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Recent Posts in Intellectual Property Category

  • On intellectual property and viral videos

    Some people have dreams of creating content on the internet, so that they can earn some of that sweet "internet money." These people make videos, GIFs, images, blog posts and many other forms of content to reach their dream. In these cases, they do so intentionally. If they are lucky, one of their pieces of content will "go viral" and sweep the globe at a rapid pace as friends share the content ...
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  • Defining a trademark, and why the mark is important

    Most people have heard of a trademark before, and even if they don't know what a trademark is, they can probably recognize the iconic "TM" symbol near a logo, word or phrase. A trademark is actually quite simple : it signifies that the mark (may that be a logo, word, phrase or something else) is of a certain source and shouldn't be confused with other sources that may make similar products. ...
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  • Applying For A Patent, And What It Means For You

    Patents are vital to the world of intellectual property. Whether a company is trying to protect a mass-produced product, or a small, independent content creator is trying to protect their work, a patent is crucial to ensuring that the company or individual receives the credit they deserve for creating that work. But ultimately, what is a patent? Formally, it is a legal protection that forbids ...
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  • Do Sports Clips Fall Under Fair Use? The Jury Is Still Out

    As social media continues to grow in popularity, the more it becomes ingrained into our daily lives. For many people, social media has replaced face-to-face interactions with people and for some, it even replaces watching the news. But because of social media's immediate access to content, social media companies – and sometimes even their users – find themselves walking into a legal gray area, ...
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  • Important Patent Review Case Goes Before The U.S. Supreme Court

    There's little debate about the fact that America's patent system has its share of problems. Especially in recent decades, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has "rubber stamped" too many patent applications, effectively issuing patents that would not hold up under careful scrutiny. Usually, these patents are for broad concepts or vague business processes. Challenging or defending the validity ...
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  • The IP Lawsuit Filed By The Grumpy Owners Of A Famous Cat

    As we wrote in a post last week, protecting your intellectual property has never been more important than it is now in the internet age. This is true for software developers, but also for anyone with a marketable idea, song or image. Fortunes can be made online by leveraging the unlikeliest of viral sensations. A good example of this phenomenon is "Grumpy Cat," a real housecat who always appears ...
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  • The Importance Of Protecting Your Intellectual Property

    Software developers these days often face a frustrating dilemma. Online piracy is so common and so easy that many people no longer see the point registering patents or copyrights. Enforcement just seems too cumbersome. While this attitude is certainly understandable, it is nonetheless misguided. If you are a software developer, it's now more important than ever before to protect your intellectual ...
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  • Gillette Sues Dollar Shave For 'Cutting' In On Its Patent

    One of the biggest complaints people have about shaving is that it costs a lot of money to maintain smooth skin. Consumers can expect to pay double-digits for just a handful of shaving blades – a fact many consumers are none too happy about. Online businesses like Dollar Shave Club Inc. say they have the answer though, offering consumers quality razors at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, a ...
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  • Patent Infringement Suit Being Closely Watched By Silicon Valley

    If you've ever purchased a color printer to use in your home office, the following scenario is likely a familiar one. You were pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive the printer was, only to be shocked by the steep price of replacement ink cartridges. Manufacturers may have thought this was a clever way to improve profits, but the business model soon spawned a market for refurbished and refilled ...
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  • Patent Troll Has 168 Cases Dismissed Simultaneously By One Judge

    By this point, most people know what a "patent troll" is. These are the individuals and businesses that patent a broad idea or concept and then try to sue as many companies as possible for infringement. They usually obtain settlements by acting on the knowledge that most companies don't want to go to court or cannot afford to do so. If you work in Silicon Valley, chances are good that your company ...
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  • Getting A Copyright Can Help In Infringement Claims

    When choosing a company with whom to do business, consumers oftentimes take a number of things into consideration. Ultimately though, consumers end up buying a product or receiving a service from a particular company because they know and trust that company. This trust oftentimes stems from carefully crafted branding messages and reliable products that are associated with that company. When ...
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  • You Know And Love Google, But Will 'Alphabet' Be As Popular?

    What's in a name? Well, if you are a company, the answer is: everything. America is a consumer culture, and a company's long-term viability relies heavily on branding and brand loyalty. Sometimes, a company's brand is entirely built on the quality of their products or services. Other times, customers are drawn to the "cool factor" associated with a certain brand (especially when it comes to ...
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  • Famous Late-Night Comedian Sued For Alleged Copyright Infringement

    In our last post, we discussed the complexities of copyright protection on social media sites and on the Internet generally. Writers and comedians frequently communicate with fans through shorts quips on Twitter, and the material in these tweets is sometimes redistributed without attribution to the original author. That scenario was just one of many examples we could have used. As coincidence ...
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  • Copyright Protection Of User Content In The World Of Social Media

    The internet and social media have really managed to complicate copyright law, which was already complicated to begin with. On one hand, many people view social media posts (Facebook posts, tweets, etc.) as ephemeral. We share a joke or a quick observation with little regard for who may share it again without our permission. On the other hand, some writers and entertainers consider the things they ...
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  • Protecting Your Intellectual Property -- Patent Infringement

    Many inventors in California apply for and receive patents leading them to believe that their property is protected. However, simply having a patent does not guarantee that someone else will not infringe upon it. Fortunately, federal intellectual property laws allow for the award of both monetary and non-monetary damages through civil litigation in a federal court. Patent infringement occurs when ...
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  • Google Plans To Shake Up The Intellectual Property Market

    Many California inventors obtain patents for their ideas and then look for a company to purchase them in the belief that the buyer will make the ideas a reality. Unfortunately, many companies who purchase intellectual property such as patents do so in order to enforce it through the filing of litigation. Other companies purchase them in order to control the competition, having little or no ...
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  • Patents, And Trademarks, And Copyrights... Oh, My!

    If you own a high-tech business owner in Silicon Valley, chances are that you have intellectual property that needs to be protected against infringement. In fact, the success of high-tech businesses is often directly tied to how well they have protected their inventions, ideas and technology from being stolen. But if you are confused or overwhelmed by the intellectual property legal lingo, don’t ...
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  • Understanding Trademark Tacking - Part II

    In our last pos t, we began a discussion about trademark tacking. We explained that a case recently decided by the United States Supreme Court may alter the stakes of certain trademark protection cases. This is a vitally important topic, given that trademarked intellectual property may be among the most valuable assets that any given business retains. The Supreme Court has determined that ...
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  • Understanding Trademark Tacking - Part I

    Intellectual property can be among the most valuable assets that a business possesses. As a result, many businesses work hard to protect their intellectual property . With the aid of attorneys experienced in both business and intellectual property laws, these businesses copyright, trademark and patent their intellectual property carefully, consistently and adequately. This kind of protection ...
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  • Intellectual Property Lawsuit Moves Forward Against Mattel

    Keeping your intellectual property protected is vital for any business. A stolen or borrowed idea can often lead to a monetary loss. When someone steals your intellectual property, you have the right to seek compensation and put a stop to the activity. A recent ruling in the Los Angeles Superior Court shows just how important it is for companies to respect the intellectual property of other ...
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  • Do I Need To Patent My Innovative Idea?

    Do you have a brilliant idea? Would this idea make people’s lives easier or bring more joy to them? Have you patented this idea? If not, why not? According to a survey recently conducted by Findlaw.com, approximately one-third of Americans have an idea that they believe is worthy of a patent. However, only one-tenth of home-based inventors have ever taken a single legal step towards securing a ...
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  • Copyright, Patent, Trademark...What's The Difference?

    "Patent," "trademark" and "copyright" are all common terms, woven into American culture and frequently mentioned in the news. However, many people still have only a fuzzy idea of how these three terms differ and when each type of protection applies. Can you patent a book? Is a copyright the little symbol you see after a well-known slogan? Can a trademark protect the name of your rock band? ...
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  • The Basics: What You Need To Know About Trademarks

    Imagine for a moment the logo used by Target. The logo used by Starbucks. The logo used by Apple. The logo used by McDonald’s. These logos have become iconic. They have become so widely and easily recognizable that even children who have yet to learn how to read can identify these companies, their stores and their products simply by being exposed to these logos. If a company other than these ...
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  • Inventors Assistance Program for Independent Inventors of US Patents

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a specifically geared to small inventors and entrepreneurs. Under the USPTO Inventors Assistance Program , inventors who qualify as a small entity (e.g., independent inventor, a small business, or a nonprofit organization) are eligible for a 50 percent reduction in the USPTO's filing, issue and maintenance fees. That translates into a savings of ...
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