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#MayaVoiceApp: Pinging Intellectual Property Talents
These guys are using their talents to try to make sure Maya doesn't lose her voice but they need some intellectual property types in this Hangout to help.  via +Chad LaFarge
Contact +Kelvin Williams if interested. Read about Maya's story here.   #Plusketeers  
Google+ we need your help!  Having our initial design brainstorming Hangout for the #MayaVoiceApp .  Have some great ideas for a handful of "IT Guys" (as +Jo Anne Thomas called us).  However, we have some serious patent infringement questions.  

As you may have guessed it, the patent holders hired lawyers who made it overly broad, but specific enough to get a patent.  So we need to navigate around it.  *If anyone knows a Patent/Intellectual Property attorney please get them in contact.*

Also, we need artists!  We need a lot of vector graphics.  

Please!  Thank you.
Jack C Crawford's profile photoRobert MacAnthony's profile photoKelvin Williams's profile photoOla Birch's profile photo
+Ola Birch is my wife, she can do vector graphics illustrations, and is a very good illustrator, has done childrens books also, and I think it would be a great fit too

We have always been about helping those who need. and she was behind me as I typed this, so contact her! :) Not sure where I can but i will also throw my name in
:) heheh  I would love to help, just let me know when I can start :D
I can help out on the patent angle. I read about Maya's story a few days ago. Very moving.
G+ Rules eh +Sarah Hill ? All the angles people get together to assist and I am so impressed at "New Media" in action on this
+R. Scott Kimsey, Are you free tomorrow evening (EST)?  We are going to try to have another Hangout, and anyone with Patent knowledge is what we're waiting for!  We don't want to run down a road that may possibly get shutdown in the future.
Hi +Christa Laser, have you heard about this patent case reported in HuffPost? I wonder if you can share some insights?
+Kelvin Williams +Sarah Hill, My G+ friend Christa is an Intellectual property litigator and if she can help, that will be really cool.
Kelvin, years ago I took a fews night classes from a practicing patent and trademark agent but given you have been sued already, you might need to talk to real (paid or otherwise) legal professional as you don't want to be entangled in court further with Intellectual property disputes.
Thanks for pinging me +Kempton Lam and +Mike Searle.  Ethically, I can't give assistance to non-clients.  If the app is run through a non-profit organization that helps the underprivileged, contact me at  Otherwise, you should contact your local bar association for paid counsel.
It would be wonderful if this collaberative effort can get off the ground - I get it that organization of such an effort could be difficult, and if I am needed let me know -

I know my wife's art can't be used until or "IF" we can get past the 'patent' legal stuff, but - I did notice somebody has already started some early HTML5 programming (The right way to go btw)

So, perhaps if the art is required early - please contact +Ola Birch she is fast, and ready to go - she is well known for her funny and wonderfully loved children stuff - see her stuff at - and wow, this might be history in the making eh? 
+Christa Laser I understand you can't help a non-client officially.  But let's say you accidentally logged into a Hangout this evening, and were asked a few questions about things you'd know about...  Could you answer them if you're not being held responsible?  ;)
+Ola Birch Your work is exactly what I was envisioning.  I'm trying to set up a Hangout for later tonight, however, whenever you're available PLEASE IM me and I'll see if you can make me a rough draft of something for tonight.
+Kelvin Williams, I can't and won't speak for +Christa Laser, but what you suggested "Could you answer them if you're not being held responsible?" may be hard. I imagine Christa is likely bound by her professional conduct and will be held responsible for whatever she says since the company has already been sued for intellectual infringement.
P.S. I understand Christa needs to be careful as my better half, who is a real estate lawyer, would be equally careful as well. 
It is a violation of ethics standards for a good reason.  I suggest not taking advice from attorneys willing to bend those rules.
True.  I guess what we're just trying to figure out until we can retain a lawyer, is "can we do it this way and be OK?"  

I just wish a Patent ATtorney would help us.
I don't understand those ethics.  Can we hire you?  For like really cheap?  Remember, I'm a turnip.
+Christa Laser is absolutely right. My understanding is that, in addition to the ethics concern, attorney client privilege cannot be protected in the scenario you described.  Disclaimer: I am not an attorney.
+Kelvin Williams Any attorney will have to check for conflicts before becoming involved. In advising you on your matter, an attorney-client relationship will be established, and law firms have procedures under which that must take place. In most instances, the representation is for a fee, though there are cases where attorneys may take on such matters on a pro bono basis. The presence of third-parties while you are being advised can destroy the attorney-client privilege.

That said, to the extent you want general information about patents or other aspects of intellectual property at this stage,  rather than advice specific to your situation, such information can be given ethically. There are so-called "ethics opinions" on this issue, and the issue essentially comes down to everyone understanding that only general information is being given, not information relating to your specific situation, and that there is clarity as to whether a legal representation is taking place. Lawyers are not precluded for providing general information in the type of setting you are contemplating, although even then my recommendation would be to do a conflicts check (maybe overly cautious by my reading of the rules, but nevertheless a good idea in my view).

For example, here is a DC Ethics Opinion on the matter. It is rather long, but you can see some of the constraints on lawyers. At one point, they also discuss the fact that lawyers are supposed to help non-lawyers understand legal issues (our role in educating the public generally).

I guess the upshot of this is that a lawyer can give you a general education of sorts on issues of IP law, but if you get to the point where you need specific guidance on your issue the you will be moving into an attorney-client relationship.
Lawyers...  :)

I'll pass this over to the rest of TeamMAYA.  Looks like we're going to have to hire a lawyer.
Can we hire them for a dollar? it is a fee 
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