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 […]

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.

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.

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?