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Intellectual Property

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.

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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.

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Nintendo Found Guilty of Patent Infringement

Originally posted 2013-03-14 18:32:46. By Tasha Schmidt | amdlawgroup.com 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 […]

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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.         

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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, Shoplet.com, 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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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?

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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.

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