I want to copyright the Name I use for a website and all of my Social Media. Also, I built a phone app and FB page I was told that I could not use the Term "Availability List" as it infringed in intellectual property and is a Term used by IATSE Un...
No. let’s start with what copyright CAN protect. Copyright protects “original works” that are stored in a reproducible medium. Protectable works include literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as novels, songs, poetry, movies, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does NOT protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. You may, however, seek protection of a name or saying as a trademark. A trademark is any feature or characteristic, usually a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, which 1) identifies the source of the product or service to the consumer; and 2) distinguishes the source of the product or service from those of others.
Re the cease and desist letter, your best bet would be to consult with an Intellectual Property attorney who can evaluate and analyze your case and advise you of your options.See question
I make leather shoes from home and recently i got a notice about a patent infringment. the patent seems extreamly vauge.
Your question can’t be answered with the information you have provided. Here are some guidelines. Initially, you need to engage a patent attorney, preferably one who does both litigation and prosecution (writing patent applications and engaging the PTO to try to get it allowed). Your patent attorney will tell you that it is the claims which define the invention and determine what the patent owner can enforce against infringers. So the first thing that need be done is to determine the scope and meaning of the claims. However, that is rarely as simple as reading the claims to see what they say; it is much more involved than that. Once the scope and coverage of the claims have been determined, then the claims will need to be compared to the accused product to determine if there is infringement, and compared to the prior art to determine if they are valid. Of course, it is possible that your patent attorney will conclude that the claims are not even valid or are otherwise unenforceable. Only after the analysis has been done will you be in a position to determine how you should respond, taking into account not just the strength of your legal position but also economic factors (cost of litigation). So, first thing is first, you need to contact a patent attorney and run your case by him/her. Good luck.See question
Is it possible to file a patent without publicly revealing the name of the inventor?
No, In the U.S., a patent application for an invention must be filed in the name of the actual inventor. You may be confusing patent with copyright, where a work can be registered under a pseudo name (also called a pen name). There are also instances at the U.S. Patent Office where anonymity works. for example, an Ex-Parte request for Reexamination of an issued patent can be made without disclosing the identity of the true requesting party.See question
Let's say night clubs for dancing didn't exist. Could someone then file a patent application and patent it as a novel venue for entertainment, with a broad claim comprising only minimal essential structural elements like dancefloor, bar area, etc?...
Yes, you can, provided, you meet the eligibility conditions for passing muster for a business method patents. The three basic criteria for patenting an invention are: utility (meaning the invention has some practical use); novelty (meaning it has not been done before) and non-obviousness (i.e., there has to be a demonstrable, meaningful difference between your invention and what has been done before). With regard to business method patents, The U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 decision in Alice set forth a two step process for determining eligibility of business method patents. The first step inquires as to whether the invention mostly consists of a patent-ineligible concept such as laws of nature, natural phenomena or abstract ideas. If so, the second step asks whether the invention has an "inventive concept" that adds up "to significantly more than a patent upon the ineligible concept itself." If so, the subject matter IS patent eligible. In your example, your patent attorney needs to evaluate and study your particular case and determine whether a persuasive argument under applicable standards for patentability of business method patents can be made. Good luck.See question
I am in the final week of 6 months from receiving a Final Office Action from USPTO for my patent application (so need to pay for 3-month time extension, plus RCE). But the Final Office Action contains a couple of procedural errors in it. Namely, I...
The key issue here is that you are prosecuting your patent application before the PTO without the aid of a patent attorney. That is not advisable for the main reason that even if you succeed in getting a patent allowed, the end product (i.e., the issued patent) is much more likely to suffer from defects and deficiencies that will likely prevent you from realizing the full potential of the patent in the market place. Your best bet, then, is to contact a patent attorney and discuss your case with him/her. If it makes sense, let the attorney take the case forward. Good luck.See question
I want to create an online quiz/game where players have to identify people, places and things from public domain photos, including closeups just of the subject's hair or eyes. People make up only 10% of the quiz's images, but I'm fuzzy on what law...
California law is quite strict in limiting unauthorized use of another’s “name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness” on products or merchandise, or for the purposes of advertising or promotion. In addition to statutory basis, California has common law (judge made law) re right of publicity, which are even broader than the statutory rights and apply to noncommercial uses and to uses beyond, name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness. Finally, California law extends the publicity rights to the deceased for a period of seventy (70) years after their death. You need to be careful and consult with an Intellectual Property attorney before you proceed with your plan. Good LuckSee question
I have an idea to change the packaging of an existing product with something for sports fans. I would like to file a patent online but I'm not sure what forms I will need. I know I need a drawing of the idea. I'm not sure if I need a prototype. It...
Yes, you can. In fact, most patents are obtained on improvements made to existing products, processes or systems. As a vivid example, the first patent on a gasoline powered automobile was issued in Germany in 1886. Since then, over two hundred thousand “improvement” patents have issued around the world on the same basic concept. To qualify for a patent, your improvement invention needs to meet three basic conditions. First, it has to be useful, Second, it has to be novel (meaning new), and Third, it has to be non-obvious (meaning there has to be a meaningful difference between your invention and what has been done before.) Regarding the other part of your question, to file the patent yourself, I would strongly caution you against that. First, you will have a hard time getting your patent allowed without the help of a patent attorney. Even if you do manage to get it through, you will have a very difficult time enforcing it in court against infringers. Your best bet it to seek advice and counsel from an experienced patent attorney. Good Luck.See question
The protection you would seek depends on the design. In general, a design may be eligible for protection under design patent, trademark, or copyright laws. Each category of protection is subject to its own specific rules and criteria. A design patent may be available for aesthetic and decorative aspects of products, which have utility. For e.g., an automobile wheel; an athletic shoe, child clothing, food containers, etc. Trademark protection may be available for any feature, characteristic or aspect, which identifies a product or service to the consuming public and distinguishes products or services offered under it from those offered by competitors. Trademark can be a name, logo, color, sound, shape or a product, or any combination thereof. Finally, a design may be protected by copyright. Copyright protection is available or original works, such as musical, dramatic, artistic and literary works, including poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Your best bet is to consult with an Intellectual Property attorney who can evaluate your particular case and advise you accordingly. Good Luck.See question
I am starting a fantasy football site. Currently it's free to join, but I do plan to offer prizes even though it's free to play. Can I use names and logos and team names on my site (I presume the answer is no to that question). But can I at the v...
There are at least three different questions here. First, you can’t use the player’s names because that would violate the player’s rights to publicity. Next, you can’t use the team logos because they are very likely protected by trademark rights. Finally, you can’t use the team names because that would violate the team’s trademark as well. Your best bet would be to consult with an intellectual property rights to verify the above and consider alternative names and/or logos that would achieve your objectives without potentially getting you in legal hot water. Good luck.See question
I'd like to use a fictional brand, which was used in a movie, for my business and a slightly modified version of its logo (I found it on the Internet, the creator marked it as public domain).
Yes, you can, IF there are no protected rights in the name and logo. First, you want to make sure that there are no intellectual property rights attached to either the name or logo. Either the name or the logo could be subject to trademark protection. A trademark (including tradename and logo) is any feature or characteristic which identifies a product or service to the consuming public, and distinguishes the product or service from those of its competitors. In addition, the logo you want to use may be protected by Copyright. Copyright protection can cover works such as pictures, photos, writings, dramatic works, songs, sculpture and the like. Finally, even if there is no intellectual property rights attached to the name, it may be already registered as a business name. Your best bet is to consult with a business/IP attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Good LuckSee question