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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 117458
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I am a handbag designer and was considering to partnership

Customer Question

Hello - i am a handbag designer and was considering to partnership with two individuals last year to launch a handbag line. There was ner a partnership agreement or any formal written or signed document. I designed, created and sourced all the materials to create the product while the other two funded the project. We never had a written agreement of any kind or business plan ( which is why the collaboration ended )
Since then, I have featured these designs in an online portfolio as examples of my recent work. I received a letter for cease and desist letter threatening to sue me for infringement - These are my designs and they are claiming to have copy written my work without me knowing it .
I would like to know what my rights are as creator of this product that I wa responsible for designing and creating.
Thank you
Frank La Mendola
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you have proof you have created the work and you never had any operating agreement with the other parties, they could not legally have control over the copyright and you can challenge their claims. A person cannot just take a work created by another person and obtain a copyright on it without their written consent or some type of contractual agreement or a work for hire agreement.
Thus, if they obtained a copyright without any such agreements, then you are going to need a local attorney to respond to this letter and also to challenge any such copyrights with the US Copyright Office to have their name removed from any such copyright they may have filed and also sue them for damages for essentially stealing your copyrighted work.

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