Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Florida

A Florida corporation was founded in Florida in 1972 and dissolved by proclamation in 1973.

The corporation's sole asset was a work for hire motion picture screenplay.

The corporation is the sole Claimant on the 1972 Copyright Registration for this screenplay.

All the directors of the corporation are deceased.

Since neither the dissolved corporation nor its deceased directors can sue for infringement, what is there to stop me from using the screenplay to make a film?

Do the wives and children of the corporate directors automatically inherit the corporate assets?

Asked on 5/24/19, 1:16 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

IP assets can pass through intestacy just like any other asset. So, in theory, the heirs could be the lawful owners of the copyright and they could come after you if you infringe but this assumes that the work is not in the public domain. Given the dates, if it was published with a notice then the term is 95 years after publication date. If without a notice, however, then it is in the public domain due to failure to comply with required formalities.

If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section):

Kind regards,



DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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Answered on 5/24/19, 1:22 pm

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