicator or ornamentation. A small symbol in the upper left portion of a shirt, for example, will generally be a source indicator, while a design across most of the front of a T-shirt will generally be ornamentation. Other factors come into play in making the determination.
Before adopting a trademark, I always recommend a full trademark search and clearance opinion. The search covers not only federal registrations, but also state registrations, telephone directories, Dunn & Bradstreet, trade directories, Internet domain names, Internet searches, and other sources of information about common law trademarks. Variations, fragments, and misspellings of the mark are searched, so that any mark that might present a risk of confusion is identified. The results of the search are then analyzed, and a written opinion prepared. If the results are favorable, then you can be reasonably assured that you will not receive a cease and desist letter after having spent thousands of dollars on signage, advertising, etc., making the search very worthwhile.
Because the logo includes design elements, be aware that searching common law sources is generally limited to words. However, registered marks can be searched for design elements, and you can at least search for registered or pending designs here: http://www.wipo.int/branddb/en/
If the search results are favorable, then an application for federal registration should be promptly filed. This can be done based on a bona fide intention to use the mark, but actual use of the mark is required in order to complete the registration process.
If the logo has sufficient original creative expression, copyright may also be appropriate. Although trademark protection is the most important, and generally provides a greater scope of protection, copyright protection can be a worthwhile addition in some cases.See question
I am a contract employee (graphic artist) for an apparel manufacturer. My pay is commission based - a percentage of profit per job. We make team sportswear - I design team uniforms and retail garments from scratch. I have never been on payroll for...
The answer depends on whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. If you are an employee, then the work you performed is a work made for hire, owned by the employer. If you are an independent contractor, then you own the copyright in your designs in the absence of a written work made for hire agreement or assignment.
If the company is using your designs with your consent, and paid you for the designs, then they may have an implied license to continue using the designs after the relationship terminates.See question
I am looking to buy a domain similar to educationpluscareers. Is this something that I can get a trademark for?
Use of a domain name as an Internet address is not use as a trademark. However, if the domain name is also used as a trademark, identifying a source of goods or services, then the domain name can also be a trademark. Regardless, using a domain name that is confusingly similar to a pre-existing trademark is trademark infringement. Thus, you would want to be sure that no one else has a confusingly similar trademark before beginning use of a domain name.
In the example given, you would also run into the issue of whether the name is too descriptive or generic to acquire trademark rights. A generic mark describes a class of goods or services, and can never serve as a trademark. A descriptive trademark describes a quality or characteristic of the goods or services. A descriptive mark can only acquire trademark rights once it becomes known primarily as an indicator of a source of goods or services rather than as a description of the goods or services.See question
I have been working on a trading card game, but the legal issues never seem to end. To explain, many of the cards feature copyrighted or trademarked ideas and people. Instead of selling my game, may I give people access to the game for free withou...
The issues would remain, but you wouldn't be making a profit. Why not simply alter the game to avoid the issues?See question
There really is not anything else to explain.
Filing the application to register the play with the US Copyright Office is a critical step to giving teeth to your rights. Not only does registration make statutory damages and attorney fees available, but registration or a refusal to register is needed in order for a court to have jurisdiction to hear an infringement suit.
There is little reason to submit the play elsewhere, with the possible exception of registering the copyright in other countries if you anticipate performing or distributing the play in other countries.See question
i am having a onlinegame ap developed wanted to know if i can protect it
Your two possibilities are patent and copyright. Copyright certainly applies, and patent possible but less likely.
Copyright in the game is owned by the author in the absence of an assignment or work made for hire. A work made for hire is either a work made by an employee or a work made under a written work made for hire agreement. If you are the author, then you already own the work. If not, then you need to take steps to ensure that you own it.
Actually having any teeth to your Copyright requires registration. Particularly since the game is now published, you really want to file your application for registration within 3 months of the publication date. Registration provides the benefit of statutory damages (which, unlike actual damages, do not need to be proven) and attorney fees. However, if you fail to register within 3 months of publication, and someone begins infringing before you file your application for registration, then statutory damages and attorney fees are not available against that defendant for infringing that work. Actual damages and possibly an injunction would still be available, but your strongest remedies would be precluded.
The game can be patented if it is novel (no one has done it before) and nonobvious (not obvious to one skilled in the art and familiar with all prior art). Meeting those standards can be difficult for a game, but the possibility should be investigated. As with copyright, inventions are owned by the inventor(s) in the absence of an assignment. So, if others developed the app for you, then you need to obtain assignments from them.See question
Hi, I have this situation: I'm planning to import and sell a product produced in China. I've just noticed that a company posted on its website the same product mentioning in the description that it is "Patent pending". (posted in 2014) I cannot...
If the application is published, then you need to have a patent attorney evaluate the USPTO file history to determine the likelihood that a patent will be issued. If it appears likely, then I would not proceed.
If the application is not published, then some prior art searching and evaluation of the known prior art would be in order to determine if the product you intend to import includes any features that are not publicly disclosed in the prior art.
You should be aware that if the application is published, and if a patent is issued with claims that are substantially the same as the published claims, then you could be liable for damages for infringement dating back to the date of publication or the date that infringement commenced, whichever is later.See question
Good morning, everyone. Unfortunately, on Dec. 27 my grandma passed away unexpectedly. She was 85 years young and spunky, looking forward to another chapter in her life. My grandma was a life long Cubs fan, and even got to see them win it all afte...
Ideally getting permission would be best.
Putting the logo on a headstone is not a trademark use, since neither you nor your grandmother are using the logo to sell anything.
The most likely issue I see is copyright infringement if the logo is subject to copyright registration in addition to trademark registration. Depending on the amount of original creative expression in the logo, this may be the case.
I would not advise the headstone place to go into the business of selling headstones with such logos on them. At that point, it becomes a problem. For a single headstone, I cannot imagine that the gain for sending a cease and desist letter would be worth the public relations fallout.See question
I have something I would like to patent and/or copyright need an attorney to get the process going. I was sent a proposal contract with a company, but I am not sure if in the end they will try to take the rights to my product idea submitted if I s...
What kind of company? Is this a prospective licensee, or is this an invention promotion company? If the former, you need an attorney to review the document and advise you regarding whether changes are needed. If the latter, proceed with caution and investigate the company thoroughly before proceeding. Many invention promotion companies are scams, charging you large amounts of money to produce nice presentations that they are fully aware will lend up in the "round files" of all recipients.
You are entirely correct to try to protect your idea before trying to commercialize your idea. If it is an invention, then to qualify for patent protection, it has to be novel (no one has done it before) and nonobvious (not obvious to one skilled in the art and familiar with all prior art). You must be able to describe your invention in sufficient detail to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention. A patent attorney can help you determine whether patent protection is appropriate, and/or whether other forms of protection are appropriate.
Licensing an invention to a large company seems like the easiest way to go for many inventors. However, the likelihood of success is slim. Although this is a more time consuming and expensive path, in my opinion you have a higher chance of success by commercializing the invention yourself. This means preparing a business plan, working out a budget and financing, building a prototype, test marketing, and arranging for manufacture. If your invention is a consumer product, Kickstarter and similar websites provide a means of test marketing and fund raising at the same time while retaining 1005 equity in the business. Give serious thought to your commercialization plans. A patent protects your idea from theft by others, but it does not, by itself, create profit from your invention.See question
I asked a friend to write a verse to a song that I wrote. he did so and then turned around and released my song with out my knolge as well as selling my song online.
If the verse contains sufficient original creative expression to be independently copyrightable apart from the song, then inclusion of the verse in your song would make your friend a co-author of the song. He would then be entitled to copy and distribute the song, but must account to you for his net profits from doing so.
If the verse is just a short phrase that would not be sufficient for copyright protection, then you are the sole copyright owner, and copying and distributing the song would violate your copyright. You would be entitled to actual damages and an injunction. Unfortunately, unless the application for registration was filed before your friend's first infringing act, statutory damages and attorney fees would not be available. This unfortunately puts you in a weak position, since the costs of suit are likely far more than this matter is worth unless the song is phenominally successful.See question