Topic: Intellectual Property

[Startup Funding] How Do New Patent Laws Affect Your Ability to Raise Money?

[Link: AIA Impact on Start Up Capital – Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.] Does the American Invents Act help or hinder startups and emerging growth companies in their efforts to raise capital? Yes and yes, explains Robert Sterne of law firm Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox in the above video. Here’s how: AIA can… Read more »

You Have a Great Name for a Terrific Product – Here’s How to Protect It…

“The strongest and most easily protectable types of marks are fanciful marks and arbitrary marks, because they are inherently distinctive. These marks are also easier to register because it is more unlikely that someone else has registered something similar.” (Sands Anderson) Got a terrific product and a great name for it? Excellent! Protecting that name… Read more »

Business Owners: What Keeps You Up at Night? [Poll]

Which legal issues give you the biggest headaches? While you’re thinking about your response, here are a handful of recent legal updates on these very topics: Business Formation: Key Tips for Developing Business Plans for Entrepreneurs, Investors & Business Owners – Scott Legal Services, P.C. California’s New LLC Act Adds Confusion and Effects Little Change… Read more »

Microbrewers: The Recipe for Craft Beers Includes Trademark Protection…

There’s not enough beer on this blog. Let’s change that. [Link: The Ska / DuClaw Trademark Dispute Over EUPHORIA, Trademark Lessons for the Craft Brewer] First, Brian Gregg from law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick gives an overview of the basic steps every craft brewer should take to protect their trademarks. One key takeaway: one… Read more »

2012 In Review – The Most Popular Small Business Support Posts of the Year

As we look back at the most-read stories of the year, three issues quickly rise to the top: Technology in the workplace, especially employee use of social media (both on and off the clock), Health care reform and how to comply with the new rules, and Day-to-day employment matters, from hiring to firing and just… Read more »

5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets

Earlier this month, game developer Zynga took the offensive in a dispute over the theft of trade secrets when it sued a former employee for walking out the door with proprietary information: “… Zynga alleges [Alan] Patmore copied over 760 corporate files into his DropBox account (in a folder which he allegedly named ‘Zynga’). The… Read more »

Innovative Design Protection Act Targets Fashion Knockoffs

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Innovative Design Protection Act (IDPA), which would provide intellectual property rights to fashion designers for their work. From law firm Morgan Lewis: “IDPA would provide three years of protection for fashion designs that ‘(i) are the result of a designer’s own creative endeavor; and (ii) provide… Read more »

Technology + Employees = Business Risk? More Than You Think…

Sure, data theft by disgruntled employees is a big deal (we’ve all read the surveys and seen the news headlines). But the “technology + employees = business risk” equation doesn’t stop there. For your reference, here’s a roundup of recent advisories on JD Supra that remind us how the benefits of the digital age can… Read more »

Can We Use that Picture on Our Website? “Fair Use” in a Pinterest World

Although the growing popularity of sharing sites like Pinterest might give the impression that photographs, drawings, videos, and other Internet content are free for the taking, nothing could be further from the truth. From law firm Mintz Levin: “If these photographs were placed online by the individual who took the photograph, and there are no… Read more »

Register Your Trademark with the USPTO: An Essential Step in Brand Protection

For business owners who want to protect their brand with a trademark, here’s Jaburg Wilk’s Maria Speth on how to file an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Some key points: You can register your mark with your state, but federal registration trumps state trademarks A search for similar names should include trademarks… Read more »

What is the Difference Between a Trademark and a Trade Name? [With Video]

Important question – and here, via video, is a good answer by Jaburg Wilk’s Maria Speth. [Link: What is the difference between a trademark and a trade name and what are the legal protections for each?] — Also see: New Rule Regarding Specimens of Use for U.S. Trademarks – Ladas & Parry LLP We May… Read more »

Most Popular Small Business Posts – May 2012

What’s on your mind? Employee handbooks, business insurance, medical marijuana, and IP protection, among other things. For your convenience, here’s a look at the most-read Small Business Support posts in May 2012: 1. Think That Email Isn’t a Contract? Think Again “You’ve got mail! And, as two recent court decisions indicate, you might also have… Read more »

Small Business and IP: 5 Issues You Might Not be Considering (But Should!)

(Tech Start-Up Legal Issues 3: Guarding Your IP Assets by Bloomberg Law) It is often said that the success or failure of a technology startup can hinge on the protection of its intellectual property. But tech startups are not the only businesses with IP concerns. In today’s digital age, all small business owners and entrepreneurs… Read more »

Starting a Tech Startup? Watch These Videos…

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs Yesterday you emailed your team news of Facebook’s ONE BILLION DOLLAR acquisition of Instagram. Because, while you live by the Steve Jobs quote (you’re building something… Read more »