Questions tagged [intellectual-property]

For questions concerning the ownership of ideas, designs and creative work. Specific IP tags include copyright, trademark, and patents.

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4answers
123 views

How can I legally use trademarked entities in my free computer game?

I'm making a free computer game based on Star Trek. It'll reference a few characters from the show, along with the Enterprise. My understanding is by using character names from the show, I risk ...
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1answer
65 views

How binding are NDA's? [closed]

I live in South Africa, I have some research work that holds very good financial potential. This research to be conducted will be done in a group headed by me, how can I protect my idea from being ...
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1answer
47 views

How to protect my trademark application from a well funded startup?

I created a software application in the transportation space in 2016, and I applied for a trademark for a variant of the name (same sound, extra letter at the end) with an Intent to Use application in ...
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1answer
129 views

Can I use an image from The Wolf of Wallstreet for a social media vacancy? [closed]

I hope this is the right site for a question like this, but I want to use an image of Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) from the movie The Wolf of Wallstreet to use as a background for a social media post ...
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1answer
332 views

Trade restrictions on open source software

Apparently the US has put Huawei on a trade blacklist that prevents US companies to trade with Huawei. With hardware and proprietary software it is straightforward how this can be executed (don't make ...
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2answers
82 views

How does the Supreme Court ruling in *Fourth Estate* not undermine the DMCA's notice-and-takedown process?

The Supreme Court recently ruled in Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com that copyright registration occurs (and thus an infringement action can be brought) only after the Copyright Office takes action ...
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1answer
32 views

About Course Intellectual Property

Can you legaly share a course (without asking the writer) if you always quote who wrote it? I said "always" because I'm talking about a large scale, not a private conversation on Facebook for example....
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2answers
38 views

Purchasing Electronic Books from Foreign Store

The question is motivated by my multiple attempts to find a legal way of obtaining Japanese-language electronic books from their official stores (let is be, say, Amazon.co.jp, though for Rakuten, ...
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2answers
369 views

did you consent because you could have seen a poster?

Instead of a signed release, in recent years I'm seeing posters saying that if you walk in an area you consent to the commercial use of your likeness for unlimited purposes without payment. At least ...
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1answer
111 views

Are computer generated error messages subject to copyright?

In firefox, it throws up a generated error in response to the website that im creating (which is my work). can i then copy and paste part of that error into my program as part of a solution im writing?...
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6answers
3k views

What does the copyright in a dissertation protect exactly?

I am a PhD student and I was recently told that unless I publish the content of my dissertation, my university will not be able to freely conduct research in the same research area after I graduate. ...
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2answers
88 views

Assignment of Inventions with Employer

I have signed assignment of inventions with my employer. The exact wordings is not available to me - however I remember vaguely that it dealt with all inventions by employees being company's property. ...
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1answer
76 views

What's the best way to apply the 17 U.S. code 121 to obtain a copy of music in an alternative format?

I am interested in getting a score from Hal Leonard Corporation, but they might not be able to transcribe it to Braille directly, so that's something I will have to do myself. Would I need to provide ...
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1answer
16 views

Registering a model of an existing item as a protected design in UK

The UK maintains a database of "registered designs", and by registering your design here (in my basic understanding) this affords some degree of legal protection against others copying your design, ...
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3answers
184 views

What laws are being broken by publishing a non-redacted version of the Muller Report?

What laws might be broken if someone created a non-redacted version of the Muller Report? That is, suppose they wrote a version of the redacted portions and claimed they have no idea if it's the ...
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2answers
285 views

How can one protect a teaching method?

I've created a new teaching method. My research, back to 1922, has not found any other instance of it in history. Yes, there are elements, names, that could be protected but of course that will not ...
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2answers
270 views

What is the legal significance of stating that one does not own or claim rights in an uploaded youtube video?

I mean often you see uploaded videos containing content presumably copyrighted by 3rd party with the uploader stating: "I don't own any rights in this video" What effect does stating such have? Is ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Do sports figures control the right to use their name in a game?

In sports game simulations, do real people control the ability to use their name? I am not talking about their likeness, only their name. So, for example, if there is a game that uses generic figures ...
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1answer
49 views

Is it legal to quote a copyrighted work in a tweet?

For example, if you want to tweet a humorous riff on a certain William Carlos Williams poem, would that actually be legal? Examples (though I don't mean to single anyone out): https://twitter.com/...
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0answers
46 views

Ownership of a machine learning model conceived using employer's data

I want to experiment with my employer's proprietary data to create a machine learning model. My employment IP agreement states that this model would not be in the same domain as its operations, thus, ...
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0answers
35 views

Fair use of hardware/software configuration data

I’ve searched through the questions/answers here and after reading several, I’m still confused about this situation. Wile E. Coyote has purchased the latest and greatest Road Runner Acquisition and ...
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2answers
151 views

Is a book formatting subject to copyright laws?

I'm an IT professional who happens to be interested in EU law. Currently and for the next about 2 years I am tasked with writing a rather lengthy document (estimations are about 1000 to 1,200 A4 ...
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2answers
214 views

Hacking devices to unlock features: Legal or not?

There are 2 models of multimeter, A and B. Physically they are absolutely identical, yet model B has some functions unlocked, that are locked in model A. B costs about $400 more than A. If one tampers ...
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1answer
555 views

How to find the angle between Mickey Mouse's ears as specified in an official trademark?

The Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse's two ears sit on top of his head in such a way that the silhouette looks a bit like a water molecule, with the head as the oxygen atom and the two ears as the ...
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1answer
30 views

Reselling Value Added Products?

Imagining this scenario: I buy a miniature Intel computing product, that comes with a pre-installed Windows operating system for personal usage. Can I repurpose it by installing a customized Linux ...
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1answer
30 views

Work contract and own IP

I'm in contract negotiations with a company which have a trial period before offering full-time employment. Reading the contract, I felt the wording around own IP was a little vague. I am working on ...
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6answers
13k views

How can saying a song's name be a copyright violation?

I received an E-mail newsletter inviting me to watch a chorus perform several songs that were arranged for this occasion. They are also selling tickets, so I don't know if half of the profit is sent ...
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0answers
32 views

IP How to avoid writing out Assignment of Inventions

Most (all perhaps) software-related employment contracts want you to list out your prior inventions. I would like not to disclose some of my "inventions" (past projects and such). Wondering how I can ...
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1answer
4k views

Can a significant change in incentives void an employment contract?

Recently over at The Workplace there was a question regarding an employee withholding valuable information that they developed in their spare time. According to their employment contract all ...
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1answer
1k views

Is Van Gogh's Starry Night in the public domain?

The image I am talking about is here: The Wikimedia page indicates that: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the ...
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0answers
197 views

Can I remove a watermark applied by a software on my own work?

I was wondering if I can remove a watermark from an image created by me. I used a software to create the image (namely, Visual Paradigm Online): if I subscribe to a commercial license, the software ...
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3answers
162 views

Can someone legally use the word Java in a business name?

Assume someone wanted to open a real estate office and wanted to use the name Java Realty, would that violate the Java (programming framework) trademark?
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2answers
114 views

Can I make a copy of a well-known movie or video game character in my own artistic style?

If I were to take a well-known character from a movie or video game, lets say Super Mario, and I drew an image of him in my own art style, completely from scratch. Would I be infringing on Nintendos ...
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1answer
41 views

Inventorship 101

Let's say that Peter asked Alice to run a process (X) with the objective of achieving (A). Peter gave Alice part of the execution plan to achieve (A). I other words, the idea of doing (X) to achieve (...
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1answer
24 views

Can trademark attorneys advertise in UK?

In some countries, it's illegal for trademark and patent attorneys to advertise. Is it also the case in the UK?
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2answers
244 views

Is it legal to pose as a competitor's customer?

If company X wants to find out information about company Y's online product, is it illegal for X to hire a contractor to pose as a customer using false details? Assuming no documents are signed, has ...
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2answers
87 views

Copyright Law for Logo Design that Incorporates a Royalty Free Vector Design [closed]

I am designing a logo for a for profit company. This logo design consists of letters that represent the name of the company but also incorporate a silhouette of a city skyline merged with these ...
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3answers
2k views

Can pricing be copyrighted?

Say a service is offered with pricing for 1 hour, 2 hours ... 12 hours. Assume there is some sort of custom calculation used to determine discounts after the first hour (e.g. if the first hour is $100,...
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1answer
102 views

Sue the Girl Scouts

Some Girl Scouts have rebranded their Samoa cookies into Momoas. Could Jason Momoa sue the Girl Scouts for using his likeness without his permission? Or would this constitute some fair use or public ...
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1answer
80 views

Is it legal to create a carbon copy of an application?

A couple of days ago, an acquaintance of mine asked for help with an application for his non-profit company. This application was already done previously by people who the client hired previously. He ...
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1answer
264 views

IP ownership in software contract clauses

Many software contract templates will say something along the lines of "All intellectual property [...] that is developed or produced under this Agreement, will be the sole property of the Client." ...
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1answer
283 views

Can I use a copyrighted work made by a company if that company is out of business?

So I have considered sharing music clips made by a company and am worried about getting sued. The company in question has gone out of business a few years ago. I also tried to look up the work in ...
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3answers
110 views

What is the legality of using patented hardware with open-source software?

I'm working with hardware from a company that is very serious about intellectual property protection. There are over 2,000 patents filed on the technology this hardware enables. The hardware is ...
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0answers
27 views

Does the “Expired - Lifetime” status of US patents allow all types of future use of the IP?

I recently found a patent that has expired this month after almost 20 years. The original inventor still has not done anything substantial with his idea, and frankly, it is a really cool and doable ...
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1answer
31 views

Music Law - what type of liscence is required?

I am a playwright designing a show for the cruise line industry and am curious about the rights and licenses that apply to using popular music in my show. I intend to play the popular music, (as the ...
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1answer
70 views

Can Snapchat sue me if I use name “Snap” in my commercial project?

I plan to name my commercial web project as ____Snap. My website will be unrelated to what SnapChat is offering and in a different industry, but idea of short living content is the same.
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1answer
104 views

Is making a home music server legal?

I am planning to make a Local-Area-Network personal music server program. The idea is that the program lets you host your music so you can stream it from any of your devices on your local network (...
2
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1answer
80 views

Who, at a company, is allowed to release code under (open source) license?

Suppose I wanted to release some code I wrote for my employer as an open source project, who at the company would be allowed to do that in the eyes of the law? I ask about open source, but I suppose ...
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2answers
237 views

Is it legal to unlock artificially limited hardware yourself?

Some companies sell hardware that is limited by some means, so that they can charge for upgrades. For example some Tesla cars have batteries with some capacity unavailable to the user unless they pay ...
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1answer
35 views

Is it work-for-hire if the hirer doesn't own copyright on collective work?

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_for_hire#Law_in_the_United_States, work done by an an independent contractor may qualify under work-for-hire if it's a contribution to a collective work. But ...

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