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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Let’s Hash It Out: The Legal Protection of Your Hashtags #SoCool

A hashtag is any word or words that have the pound (or hash) symbol in front of them. They are used to get certain words to trend on the Internet via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms. Anything can be a hashtag. For example, #mybrand, #awesome, #dolls, #trademark, and #fashion. You may be familiar with the recent controversy of Kris Jenner wanting to federally register the hashtag “#proudmama”- reportedly for advertising purposes. Hashtags are important and useful as they trigger discussions via twitter and other social media platforms.

Fashion Law: What Threatens Your Brand Value & What Causes the Invasion of Online Piracies? (2)

Originally posted 2014-01-16 16:35:46. By Sindy Wenjin Ding |             2.    What Causes the Invasion             First of all, as cyberspace/public domain has become an open gateway, there are no boundaries on geography, time, buyers, identity of sellers, etc., in this invisible cyberspace market. The […]

Michael Kors… Or Michael Yours…and Hers…and His

By Breanna Pendilton |
The Michael Kors brand is arguably one of the most expensive and well-known labels in today’s fashion world. But these same characteristics, (expensive and well-known) are exactly what’s destroying the reputation of this brand. Outlet stores and small business are jacking down the prices, and while the good ole’ Michael Kors’ stores still exist, customers are much more apt to buying them cheaper at other discount stores and retailers.

Twitter Law & Ethics, Kim Kardashian Style

By Kathleen Melhorn |
10,000 dollars is an awful lot of money to get for composing a 140 character tweet. Class A Celebrity Kim Kardashian is reported to receive this amount from companies who need marketing for their products. Kim is not the only one who has been caught tweeting for cash, other stars like 50 Cent & Snoop Dogg do it as well. What are the ethics involved with tweeting for money? Is this practice considered unethical, or is it just a good idea for companies?

Tory Burch Sues over Counterfeit Jewelry, Gets Countersued

In a year rife with counterfeit lawsuits filed by Tory Burch to protect her famous TT logo, the designer brand is now faced with a suit itself as the defendant, a New York company Lin & J, recently struck back with a countersuit. Lin & J own a wholesale brand called Isis that sells rings, necklaces, and earrings Tory Burch asserts are counterfeits of the brand’s own jewelry. However, Lin & J deny that the Isis jewelry pieces are copies and that similarities are coincidental. In their counterclaim, Lin & J accuse Tory Burch of copying their design instead. Besides trademark infringement, they are suing the fashion brand for unfair trade practices, tortious interference with its business relationships and defamation.

Getting Out of the Weeds: Why Cannabis Products Can Be Patented but not Trademarked

Cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in almost 30 states, and this number is likely to grow. However, cannabis remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for retailers of cannabis, or for products that contain cannabis.
However, what is especially interesting is that the USPTO will grant patents involving cannabis and its derivatives. More simply put, cannabis is patentable. Examples of cannabis-related patents include drug formulations, methods of treating sickness and disease with cannabis, and even cannabis plant patents. So why is cannabis patentable, even though federally it is illegal?

Are You a Risky Fashionista…Or Are You Risking the Protection of Your Brand?

By Breanna Pendilton |
I know what you’re thinking: “What exactly is a risky fashionista, and how do I know if I am one or not?” A risky fashionista is a person who is interested in a popular style or practice of fashion which may involve the possibility of having a bad or unpleasant reaction from others. In order to be a risky fashionista, you need exactly what the word says: risk and fashion. Without the risk, you’ll just have fashion; and while fashion is ok, it is not enough to protect your brand.

Selling Counterfeits Online? Think Twice

In 2005, LVMH, a conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton, Céline, Marc Jacobs, Möet & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, and several other luxury brands, brought an action in French court against Google for trademark infringement. Now, after a 10-year legal dispute, LVMH and Google have come to a settlement agreement and have decided to join together to fight the advertising and promotion of counterfeit products.


Applying and receiving a trademark is a daunting task and requires time and precision to ensure you do not face litigation for trademark infringement and other problems in the future.  Understanding the basic requirements of what to look for when you are considering applying for a trademark, and what the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) looks for is critical from the beginning.