Will MontagueOwner at Montague Law PLLC

IP and tech lawyer for startups and entrepreneurs. 20+ years of legal experience in both big law and solo practice.

Recent Answers

You really should hire a lawyer to help you prepare a contract like that, as well as to help you sort through what intellectual property you own and do not own. While you say you just trademarked the logo, you likely do not have any trademark rights in the logo. Trademark rights arise from the use of a trademark, not the design/creation of the mark. The organization therefore likely owns the trademark rights (since it's the one that's been using it), and an application to register the logo in your name with the USPTO (which I'm guessing is what you've done) is probably invalid.

If you created the logo and haven't signed any written agreement regarding copyright ownership, however, then you likely do own the copyright in the logo design. Same thing with the website. But there's also a good chance that a court would find that you gave an "implied license" to the organization to use the logo and website under copyright law, regardless of whether you were promised some kind of compensation or benefit in return.

In short, I'm afraid you've already made a few mistakes legally, and trying to prepare your own contract would just compound things. I know the DC area lawyers are very expensive, so you might want to look in other metro areas of Virginia like Richmond or Roanoke. Just look for someone that practices trademark and copyright law on a regular basis. I'm happy to have a call with you to explain a bit more and help guide you with finding a lawyer in your area.

I'm afraid there aren't any yes or no answers to your questions. The USPTO doesn't allow people to claim a trademark like the domain name allocation system does. Instead, the USPTO will examine your trademark application to see if the mark appears to meet the basic criteria for being a trademark and whether the mark would cause a "likelihood of confusion" with a prior registered (or applied for) trademark. If you are attempting to register a word or phrase that is the same or similar to an existing mark, the likelihood of confusion analysis looks to other factors such as what products or services each mark is used with. For instance, the word "Delta" is registered as a mark by two separate companies because the products/services are very different (airline vs. faucets).

The same likelihood of confusion analysis applies to whether your trademark might infringe someone else's existing trademark and whether you might get sued. Keep in mind too that a trademark doesn't have to be registered with the USPTO to be a valid trademark. In fact, you have to actually use a trademark in connection with the sale of products or services before you can register the trademark with the USPTO.

I'd suggest reading some of the basic information about trademark law on the USPTO site to get a better handle on things before going any further. You can start here: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/index.jsp Another good resource on basic trademark law is Nolo: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/trademark-law Ultimately you'll be much better off hiring a trademark lawyer to help you, but these resources will at least get you in the right ballpark.

Hope this helps somewhat. Good luck!

No, generally speaking the photographer will own the copyright in a photograph, which means you would need to have permission of some sort from the photographer in order to use his/her photograph. The "History of the World Cup' link you provide indicates that most or all of the photos references there are either in the public domain (no copyright owner) or are licensed for use by anyone under certain conditions (the "CC" ones, which stands for Creative Commons, a terrific system that allows copyright owners to license out copyrighted works for free with certain parameters -- https://creativecommons.org/). The photos that aren't either public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons license may be infringing a copyright owner's rights, or the site owner may have obtained permission some other way from the copyright owner.

The credits provided to photographers or other sources for the photographs don't have any effect under U.S. copyright law. Providing credit is obviously a polite and appropriate thing to do, but it does not change anything from a legal standpoint.

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