Stopping Online Infringement
Substantively, copyright protection is the same in the digital world and on the internet as in traditional form. The only practical difference is the likelihood that the copyright will be infringed. Works available in cyber space are far more likely to be the subject of unauthorized copying. This may be the result of people's misconception about copyright protection over online works, it may be because the online … Read More
Royalty-Free and Open License Works
If you want to use photographs, graphics, or other content without paying a fee or by paying a one-time fee rather than an ongoing royalty, it is important that you understand the law to avoid subjecting yourself or your business to a copyright infringement claim. Common forms of royalty-free works are clip art, templates, and works licensed under Creative Commons.
Clip Art and Templates
Clip art and templates … Read More
When Can I Use Content Without Permission?
If you want to use content that you did not create, it is helpful to know whether that content is copyright-protected or whether you can use it without permission. Whether the content is text, drawings, graphics, photographs, or sound recordings, the rule is always that if it is in the public domain, you can use it freely and without permission. Public domain is often misunderstood though. Just because something … Read More
What Do I Do If My Copyrights Are Being Infringed?
If someone has copied or reproduced your book, article, blog, artwork, photograph or other copyright-protected works without your permission, you have several options. Before using any of these options, be sure that you actually own the copyrights to the content that you are reporting. Falsely reporting copyright infringement can be a violation of federal law that can subject you to a claim for damages, including … Read More
Copyrights and Photographs
Copyrights are a bundle of legal rights belonging to the owner of an original work of authorship. Federal statutes provide that copyright protection subsists in “original works of authorship” that are fixed in any tangible medium of expression. The statute also expressly provides that works of authorship include pictorial works. Original works means that only the original creator has legal rights. … Read More
Congress Creates a Small Claims Court for Copyright Infringement (The CASE Act)
The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (the “CASE Act”) was buried in the enormous COVID relief and stimulus bill (i.e., the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021) and signed into law on December 27, 2020. Copyright owners and accused infringers should take note of the advantages and limitations of the new “small claims” court created by the CASE … Read More
Congress Hands Trademark Owners New Tools to Fight Infringers and Challenge Fraudulent Registrations: The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020
The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (the “TMA”) was buried in the enormous COVID relief and stimulus bill (i.e., the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021), signed into law on December 27, 2020. The TMA amends federal trademark law in several significant ways of which trademark owners should take note.
Rebuttable Presumption of Irreparable Harm.
One of the most important types of … Read More
Making Every Dollar Count: Should Startups and Small Businesses Register Their Trademarks?
How important is reputation in your line of work? What is it worth? Does it matter that others associate your company with consistently high-quality goods or services? That your company represents a strong value-add proposition? That your company was easy to work with and exceeded expectations? And how do customers find you? Word-of-mouth? Marketing efforts? Search-engine optimization?
A Trademark is the … Read More
Trademark Trolls Circling Redskins Unlikely to See Big Pay Day
For decades, the Washington Redskins’ name has been the center of controversy, both in federal court and in the court of public opinion. Native American groups have long decried the name as a racial slur and have challenged the name in court and in the media. Until recently, the NFL team stood firm in its defense of the name. In the wake of mass protests against institutional racism following the murder of … Read More
Generic.Nope: Supreme Court Deems BOOKING.COM a Distinctive, Registrable Mark
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Booking.com B.V., the owner of the hotel-reservation website of the same name, is entitled to register the mark BOOKING.COM with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). In doing so, the Court rejected the USPTO’s nearly per se rule that adding “.com” to a generic term can never create a distinctive and registrable mark. The Court … Read More