Patent “Trolls” Face Increased Obstacles

When patent law first went on the books back in 1787, it was intended to provide incentives for innovation and to promote the progress of “the useful Arts.” Certainly, patent law has protected and rewarded many inventors, artisans, and scholars since then, but as with anything, there will always be… Read more

Apple and Samsung Show the Importance of Design Patents

Rivals Apple and Samsung recently wrapped up a major smartphone patent lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In April 2011, Apple sued Samsung for trade dress dilution and patent infringement. The district court ruled in favor of Apple, awarding over $1 billion in damages. Samsung… Read more

Should I Just Hand Over My Domain?

Real-life examples of trademark disputes are always interesting. Some cases are clear cut and quick to resolve, but many fall into the gray zone of is-it-or-isn’t-it-trademark-infringement. One such case is going on right now. Manhattan-based startup CaseRails was started over 2 years ago by three co-founders. The company creates and… Read more

“Asexual Propagation Prohibited.” Say what?

Mother’s Day hydrangeas have a little plastic tag stating, “PP #10,152 Asexual Propagation Prohibited. Bay City Flower Company, Inc.”  What’s this?  A patented plant. Many people are surprised to learn that The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants patents for plants. Under patent law, the first person to appreciate the… Read more

Take it Easy? Not When it Comes to Intellectual Property

Don Henley, singer and drummer of the Eagles, filed a lawsuit against clothing company Duluth Trading Co., claiming the company referenced his name and song title without seeking a license to do so. Duluth Trading Co. sent out an email advertisement for its Henley-style t-shirt with the slogan, “Don a… Read more

You Can’t Patent That

There has been much buzz about the recently discovered antibiotic Teixobactin. It is the first new antibiotic to be discovered in 3 decades. In lab studies, Teixobactin killed MRSA infection and drug-resistant tuberculosis in mice and in cell cultures, without any major side effects and without showing signs that the… Read more

Craft Breweries Get Fractious About “Innovation”

Trademark disputes are very common in the business world. Most of the time, these disputes are worked out quietly between the affected parties. If, however, the trademark dispute is between an independent business and a corporate giant, and information about the dispute ends up on social media, then it quickly… Read more

Make a Brand, Protect a Brand

Good branding must start with the CEO, says Fran Kelly of CEOVIEW Branding. He says CEOs must become “Brand Champions” in order to be the most successful CEO they can be. Kelly says that the desire for and demand for superior branding must come from the top. By making better… Read more

Can Taylor Swift Trademark Her Lyrics?

Taylor Swift recently applied to trademark several phrases from her songs. In doing so, she is breaking new ground in testing the limits of the law. It is becoming very common for recording artists and performers to think of themselves as their own personal corporations and brands. Because of peer-to-peer… Read more

Is It Worth Getting a Trademark? Time Will Tell

In today’s increasingly digitized markets, small businesses can go from mom and pop operations to household names nearly overnight. Take the food industry’s hot-ticket item of the moment, Sriracha. Changes are, anywhere from high-end sushi restaurants to specialty burger bars and everywhere in between, you’ve come across the sizzling, sweet… Read more

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