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June 1, 2018

Generally, the photographer owns the copyright in photographs he takes. Of course, if a photographer working for someone else, then the photographer’s employer may own the copyright in the photographs. A photographer may transfer or not receive a copyright if he agrees to assign his copyright or if the photographer is employed and his work requires the photographer to take the photos.

Now if the photographer owns the copyright he may sue someone who copies or uses his photos without his permission or license.

However, if a photographer timely registers his photographs with the United States Copyright Office and receives a certificate of registration he c...

May 12, 2017

To be patentable as a utility patent, an invention must have three attributes: utility, novelty, and nonobivousness.

“Utility” means the invention must work and have value. False or misleading inventions such as perpetual motion machines are considered to lack utility (because they do not work) and are therefore unpatentable.

“Novelty” means that the literature does not record anyone ever making or conceiving of your particular invention. So if, for example, an old issue of Popular Mechanics shows your invention then your invention lacks “novelty”. However, is someone secretly previously conceived of your invention but no publication shows this, then you...

April 21, 2017

Missouri has the Missouri Sunshine Law which is Missouri’s version of the Freedom of Information Act. Chapter 610 R.S.Mo. The Sunshine Law applies to both meetings and documents. Documents will be the subject of this short memo.

There are two ways to violate the Sunshine Law.

The first way to violate the Sunshine Law is to fail to respond to Sunshine Law requests within 3 business days. Section 610.023(3) R.S.Mo. The City does not have to produce the requested documents within 3 business days but if the City does not produce the documents within 3 business days the City has to explain why and how long it will take the City to produce the requested docume...

March 9, 2017

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute enacted in 1991 which allows (with some exceptions) Americans to sue for receiving text messages dialed with an autodialer, or for receiving cell phone calls dialed with a autodialer or featuring a prerecorded voice, or for receiving telephone landline calls at home which feature a prerecorded voice. The TCPA provides for statutory damages of from $500 to $1500 per illegal call.

Now the United States Constitution requires Federal Courts to only consider and adjudicate cases and controversies. United States Constitution Article III Section 2 Clause 1. The Federal Courts have interpreted that Cons...

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