November 7, 2016
Presentation by Michael W. Vary,
November meeting featured a presentation by Michael Vary, an
attorney specializing in patents, trademark and copyright
litigation. His presentation on “Protecting Your Artwork -
Patents, Trademark and Copyrights” is a subject that our members
expressed a strong interest in knowing more about. Michael is
a practicing patent lawyer. He has a PhD in Chemistry from
Yale University and a JD from Case Western...a very impressive bio.
After he gave us the
required Ohio Supreme Court disclaimer, which was longer than his
impressive bio, Mike started his Powerpoint presentation.
Common concerns he often hears are... “I have an idea, I would like
protected”... “My friends tell me I should get my art protected”...
“I have a phrase I coined and I want to protect it”. Then, he
says the question becomes “What intellectual property protection is
best for me”, followed by, “How do I enforce my intellectual
property, claims, risk, exposure, etc.”
addressed these points, starting with a slide showing the types of
Intellectual Property(IP) and the average cost of securing each.
He referred back to it often. He discussed types of IP
available....patents, trademarks, copyrights, plus mentioned trade
secrets, misappropriation, unfair competition, federal and state
schemes, as well.
To sum it up, patents and patent enforcement
are a ‘big guys’ game! Here are some tips Mike gave us:
company name should be trademarked. Then, register your
trade/service mark in your State. (The
State of Ohio provides a guide for registering trademark or service
mark in Ohio.) Your
domain name is like a trademark. You can use TM or SM (service
mark) even if you have not officially filed a registration, but not
the symbol “®”. Copyrights are the least expensive. But
Mike reminded us to do it right the first time, through your
attorney, then you can repeat it again, yourself — the subject is
complex and his presentation was only designed to give us a quick
Other tidbits....stay away from
using college logos. Famous people like to control the use of
their image. The issue of ‘rights of privacy or publicity’ of
famous people may depend on how famous your work of art becomes.
Reference The Associated Press vs. Fairey artwork of President Obama.
suggested that we use an electronic watermark or notice of copyright
on our website (Notice: Artists retain all copyrights to
images shown). Or, Lee suggested making your image small
enough so that it can not be enlarged to good quality. You can
also hide your signature in the picture. If you use another
artist’s work as reference, give attribution to the original artist.
Mike made this remark with regards to a free clip art website and he
added “This is appropriate only if there is no copyright issue.”
After his presentation, members
continued to talk with Mike to get answers to more specific
For the rest of us, it was time
for refreshments. There were 37 members, one new member, plus
7 guests in attendance.
We thank Sandi Richards and Ellen Howard for the evening’s
refreshments....a Celebration of the Presidents’ Favorite Foods.
We enjoyed gingerbread, election cake, Ellen’s grandma’s chocolate
chip cookies, peanuts, jelly beans, deviled eggs, veggie tray w/o
broccoli. Can you guess which President goes with which