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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3466
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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We started making these shirts with designs on them, which

Customer Question

We started making these shirts with designs on them, which I created myself since I am a graphic designer by trade. Since we were just trying to see if the idea would work, we initially ran the sales and everything through my LLC that I owned, so that we would not be out money by creating its own LLC if the business failed. We did this from 9/2015 until 12/2015. In January he created an LLC for the company and I took a backseat from 50% to 25% ownership. He has since continued to sell those shirts with my designs, but now I want out completely and I want to take my designs with me. From what I understand I am still the creator, we were not taking draws from the LLC for any of the shirt sales, and I have not given him explicit permission to use these designs, but I fear for not saying anything before now, this is an implied copyright. This is no business agreement that says anything about the designs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.
The key to determining ownership here is for each work (1) who the creator(s) of the work is, and (2) whether copyrights were transferred from the creators to the LLC. If there was no transfer then the ownership of copyrights remains with the creator(s). If you created a design together then you would likely be co-owners of that copyright. Co-owners have the right to commercialize the copyright without permission of the other co-owner, but they may be obligated to may the other owner their share of the proceeds