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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Seven Important Issues to Address in Your Collaboration Agreement

Collaborating with your creative colleagues can be one of the most rewarding parts of running a creative business, and thanks to technology creative collaboration has become easier than ever. However, before you and your potential partners start emailing ideas and drafts back and forth, it is important that you understand that collaborating on projects with others raises unique legal and business concerns that you'll likely want to address in a collaboration agreement. Here Are Seven Important Issues to Address in Your Collaboration Agreement Who's doing ...

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The Risks of Using a Legal Website to Incorporate

Many people that we talk to about forming a business entity (aka "incorporating") are tempted to do so online via the numerous legal websites available, such as Legalzoom or Rocket Lawyer. For some people, this might be the right choice, but for others it could be a mistake. Learn more about using a legal website to incorporate vs hiring an attorney to do so. Is Using a Legal Website to Incorporate Right for You? Here are some points to consider when thinking about whether forming a business entity with a legal website is the right choice for your company. Le...

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How to Name Your Business

Aside from determining what products or services you’re going to offer, deciding what to name your business is one of the very first, and most creative, steps that a new business owner will undertake. It should be distinctive and memorable, and it should suggest the products and services you offer. However, choosing what to name your business is more than just a fun exercise in wordplay. A truly great name not only communicates what your business does, it also paves the way to an effective marketing strategy, and provides the foundation for important legal protections. ...

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How An Attorney Can Help You Set Up A Business

It's a big step to set up a business and hiring an attorney can feel intimidating. However, by getting legal counsel early on in your business' lifecycle, you can help make sure that everything starts on the right foot. Since a business entity will be the legal foundation of whatever enterprise you are involved in, it is key to get it right the first time. By doing so, you can minimize stress and conflicts and focus on the core of your business. How Can An Attorney Help You Set Up A Business? When it's time to set up a business, taking a proactive approach is key. And ...

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