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Michael Essien

Michael Essien’s Answers

128 total


  • Is my volunteer work product my property or the organisation's?

    I volunteered as the editor for a small non-profit for many, many years producing (in my home on my computer & using my software) their newsletters, flyers, etc. Is my raw work product their property or mine?

    Michael’s Answer

    It depends on the starting point of your contribution. If your organization has your work product as part of the commissioned work, then it might belong to them as a work product. If you work has nothing to do with your organization, then it is easy to separate it. In all, do contact an Intellectual Property attorney to sort this out for you. Understand that some work may be done outside the work environment but is, of necessity, part of the work you do for the organization. There are other considerations because you are a volunteer. In all, check with an attorney.

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  • Best business entity for e-commerce

    I just acquired 2 e-commerce website ( drop shipping business) and I would like to register them. How can structure them so I can operate all those e-commerce under the same LLC entity I would like open ? I was thinking to open an LLC in Wyoming...

    Michael’s Answer

    While it is legal to minimize tax obligations to the extent allowable by law, you should be wary of going to another territory just for that reason. Operating e-commerce sites under one business name can be done well if you plan and have enough understanding of that process at the beginning. Consult a professional - tax and legal before firming up your business formation.

    It is difficult,without details, to advise on location of corporation. As earlier advice shows, an LLC provides you the benefits of a corporation with flow-through incomes and related benefits.

    Good luck.

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  • Do you need permission or image rights to recreate sporting events on t-shirts?

    I have some ideas for t-shirts that recreate sporting events in a stylized fashion. These are not copies of photographs but my own interpretation of the events. Do I need permission from the individuals involved to use their image or permission fr...

    Michael’s Answer

    It is always good policy to obtain permission before using proprietary information. Most teams invest some resources to create their images and variations of such may be subject to ownership and protection. If you are not sure, consult an intellectual property attorney for guidance. Understand that an interpretation in the abstract may not be sufficient to assure permission to use - that is a major reason to consult. Be safe than sorry as intellectual property infringement is not cheap.

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  • My husband and I run a corp, we are sole owners. I want out, how do it get my name off of the business?

    business is not doing well, we are not in good standing and debt continues to pile up.

    Michael’s Answer

    Without extending the reach of your concerns to marital/family issues, you need to review the organizational document that is in place. That document will help decide how to get out of a business. Getting your name off the business may not be sufficient to remove the liabilities which I suspect is why you are concerned.

    From your question, you need to understand the implication of your desire. Do you want your wife as the only owner? Are you interested in just having your name withdrawn? Many questions that you should ask a business attorney (and maybe a family attorney).

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  • I was sued. during the hearing the plaintiffs attorney knowingly presented false evidence. What can I do about it?

    I was sued for fraud. It was a jury trial. The jury found me guilty of fraud. The court hasn't made a ruling yet. During the trial, the plaintiffs attorney presented evidence that was false. The false evidence was regarding patent applications. Th...

    Michael’s Answer

    This forum is hardly where you can get answers to your specific issue. Time is really of the essence as you may be able to appeal this ruling or take other actions to address your specific issue. I advise that you contact an attorney to help you sort this out.

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  • Can I use a business name that includes within it the name of another business if we sell different products?

    For instance: an out of state pottery artisan without a registered trademark operates under the name XYZ to locally produce handcrafted goods. I want to use the name XYZ Supply Co. and sell apparel to pottery artisans online. Clearly we are in dif...

    Michael’s Answer

    The key word is your use of "confusion." If you or any reasonable consumer can read a likelihood of confusion, then there is some challenge in the making for you. Often times, the questions are deeper than what is presented; I advise you to contact a trademark attorney for a deeper dive into your issue. Most will provide a free consultation before going too far.

    The other/earlier answers should be instructive.

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  • Is This A Legitimate Way to Work Around a Competitors Patent?

    The independent claim on our competitors patent claims the following elements (edited to highlight key elements): 1) a {front} surface; 2) a {back} surface; 3) substantially symmetrical {left and right} surfaces residing between the {front} su...

    Michael’s Answer

    This is not a legitimate way to work around a competitor's patent because any informed opinion requires more that a paragraph in an open forum. You should consult an experienced patent attorney. Aside from your questions reading as if you are very versed in intellectual property, an answer gleaned from this process can only be shallow and would not do for you what you need. Seek the services of a patent attorney and get more specific answers before you infringe on the patent you are trying to design around.

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  • What type of lawyer should I be looking for to advise me in the patent process?

    I have a new use for an existing product, an over-the-counter topical medication.

    Michael’s Answer

    My colleagues have already placed you in good hands. You need a patent attorney - one who is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Since your invention is likely to be in the chemical area, make sure your attorney has some experience in such field, such as chemistry, chemical engineering, biological sciences or related field. Take advantage of the many who offer free consultation.

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  • How do I make a patent for my design, if it doesn't exist already in Europe and the US and what non disclosure agreement I need?

    I would like to start my own company producing a specific bra I have designed. I have found the manufacturer but I have a lot of questions before proceeding I am hoping you can help me with. How can I make a patent for my bra if its possible ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Specifically, if you have or think your invention is new to the world, the best way to limit the likelihood of being wrong is to have a patent professional help you with a search. A patent attorney should be able to guide you in that process.

    It is a bit tricky having someone in Hong Kong adhere to your agreement - again, this is better addressed by professionals, such as your attorney.

    It is a safe advice that you should talk to a patent attorney before you invest too much resources into it. A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. Talk to a patent attorney. It will be money well spent.

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  • Local photographer owns copyrighted Prince photographs. How can he protect his rights?

    My friend is a retired professional photographer. He owns the rights to most of Prince's photographs. Since Prince's death, photographs are being published without any royalties or contracts. People magazine notified him today that they are ...

    Michael’s Answer

    The very first issue with your question is being sure that the photographs are actually yours and not Prince's by some virtue of production. Was this a "work for hire?". Assuming these photographs are yours and you can show such ownership. Statutory rights attain from registration with the Copyright office so your friend's capacity to extract all benefits of ownership may depend on whether these are registered.

    As for the negotiations and preventing others from using them, your friend needs an attorney with experience in these area to help him. People magazine should know how to properly obtain rights for images they use in their magazine; if he is not satisfied with their offer, have someone with experience negotiate that for your friend.

    Prince was a very popular person. So many issues arise from the public's need to know, and more!

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