Category Archives:Intellectual Property

Video and Audio Recording

Increasingly homes have video and audio surveillance equipment. In the context of real estate buying and selling, is it legal for the seller to record the showing and what buyers and agents are saying about his property? In a more general setting, is it legal for one to videotape a meeting or record a conversation?

Ohio law addresses both audio and video recordings. Under Ohio law a seller is permitted to use surveillance equipment to video record on his property. However, there are some limitations on that. For example, a seller should not record in locations where there is an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom.

Audio recordings have stricter requirements. Under Ohio law, in order to legally make an audio recording, at least one person being recorded must consent to the recording. So in a real estate context, in order to audio record conversations during a showing of a property, one of the individuals at the showing should consent to the recording. Since seller normally will not present during the showing, consent must be secured from buyer’s agent or the buyer.

In a general setting, if one is a party of a conversation, then audio recording is ok. If he/she is not a party, then consent must be secured from a party in the conversation.

Violations of the above law are a 4th degree felony under Ohio law.

Legal articles provided by Lei Jiang LLC are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, please seek advice from an attorney.

If you have any criminal case, please contact us.

Lei Jiang LLC, 2019. All rights reserved.

New Patent Law Approved

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act into law and it will become fully effective on March 16, 2013.  The Act changes U.S. patent law from first-to-invent (FTI) to first-to-file (FTF) and will be a step towards a more globally uniformed patent system, as the FTF system dominates throughout the rest of the world. This change is expected to reduce the time it takes to get a patent approved and the number of frivolous patent applications.  The Act’s post-grant review allows for a 9 month window in which challengers can establish their property rights.  This is a change from the previous law, which specified that patents could be challenged for up to one year and placed the burden on the applicant to establish his rights.

To date, no changes have been made to the eligibility of business methods for patents.  Changes are expected over the next year during which time the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is granted the responsibility of stipulating which patent subject matters are eligible for protection.  An 8 year post-grant review for the validity of business method patents will become effective on September 16, 2012 for patents issued before, on, or after this date.

Under the new law, inventors likely will need to file for patents as soon as possible and keep the inventions secret in order to protect their patent rights.  The Lei Jiang Law Firm provides quality legal services in the area of patent law.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office.