Five Color Trademarks

Have you ever heard of a color trademark? It's exactly what it sounds like - a color used to identify a particular brand of goods or services. Lots of companies have them and you have probably heard of a number of them. Maybe your company even has a distinctive color that you would like to call your own? What Are Color Trademarks? Trademarks are all about source identification. That means that for any trademark to work, it must help consumers find goods or services; when someone sees a trademark, they should immediately think of that brand. Having a trademark in your ...

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Thoughts on Guatemalan Artisans and Copyright

Last week the blog Fashionista wrote an article about Guatemalan artisans and copyright. The gist is that they plan to assert copyright claims against Etsy sellers (among others) for infringing upon their designs. Since a lot of people sent it my way, I wanted to take a moment or three to think through some of the possible legal issues here. Thinking About the Legal Issues Involved with Guatemalan Artisans and Copyright I want to start by being clear that this article will only discuss the legal issues involved with the issues surrounding this copyright issue. I am ...

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Client Profile: BEMO

This August we would like to feature local Silver Lake creative boutique BEMO as our client of the month. BEMO specializes in VFX, animation, and live action film for clients including major brands in the tech and entertainment industries. Their design-driven approach allows them to go beyond the traditional roles of a VFX company and create some incredible content. Recently, their work was nominated for a VMA for their involvement with A Tribe Called Quest's Dis Generation music video. We chatted with Bradon Hirzel, BEMO's executive producer, to see what separates them ...

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Now The Creators’ Legal Program Helps You Get Your Legal House In Order

When we started the Creators' Legal Program nearly two years ago, the concept was simple: make it easy for our clients to get in touch with us without having to worry about billing. Along the way we learned that many business owners don't actually know what their legal needs are and often don't find out until it's too late. We needed to change that. Now, when you join the Creators' Legal Program, we will help you come up with an actionable and achievable plan to address your business' legal issues and help your business grow faster. By working with creative businesses ...

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How to Secure Startup Intellectual Property

Failure to secure your startup's intellectual property is one of the most common mistakes made by early startups. Here are some things that startup companies (or any company) can do to protect their valuable startup intellectual property. Tips on How to Secure Startup Intellectual Property Make sure you have agreements with key contractors and key founders. It's imperative that your startup enters into agreements with anyone who will be developing any intellectual property for the company that stipulate that their work product is either work-made-for-hire (where ...

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An Introduction to Amazon Brand Registry

Once you've acquired federal trademark registration, you have a duty to maintain your mark. That includes making sure others aren't misusing your registered trademark on the internet, such as social media. Similarly, you want to keep watch for others infringing on your mark in e-commerce. Amazon Brand Registry is a program designed to help with that by making it easier for brand owners to manage their brands and report counterfeit listings on Amazon.com. How Does Amazon Brand Registry Work? The first iteration of Amazon Brand Registry offered limited utility, ...

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Client Profile: The Gaslamp Killer

This month we would like to feature our client The Gaslamp Killer. We have registered multiple trademarks for "GLK" and formed his business entities. With our help, The Gaslamp Killer now has the legal infrastructure in place to protect his brand and business. We gave William aka The Gaslamp Killer a call to get his thoughts on why he hired a lawyer and his advice for budding creative businesses. How has having a lawyer helped your business? I am a musician who profits from my creative output. The fear of paperwork is real and you can easily feel overwhelmed ...

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How “The Slants” Case Changes the Landscape for Immoral Trademarks

As originally envisioned, section 2(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits registration of scandalous, deceptive, disparaging or immoral trademarks. Last week in Matal v. Tam (a.k.a., "The Slants case"), however, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that the USPTO’s refusal to register the proposed trademark "THE SLANTS" on disparagement grounds was an unconstitutional violation of free speech. As a result, words that we would not normally use "in polite conversation" are no longer deemed unsuitable for federal trademark protection. How the Supreme Court's ...

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Why You Should Consider Trademark Monitoring

Securing federal trademark registration is only the beginning of the process of protecting your trademark. Once you've registered your mark you must maintain it, and one of the key elements of maintaining your mark is trademark monitoring. This means watching diligently for others making unauthorized use of your mark or attempting to register confusingly similar marks. Here are a few things you should know about trademark monitoring. Why Is Trademark Monitoring Important? The USPTO registers trademarks, but it doesn't monitor or enforce them—that's up to the ...

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How to Use Creative Commons Licenses and Creative Commons-Licensed Content

Creative Commons is an organization dedicated to expanding the body of creative works available to build upon and share. They are most well-known for providing free, easy-to-use copyright licenses that give creators a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use their work under conditions chosen by the creator. Before using Creative Commons-licensed work or distributing your own work under a Creative Commons license, however, it's important that you understand some of the issues that make them unique. What You Need to Know About Using ...

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