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   Author  Topic: patent or copyright?  (Read 1210 times)
brad
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patent or copyright?
« on: Dec 18th, 2005, 3:02am »
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I wanted to make flash cards relating to a specific subject.  I recently found there is one set of flash cards on this subject(the site says "patent pending"), but the material that I will be using is completely different.  What category does this fall under? Also,  if I am allowed to then create my own flash cards, how protected am I, and what path do I follow to protect myself?
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Isaac
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Re: patent or copyright?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 19th, 2005, 8:56am »
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If by flash cards you mean, opaque cards with a question on one side and facts on the other, it seems highly unlikely that a utility patent could cover such an invention.  If the cards had a distinctive ornamental appearance, perhaps they might be the subject of a design patent.   Such a design patent could probably be worked around.
 
It is possible that the subject matter in question might be protectable by copyright if the subject matter is not factual.  For example in one case copyright holders of a TV show were able to prevent distribution of a game based on trivia from the show.
 
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Isaac
JSonnabend
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Re: patent or copyright?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 20th, 2005, 7:39am »
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Quote:
For example in one case copyright holders of a TV show were able to prevent distribution of a game based on trivia from the show.

That's an intersting one.  What case was that?  11th Cir., perhaps? Wink
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SonnabendLaw
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Isaac
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Re: patent or copyright?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 20th, 2005, 8:12am »
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Second circuit actually...
 
Castle Rock Entertainment v. Carol Publishing Group, 150 F.3d 132 (2nd Cir. 1998 ).
 
Involved a book which presented a Seinfeld Show IQ test to evaluate a person's knowledge of "facts" from the TV show.
 
Hmm... if you use the number "8" next to a parenthesis, the forum software converts it to a smiley.  
 
 
« Last Edit: Dec 20th, 2005, 8:14am by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
JSonnabend
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Re: patent or copyright?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21st, 2005, 7:38am »
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Ah, I misunderstood.  I was imagining a scenario where someone took the questions from Jeopardy, for instance, and worked them into a different game.
 
I believe the case was from 199Cool, not 1998.  
 
- Jeff
 
[edit]BTW, the Castle Rock Case is, IMHO, wrong.[/edit]
« Last Edit: Dec 21st, 2005, 7:44am by JSonnabend » IP Logged

SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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718-832-8810
JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
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