Topic: IP

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 »

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 »

5 Types of Business Insurance Coverage (You’ve Probably Never Considered)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might’ve noticed that lately we’ve been meting out advice in parcels of five. (See for example: 5 Tips for Writing an Effective Employee Handbook, 5 Ways the NLRB Regulates Employer-Employee Relationships, 5 Considerations for Protecting Your Trademark, etc.) Really, there are only two possible paths forward.… Read more »

XXX Domains: It Ain’t Over ‘Til the Red Light Goes Out…

The general availability period for obtaining an .XXX domain is here. That means that anyone—a person, company or organization, whether or not they’re part of the adult entertainment industry—can apply for an .XXX domain name. If you haven’t blocked YourCompanyName.XXX, there’s still time to do it. That’s the good news. The bad? .XXX domains will… Read more »

IP Law: Protecting Your Company’s Intellectual Property

“Business law is based on common sense. You can buy or sell breakfast, a toaster or car repair without a lawyer. Intellectual Property is different. Common sense does not always apply to IP. This is dangerous because IP is often a valuable competitive advantage, e.g., McDonald’s trademarked name and golden arches, Coca-Cola’s secret formula, Microsoft’s… Read more »

Patent Reform: 5 Ways You Can Expect Patent Litigation to Change

“The signing into law of the [America Invents] Act marks a new era of patent litigation. The Act presents a host of opportunities for companies, especially those defending patent infringement actions, provided they act quickly – given that several of the provisions have immediate prospective and in some cases even retroactive effect.” (From Patent Reform… Read more »

3 Questions Every Startup Entrepreneur Should Ask (During Business Formation)

Who’s in charge? How are we going to finance this? How can we protect our intellectual property? Three fundamental questions every entrepreneur should ask during business formation. And, according to the lawyers who hold forth below on the answers: it’s not just a matter asking questions. You’ll need to follow through on answers, act on… Read more »