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Will Blackton

Will Blackton

Providing business legal services as a service
  • Business Law, Intellectual Property
  • North Carolina
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

The Raleigh-based lawyers at Boerema Blackton LLP focus on providing practical, business-oriented legal advice to companies with 1-49 employees. If you are looking for responsive, legal services from an attorney who knows you and your business, you found us.

Our firm acts as an outside general counsel for a number of clients, providing dedicated, responsive support with institutional knowledge of the client’s business or situation. The business lawyers in our firm represent clients who conduct business on local, national, and international scales.

The firm’s core competency is in organizing, buying, and selling interests in corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, nonprofits, and other business structures and counseling their founders, executives, and shareholders or members with their business’s day-to-day transactions.

Industry experience with:
Veterinary clinics
Software development and sales
Real estate
Financial services
Professional services

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
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Professional Experience
Boerema Blackton LLP
- Current
Attorney, owner
Blackton Law PLLC
Law Clerk
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Professional Associations
State Bar of North Carolina
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Carolina
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4th Circuit
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  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Practice Areas
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Intellectual Property
Additional Practice Area
  • Copyright
  • English: Spoken, Written
Legal Answers
Q. Can I use a trademark word phrase in a title of my book?
A: It depends on how you plan to use the trademarked word or phrase in the title of your book. Generally, using a trademarked word or phrase in the title of a book is acceptable if it is used in a descriptive, non-infringing way. For example, if you are writing a book about Coca-Cola, you can use the name "Coca-Cola" in the title of your book as long as you are not using it in a way that suggests endorsement or association with the Coca-Cola Company.

However, if your use of the trademarked word or phrase creates a likelihood of confusion or implies an endorsement, affiliation, or sponsorship with the trademark owner, then it may be considered trademark infringement.

To avoid potential legal issues, it's a good idea to consult with a legal professional or conduct a trademark clearance search before using a trademarked word or phrase in the title of your book to ensure that your use does not infringe on someone else's rights. ... Read More
Q. I sell items on Etsy with designs I have made on canvas or illustrator. Another seller is saying I copied their design
A: Copyright law protects original works of authorship from unauthorized copying or use. This includes original designs, illustrations, and other creative works.

Copyright law provides protection for original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression, such as a canvas or digital file. Copyright protection arises automatically when a work is created, and the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works based on the original work.

In the case of your designs, if your designs are sufficiently original and were independently created, then you may have a valid copyright in your work, even if it is similar to another design. The key issue is whether your design is substantially similar to the other seller's design, to the point where a reasonable person would think that one design was copied from the other.

If the two designs are not identical but are substantially similar, then there may be a claim of copyright infringement. In determining whether two works are substantially similar, courts look at various factors, including the overall look and feel of the works, the layout and arrangement of the elements, and the extent of the similarities and differences between the works.

It's important to note that intellectual property law protects original works of authorship, not just exact copies. If your design was created independently and is not substantially similar to the other seller's design, then you should be able to continue selling your design without infringing on their copyright. However, if there is a concern that your design may be infringing on someone else's copyright, it's always a good idea to consult with a legal professional who specializes in intellectual property law.
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Q. Serial Number79303325Is it possible to patent a Voodoo deity from African culture? This sounds absurd. It's a deity
A: I'm going to assume you meant "trademark" instead of "patent" in your question title.

It's important to understand that trademark law only protects words or symbols that are used in commerce to identify and distinguish the source of goods or services. Trademarks do not provide ownership over the underlying concept or idea represented by the word or symbol.

If the deity is a well-known figure in the public domain, and the use of its name in your work is not likely to create confusion or imply endorsement or affiliation with the trademark owner, then you may be able to argue that your use of the name is protected by free speech or fair use principles. Likelihood of consumer confusion is the core of U.S. trademark law.

The likelihood of consumer confusion is at the core of trademark law because the purpose of a trademark is to enable consumers to identify and distinguish the source of goods or services in the marketplace. A trademark serves as a distinctive symbol or sign that represents a particular company, brand, or product, and helps consumers to recognize and associate that symbol or sign with a specific source of goods or services.

Trademark law protects the rights of trademark owners by preventing others from using marks that are likely to cause confusion or create a false impression of association or endorsement with the trademark owner's goods or services. The likelihood of consumer confusion is determined by several factors, including the similarity of the marks, the relatedness of the goods or services, the strength of the marks, and the sophistication of the consumers.

Trademarks only apply to a single class of goods or services (applicants must pay for each class of goods or services, they can apply for more than one, but trademark protection is limited to those particular classes) because trademark law is intended to protect consumers from confusion about the origin of goods or services in a particular category. Trademarks are registered with the government for specific classes of goods or services, such as clothing, electronics, or food, and the trademark owner has the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with those goods or services.

This means that two companies can use the same or similar marks for different classes of goods or services without infringing on each other's trademarks. For example, "Apple" is a registered trademark for computers and electronic devices, and "Apple" is also a registered trademark for a record label. These two companies can coexist and use the same trademark because they operate in different classes of goods and services, and there is no likelihood of consumer confusion between the two.

However, it's important to note that legal disputes involving trademarks can be complex and fact-specific, and it's always a good idea to consult with a legal professional who specializes in trademark law to assess your particular situation and advise you on the best course of action.
... Read More
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Boerema Blackton
NC Business Law
Contact & Map
4801 Glenwood Ave
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612
Toll-Free: (919) 636-5979
Telephone: (919) 636-5979