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To patent or not to patent, and if so when?

I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by cestlavie on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Someone's Plagiarizing Our Blog, What Next?

So my friend and I have a blog with original content, and someone's stealing/reposting our material wholesale without proper attribution or even a link back to where they've nicked it. [more inside]
posted by agog on Feb 26, 2014 - 27 answers

Advice for drafting a legal will to release my IP into the public domain

I want to create a legal document declaring in robust legalese that all of my intellectual property (except works specifically noted) shall enter the public domain upon my death and a website to host (or link to p2p copies of) archives of those works. I want the legal documents to make it easy for other people to use or adapt for themselves and ideally for the site to act as a host or tracker for them to post to. I'm seeking legal and technical advice as well as general input in order to make this happen. [more inside]
posted by metaphorever on Jan 7, 2014 - 11 answers

Fashion innovation - is it IP?

I absolutely love the first pic in this BBC photo essay and I want to wear that. I have a problem with the morality in asking someone to riff on it. [more inside]
posted by jet_silver on Sep 25, 2013 - 10 answers

Social Site

I was just wondering if you come up with an idea for a social media type site, how do you go about protecting the idea as your own? Is there some sort of intellectual property or something you can get on it? [more inside]
posted by readygo on Jul 20, 2013 - 16 answers

Should I ask my employer to indemnify me against IP claims?

My new job includes editing and publishing materials to the Internet. We generate most of it in-house, but occasionally use stock photos, video provided by others etc. I would like my employment agreement to explicitly state that the company will not ask or require me to use works that we do not have permission to use, that they assert that any materials they provide are cleared for use, and that they will indemnify my against any claims that may arise if something becomes contested by someone claiming intellectual property rights. I want to offer them a one-paragraph section they can insert into the agreement. How do I write it? [more inside]
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Jul 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Why do some TV shows not mention real-life brands, yet others do?

Some TV shows (and movies, and novels) go out of their way to avoid mentioning real-life brands. This video shows countless mentions of faux social networks: Friendbranch, Facefinder, Friendnet, etc etc, rather than Facebook. But others freely portray real-life companies when they want to. How come? [more inside]
posted by so_necessary on May 29, 2013 - 27 answers

Emailed Excerpts--How Do They Work?

Every weekday I get an email from Delancey Place with an interesting excerpt from a book. Can you help me figure out how they avoid copyright infringement? [more inside]
posted by Colonel_Chappy on Mar 17, 2013 - 5 answers

Unsure of the procedure to obtain copyright permissions in this scenario

Okay, so I've composed a bunch of music to go with selections from a book of short stories, and things are coming together and I've started to perform & record them. They're mostly 1-2 minutes and the idea is that I'd record myself reading them along with the music; think of something along he lines of Ken Nordine's work. Anyways, it's just something I've been doing for fun, creativity for the sake of creativity and all that. But as it's finally coming together, I have an urge, naturally, to share it with people, at which point legal considerations arise. [more inside]
posted by mingo_clambake on Mar 13, 2013 - 1 answer

What would you say are the chances of this being parallel thought?

A recent post into the blue brought me to the attention of an electronic act calling itself Lazerhawk. At first I was just a bit amused, having myself used the name Lazerhawk for my metal music output. But when looking at some of their official artwork.. I started to get a bit.. upset. It bears a distinct resemblance to the logo I was using for my own Lazerhawk project.
posted by mediocre on Jan 31, 2013 - 12 answers

Does copyright law cover samples used in industrial sound design?

To what degree does copyright law cover the sounds objects make, when those sounds are actually samples? I know copyright law covers sampling in media; if I sample a song or other media, I need to check that my use of the sample aligns with various licenses. As far as I know, it doesn't cover the sounds of most other (non-media) objects: if I record the chiming sound a mechanical clock makes, as far as I know I don't need to ask anyone's permission. But what happens if my clock doesn't chime mechanically, but instead plays a sample of a chime? It's playing sound media; if I want to record it do I need to ask anyone's permission? [more inside]
posted by Michael Pulsford on Jan 24, 2013 - 10 answers

You don't need permission to dress up as a copyrighted character, but do you need permission to write about it?

My novel involves a costume party with some guests dressed as recognizable characters from films, TV, etc. I'm clearly not trying to claim them as my own and it's just all Halloween costumes, but am I asking to get sued? [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Oct 30, 2012 - 4 answers

From pipets to patents

From lab tech to law office. Help me be awesome! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 28, 2012 - 10 answers

Showing work in a UX design portfolio without violating NDA's/intellectual property laws

I'm updating my UX design portfolio. I've signed a NDA with my current employer so I can't show work that isn't already live. However, I have a lot of great mockups & wireframes I made either for prospective clients (that we didn't sign) or clients whose sites we haven't made live yet. I designed some amazing mockups for a huge client, but their site won't be live until 2013, and I really want to show my work now. How do I show my work in a way that doesn't violate my NDA? [more inside]
posted by matrushka on May 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Looking for a short story on copyright micropayments

Looking for a dystopian short story that made the rounds around half a year ago about intellectual property. It was (I believe) a father and daughter who go through emails and have to make micropayments for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, etc. Any thoughts? I may have seen it on MeFi or Boing Boing, and my google-fu is failing me.
posted by evadery on Feb 29, 2012 - 5 answers

Are fictional concepts fair game?

If I make a software implementation of a fictional religion described in a book published in the '70s, can I be subject to valid intellectual property lawsuits? YANML - understood. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Jan 30, 2012 - 16 answers

Looking for details on Microsoft's Android patents

What patents does Microsoft own related to Android and where did those patents originate? [more inside]
posted by mullacc on Sep 29, 2011 - 12 answers

How can I protect my interest while selling my website?

How can I protect my interest while selling my website? [more inside]
posted by jorlando on Sep 20, 2011 - 6 answers

Trademark Valuation

How does a small family business estimate the value of its trademarks? [more inside]
posted by Joanie Loves Yahtzee on Sep 6, 2011 - 2 answers

Bayeux Tapestry Use?

Can I use (images of) the Bayeux Tapestry in a music video? [more inside]
posted by hapticactionnetwork on Jul 29, 2011 - 10 answers

Why aren't websites usually patented?

"I have an idea for a website." Why am I not patenting it? [more inside]
posted by eeby on Jul 16, 2011 - 13 answers

Ethics of providing sample code to prospective employer

(Posted for a friend) A co-worker of mine and I were discussing a sticky situation that I think is pretty common in the IT field. We are both applying for new jobs and have been asked to submit sample code as well as documentation. Obviously code and documentation is intellectual property of the employer, even though the employee essentially wrote/designed/authored it. How would one go about submitting code and documentation in a legal and ethical manner that still displays relevant work experience?
posted by langedon on May 16, 2011 - 11 answers

How can I learn more about IP/copyright history/issues in the US?

I want to learn more about the history and legal issues surrounding copyright infringement/intellectual property and how it relates to businesses and artists in the United States. What would be a good place to start? (Prompted by this thread.)
posted by autoclavicle on Mar 29, 2011 - 8 answers

Think FreeCiv or Clevelandopoly

There's a board game I enjoy, and I've been considering programming a web version of it to play online. How different must my knock-off version be from the "real" one to avoid trouble? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Jan 31, 2011 - 11 answers

I want to do whatever Commons people do

Is the way I'm using Creative Commons-licensed material kosher? If it is, are there any special considerations or pitfalls I should know about? I thought my plans were sound but now I would like a second opinion. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 21, 2011 - 7 answers

To have and have not?

Help me find articles/books/etc. discussing the current shift from physical ownership to rental/licensing models. [more inside]
posted by nuffsaid on Sep 2, 2010 - 1 answer

No can haz my special sauce!

Intellectual Property (IP) disclosure: Alternatives to NDA? [more inside]
posted by lothar on Sep 2, 2010 - 11 answers

Getting the necessary rights to turn a movie into a musical?

What's the best way to find out if a pre-existing work has already been optioned for an adaptation to a different medium? Specifically, if a film has been optioned for a musical. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 9, 2010 - 9 answers

YANML: Intellectual Property Ownership Question (UK).

YANML: Intellectual Property Ownership Question (UK). Protecting my IP from an old employer. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 11, 2010 - 5 answers

It's trade mark, not trademark.

Please help me choose a subject in Intellectual Property Law for a short paper! [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on Jun 7, 2010 - 11 answers

Would being a patent agent be bad for working as an IP expert witness?

I am an academic and have an advanced degree in science and I am interested in doing work as an expert witness in intellectual property litigation. Would being a registered patent agent help or hurt me in pursing work in this area? [more inside]
posted by procrastination on May 5, 2010 - 10 answers

How to ensure iPhone news aggregator app is included in the App Store?

My iPhone news reader app was rejected from the App Store for what looks like copyright reasons. What should I do to get it accepted after all? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 16, 2010 - 7 answers

Are My Ideas Mine Again?

How long do intellectual-property clauses typically last? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Mar 20, 2010 - 13 answers

Whose game is this?

Who owns the games on Steam?(or any digital download service) [more inside]
posted by MrMulan on Oct 19, 2009 - 7 answers

Avoiding Youtube Parter program copyright headaches.

How can I make sure that Youtube's copyright requirements are met in order to monetize videos via its Partner program? [more inside]
posted by Nixie Pixel on Oct 1, 2009 - 4 answers

How likely is it that this would come back to haunt me?

If someone enters a scientific "Theoretical Challenge" under my name and wins the competition, would that come back to haunt me even though all intellectual property rights would be relinquished to the company running the challenge? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 24, 2009 - 5 answers

How do I protect a card game invention?

I have invented a card game and would like to protect it before I start large-scale game testing. I can't find useful information about the laws surrounding protecting this kind of intellectual property. First, what kind of protections should I be seeking for a card game? Second, any recommendations on reputable, ethical lawyers in Seattle who can help me protect my game?
posted by velvetsmog on Sep 4, 2009 - 9 answers

A means to protect Orphan Works?

Are there any documented instances where the U.S. Government has used the power of eminent domain to take intellectual property?
posted by cinemafiend on Sep 3, 2009 - 16 answers

Can I work in IP?

[LawFilter]Should I not indicate to employers that I'm interested in Intellectual property? [more inside]
posted by Kifer85 on Aug 9, 2009 - 8 answers

Does the USPTO like me? Y/N

Should I take the patent bar? [more inside]
posted by palmcorder_yajna on Apr 1, 2009 - 10 answers

IP lawyer in Chicago

Recommendations for an intellectual property lawyer in Chicago? Husband is an independent consultant/software developer in Chicago in need of an IP lawyer for some service agreements/contracts liability discussions. This would likely be a few hours of work maybe a few times a year. Reasonable rates would be nice but willing to pay for expertise. Anyone have good experiences with someone they would recommend?
posted by kcoshea on Feb 9, 2009 - 4 answers

Freelance web developers & IP legal experts combine!

I want to build a web app, but can't do it all myself. What's the best way to make sure my ideas aren't picked up by others? [more inside]
posted by MatJ on Feb 8, 2009 - 11 answers

Ah, social justice, where are you now?

I am a graphic designer in Quebec and I have a long term client (8 years!) who abruptly fired me last week. They are a government-grant and foundation-funded non profit working in the (*snort*) social justice sector. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 13, 2009 - 21 answers

Competitor is using a photo of me without permission.

My competitor is using a photo of me and a profile page about me on their website. What can I do (in the US)? [more inside]
posted by lapsang on Nov 12, 2008 - 12 answers

Will granting permission for an amateur film of my story mean giving up my film rights forever?

I've just found out second-hand that someone is planning on making a film out of one of my short stories. Which is fine, I suppose, presuming he actually does ask my permission, and presuming it's strictly an amateur not-for-profit film. My question is -- if I do give my permission, will that harm any rights I have to the story? Suppose I wanted to sell the rights to a "real" movie of the story someday -- will giving my permission here mean I've given up the film rights entirely?
posted by webmutant on Sep 6, 2008 - 16 answers

How much of a news clip can I use in a commercial without paying royalties?

How much of a news clip can I use in a commercial without paying royalties? [more inside]
posted by torpark on Aug 31, 2008 - 18 answers

how can I prove authorship of my work?

How can I Prove that I am the author of something, especially before publishing it on the web? [more inside]
posted by daveydave on Jul 13, 2008 - 25 answers

Intellectual property and marriage

Intellectual property question. A married couple are both coders who have the same software skills (let's say in coding OCR software). One spouse runs Company A (sole proprietorship, OCR software). The other works for Company B which is now contracting with Company C to work on their OCR code, so that spouse is being required by Company B to sign an NDA (no noncompete) which protects Company C's intellectual property. [more inside]
posted by tinkertown on Jun 30, 2008 - 6 answers

Yes, I really DO want to read your dissertation--please?

Is it in bad form to ask an author directly via email for an electronic copy of a dissertation or non-refereed academic article, if I, as a student, have no other method of access to the resources? [more inside]
posted by rhoticity on Jun 10, 2008 - 16 answers

Legally adding video clips to a review site?

I'm working on a site (it's a personal project) where I basically review movies that I like. Lately, I've been thinking about adding video clips from the movies/series to give visitors a better understanding of what the movies/series are about. How do I do this legally? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Apr 16, 2008 - 13 answers

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