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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What’s Harming the Fashion Industry

Why should a company protect its brand name? There is a multitude of reasons to register one’s trademark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. One of the reasons is to stop others from copying your product and selling it as their own. To raise awareness of the harms the counterfeit market inflicts onto the fashion industry, New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology opened a new exhibit “Faking It”.

Luxury Beneath the Label: Protecting Your Brand at a Molecular Level with DNA Marking

By Christina Severino |
The prevalence of counterfeit fashion has increasingly threatened the integrity and presence of luxury brands on a global stage. For every misspelled logo, clumsy stich or questionable cashmere sweater, profits collected from these counterfeits do more than fool the purchaser; they undermine the ingenuity of the original brand and potentially fund other criminal conduct that may go undiscovered.

Court Settlement Orders New York Fashion Week to Move

New York Fashion Week has been running into quite some trouble these past couple years. Back in spring of 2013, iconic designers such as Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg and Vera Wang left the Lincoln Center venue for New York Fashion Week. Now a recent settlement orders New York Fashion Week to move from the Lincoln Center after its February 2015 show.

My Name and My Trademark… Yep, It’s the Same Thing!

Over the past two years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has granted British singer and songwriter, Rita Ora, federal protection over the use of the mark “Rita Ora”. That’s right, her name is now registered as a valid trade and service mark for concert souvenirs, clothes, hair and makeup accessories, music recordings, and even her performances and/or services as a singer and songwriter.

Maintaining Your Trademark

A federally protected trademark can be retained indefinitely if maintained in accordance with the laws.  After going through the effort of obtaining federal protection of a Trademark, why would you want to forgo those rights by not maintaining it?  Failing to comply with the required maintenance documents can lead to cancellation of the mark being protected under federal law, thus losing the protected rights afforded under statute provided at the federal level.

Counterfeit Fashion

Originally posted 2013-03-13 19:01:49. By Tasha Schmidt | As many people’s wallets are getting tighter it seems more people are sacrificing buying genuine luxury goods and instead are investing in fake fashion goods. Counterfeit fashion and brand imitation is going on all over the world. Some people may unknowingly be buying fake products, as […]

Is Your Secret Out? What are Trade Secrets

trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, commercial method, or compilation of information not generally known or reasonably ascertainable by others by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. Many brands choose to maintain trade secrets in favor of patents or other various methods of protection because trade secrets do not require public disclosure, where a patent does.  Keeping information a trade secret prevents competitors from gaining the knowledge necessary to reproduce the process themselves.      Although there is no federal registration for trade secrets, they are still protected under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) at the federal level, and by state statute under the adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA).

Brand Interaction: Take it from a Millennial

By Christina Severino |
Although Baby Boomers still control roughly 70% the U.S.’s total disposable income, targeting “Gen Y” consumers is still a necessary evil for all brands. Generational gaps (both economically and socially) have turned the tables on brands, who are now struggling to keep up with the flighty and sometimes unpredictable behaviors of “Gen-Y”. A 2013 survey by claims that Millennials who use social media are 28% more likely to make a purchase because of a social media recommendation. It is not enough that they simply “like” the brand to make them loyal customers.


By Eliana Rocchi |
Can emoticons become trademarks? Apparently yes, as there are several federally registered trademarks that are in fact emoticons. The “smiley”, for example is used by clothing and jewelry companies, perfumes producers and souvenirs retailers. The “winkey” is used for alcoholic beverages. Even the “frowny” is used as a trademark for companies producing clothing and greeting cards.

Why You Should Consider Licensing Your Brand

Brand Licensing is a great way for owners of intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, and patents, primarily) to maintain legal protections in their works while making it possible for third parties to use and develop that work legally. Brand Licensing allows originators of intellectual property to grant non-exclusive rights in their creations, otherwise reserved solely for the originator, to third parties. At the same time, license agreements ensure that creators are paid royalties in exchange for permitting third party use.

Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad

A Super Bowl advertisement for Dodge Ram Trucks quickly drew backlash among some of the 100 million viewers. The ad featured Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous sermon titled “The Drum Major Instinct,” which played in the background. The commercial proceeded with images of men and women working to help others and then ended with the image of a Dodge Ram truck. While the uproar has mostly been concerned with the appropriateness of using Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon in a truck ad…. what about the legal side? What about using Martin Luther King Jr.’s intellectual property?