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March 2015 Archives

Patent Infringement Claims and Attorney Fees

If you bring a claim for patent infringement, a recent case from the U.S. Supreme Court has made recovery of attorneys' fees easier than ever before. Typically, the party that wins the lawsuit in a patent infringement case has a right to seek attorneys' fees if a case is considered "exceptional" under a particular statute. These types of fee arrangements are meant to serve as a deterrent to parties who want to bring unwarranted suits on invalid or unenforceable patents.

Ssshhh . . . Trade Secrets

If you have developed a product, add another duty to your list of obligations: examining other similar products, patent filings, etc. to determine whether a competitor is misappropriating trade secret information. If you do not monitor the filings or if you do and fail to prosecute trade secret misappropriation claims, you may lose the right to sue for trade secret misappropriation.

Taylor Swift Seeks to Trademark Signature Catchphrases

Recent news that pop sensation Taylor Swift has applied to trademark "catchphrases" from her "1989" album (such as "This Sick Beat," "Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?" and "Party Like It's 1989") has appeared to open the floodgates in terms oftrademark questions. Can anyone trademark any phrase that pops into their minds, for use in the sale of certain products?

Trademark Oppositions: Your Chance to Protect Your Trademark

Many people assume that if they file a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") and the Examining Attorney at the USPTO does not find any conflicting trademarks, that they are entitled to registration. However, there is another step along the way.

Copyright / Why You Should Always Take the Necessary Steps to Copyright the Content of Your Website

As a small business owner you know full well that having an impressive website is vital for the success of your business. You elected to invest significant time and money to build the site or to employ a reputable web designer to separate your website from your competitors. You may have also chosen to hire a search engine optimization firm in hopes of obtaining a first page search engine ranking on Google or elsewhere in order to increase new customer income generated from internet acquisition. Now, how can you protect yourself from competitors exploiting all your time, effort, and monies spent, by simply copying your web content and using it as their own on their website? Answer: copyright your website content (including pictures) with the United States Copyright Office ("USCO"). This article briefly outlines the process of registering your website and the steps that you can take to prevent others from infringing your intellectual property rights.

Pom Wonderful Protects Its Pom-Trademark

If you've ever had pomegranate juice from the supermarket, chances are, it's Pom Wonderful. Pom Wonderful spends tremendous amounts of time and energy marketing its products - and bringing lawsuits against other companies' uses that may infringe its trademarks. Indeed, Pom Wonderful recently succeeded in bringing an action against Pur, which is known for making water filters, for selling a pomegranate-flavored energy drink called "Pom." The lessons learned from that case are helpful for anyone considering bringing a trademark action.

Artists Sue Sirius Over Pre-1972 Songs

In 2013, Flo & Eddie of the rock band "The Turtles" filed three suits in California, Florida, and New York, arguing that Sirius misappropriated their music and owes royalty payments. The plaintiffs seek more than $100 million in damages. Amendments to copyright law protect sound recordings authored after 1972, but older hits were left out. This means the artists do not have an exclusive right of public performance and therefore are not entitled to royalty payments. Now, many artists are fighting back.