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
Catch a Tiger by the Toe: How the Tiger King Got Caught (for Copyright Infringement)
Caution: Spoilers Ahead. Netflix’s wildly popular documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness continues to capture the imagination of the public as countless media reports and a follow-up Netflix episode chronicle the various developments and characters featured in the show.
The true-crime drama highlights various legal missteps of “Tiger King” Joe Exotic, an eccentric big-cat … Read More
Beating Tigers: How Carol Baskin Slayed the Tiger King (with Trademark Law)
Caution: Spoilers Ahead. Netflix’s documentary series “Tiger King” is currently the number one show on the streaming service and one of the most talked about shows in media. The series explores the peculiar world of private, big-cat zoos and the strange characters that run them. The show centers on an escalating feud between the “Tiger King” Joe Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, … Read More
How Private is Zoom® Videoconferencing?
Many of us find ourselves attending meetings by video conference, such as Zoom. You might even be having confidential interactions with your clients, medical providers, or legal providers. If you are wondering how secure those interactions are, we analyzed Zoom’s security, legal, and privacy policies (which were updated on March 18, 2020) to help you stay informed without having to read all the fine print. … Read More
Register Your Copyrights Early or Say Goodbye to Statutory Damages and Attorney’s Fees
One of the important benefits that come from registering copyrighted works early is the ability to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees from a copyright infringer in a lawsuit. It is only when copyright owners register their work before copyright infringement begins (or within three months after first publication of that work) that they become eligible for an award of statutory damages and attorney& … Read More
How Amazon’s Liability for Third Party Products Will Harm Amazon Sellers
In late 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held Amazon liable as the seller of a third-party's dog collar that broke causing the retractable leash to recoil, hitting and blinding the purchaser in one eye. The court strained to find a remedy for the injured woman when the actual third-party seller of the leash had disappeared. In yet another instance of bad facts making bad law, the ruling has … Read More
Intellectual Property 101 for Business Owners
Although many business owners have a general idea of the concept of intellectual property, most are not as familiar with the different types of intellectual property and what can be protected. This can be an expensive learning curve given that intellectual property often represents one of the largest asset classes a business owns.
Intellectual property is generally defined as "creations of the mind." The law … Read More
Why Register My Trademark? The Benefits of Trademark Registration
A trademark is a word, name, or symbol used to identify and distinguish a seller’s product from those of others. A trademark is part of a company’s brand. It is the embodiment of the company’s reputation. Over time, a trademark can accumulate significant goodwill. Consider the value of top brand names, such as Apple, Google, and McDonalds. Apple’s brand recently became the first to surpass … Read More