Recent Blog Posts

Do Memes Violate Copyright Law?

Memes can take on legal challenges in cases where the underlying photo is copyright protected or is taken from a ...

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Protecting Your Invention Internationally: More Possible Than Ever Before

Protecting Your Invention Internationally: More Possible Than Ever Before

In today’s global marketplace, it’s hard for an entrepreneur with a great idea to know whether their idea will be ...

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Parody or Trademark Infringement? The Tale of Print T-Shirts

By Ozelle Martin | Lately, there seems to be a sudden burst in the number of print t-shirt lines that ...

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Making a Case for Modern-day Copyright in Court and in Congress

This week, copyright issues received considerable federal attention both in the Ninth Circuit of the US Courts of Appeals on ...

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Protecting the Personal Brand of Youtubers

What would you say if someone told you to protect your personality?  The first thing you would probably think about ...

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Battles in Design Law

The number of design infringement cases have been increasing, as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, a court equivalent to the ...

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Going Global: Don't Get Lost in Translation

By Diana Chan | As businesses go global, catering to the local culture becomes an enormous factor in the success ...

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The Trademark Tacking Doctrine: What is it and Who Should Decide.

In trademark law, the tacking doctrine allows an existing trademark owner to modify its mark without abandoning ownership of the ...

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Photos, Intellectual Property Rights and Social Media

Pictures used on social media platforms like Instagram have become extremely popular, with Instagram boasting over 800 million current users. ...

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Elton John’s Copyright Woes – International Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #9

Music legend Elton John is filing his legal documents to dismiss a copyright infringement suit filed in Illinois back in April by singer/songwriter Guy Hobbs. Hobbs alleges that the composer lyricist team of Elton Hohn and Bernie Taupin stole lyrics from his 1983 title “Natasha” for their title “Nikita” released two years later.

4 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets Abroad

At the 25th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), intellectual property rights were emphasized with a focus on trade secrets. Trade secrets have been a core concern among foreign companies in China. Lack of enforcement has been attributed to things like China’s limited experience with trade secret cases and reluctance on the part of the local governments to take on complex cases because of the time and resources involved.

How and when to protect your intellectual property in your small business

Bravo to all the small business owners that have the bravery, vision and drive to create something incredible and novel in the marketplace. Every business starts out from an idea. No matter where you are in the stage of solidifying your business idea or executing your business plan, intellectual property is a substantial part of the plan and you want to timely and correctly protect this valuable asset, especially as you try to get your endeavor off the ground by marketing and advertising your product or service.

Nintendo Found Guilty of Patent Infringement

Originally posted 2013-03-14 18:32:46. By Tasha Schmidt | In past blog entries, a case regarding glasses-free 3D technology was discussed on whether or not Nintendo was guilty of patent infringement against former Sony Employee, Seijiro Tomita. The jury ruled in the employee’s favor, and Nintendo is now ordered to pay $30.2 million in damages […]

Copyright Law and Presidential Politics – Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #2

Copyright Law and Presidential Politics – Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #2

Originally posted 2012-07-20 12:51:18. A YouTube video put out by Mitt Romney’s campaign team was taken down on Monday due to copyright infringement, exemplifying the free speech obstacle that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be. For the last few days, President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have been trading blows over Romney’s […]

Road to the ITC is paved with Patent Trolls

Part of the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s job is to protect U.S. industry by monitoring foreign imports. The ITC can prevent goods from entering the country—including for infringement of IP. And it can issue only one remedy for infringements—an injunction. No money, just exclusion orders that stop violators in their tracks. And this is exactly why legitimate businesses and questionable businesses alike have raced down the road to the ITC.

What does that have to do with money-grubbing patent trolls?

Do You Hear the Sweet Sound of Copyright Protection for your Melodies?

Copyright exists the moment something is put in a tangible form.  It is an exclusive legal right, a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for “original works of authorship”, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. The length of time that a work is protected by copyright for a work first published after January 1, 1978, is the life of the author plus 70 years. 

Christian Louboutin: Our “Soles” to Keep     

French designer Christian Louboutin is known for his stilettos with the eye-catching red outsoles. The price of a pair of these shoes starts at around $700 dollars. Currently, the red soles are protected under European Union law. However, in 2012 the controversy over the red bottom trademark ensued. In 2012, Louboutin instituted a trademark infringement lawsuit against Dutch shoemaker Van Haren, who was offering a collection of red-soled high-heeled shoes for sale. Van Haren is now defending suit based on the argument that Louboutin’s existing European trademark is invalid.         

Staples vs. Shoplet – What do you think? – International Intellectual Property Law- Case Study #18

Originally posted 2012-09-08 14:11:44. The largest office supply retailer, Staples, is suing a much smaller rival,, for trademark infringement, claiming that Shoplet’s logo and website too closely resembles its own. To understand the market domination Staples has over Shoplet, Staples is the nation’s No.1 office supply retailer and the No.2 internet retailer, while Shoplet […]

International Hashtag Protection

Ever since Twitter used hashtags, the phenomenon took off with a storm and is not letting up.  Businesses and individuals are now using this as a powerful marketing tool to help brand and promote catchy slogans.  As a continuing topic from the blog How to #Registeryourhashtag, once a hashtag is trademarked trademark infringement can occur.  This blog looks at the differences in interpreting when hashtag trademark infringement occurs in the US and Internationally.

Resale of Books and Copyright Law being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

Originally posted 2012-11-07 17:55:50. On Monday October 29, 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments of a copyright infringement case dealing with whether or not copyrighted goods made outside the United States can be resold in the U.S. without first attaining permission from the copyright holder. The case has garnered the attention of such […]