Is it legal to continue sharing this pattern free of charge with others if the company is no longer in business? 8 Answers as of December 19, 2013

After purchasing a cross stitch pattern in 1990, I wrote to the company and received written permission to share the pattern at no charge with my church sewing group.

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Brown & Michaels PC | Michael F. Brown
That's really a copyright issue, not patent. If you got written permission from the copyright owner to share the pattern with your church group, then that permission should still hold. If someone bought the copyright from the company's bankruptcy estate when they went out of business (assuming they did go bankrupt), then they might have the right to revoke that permission - but after you've been sharing it by permission for twenty-plus years it's unlikely that they would do so, or care if you continued in that small way.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/19/2013
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
Yes - if you have written permission for the original owner - you may continue to share the pattern as agreed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 12/19/2013
Microtechnology Law & Analysis | Daniel Flamm
Probably, so long as you limit the sharing to what is specifically stated in the written letter from the company (e.g. you say your church sewing group). There is likely a successor(s) in interest to the company's rights and property. If so, the successor(s) in interest to copyright rights for the pattern may be bound by what the original owner granted to you (apparently a limited license to share and/or use the pattern). Please be aware that the term of a copyright can be very long by comparison to the 23 years that has elapsed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/19/2013
Law Office of Alan W. Cannon | Alan W Cannon
It would depend on who now owns the pattern and what type of intellectual property protection it is provided with. I assume that it is a copyrighted work and is not patented. Is this correct? You need to determine who owns the pattern.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/16/2013
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
I don't see a problem with it unless someone claiming to have rights in it has asked you to stop.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 12/16/2013
    Mark S. Hubert PC
    Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
    If these "others" are in your church group, then YES. If not then NO.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/16/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    Generally a pattern would be a copyright design that would be owned by the creator for the life of the creator plus 70 years. After the company closed someone or some entity would still be entitled to the asset of the pattern. If you have written permission for the pattern for the pattern for perpetuity then as long as you comply with the terms of the written agreement then you should be fine. Since we could not review the written permission document we rely upon your description. The legal right remain with the owner of the pattern.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/16/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    The company may no longer be in business but the rights on the pattern continue. There is a chance another company bought the rights from the original company. You have the right to share the pattern with your church sewing group only.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/16/2013
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