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I.P. Blog

February 13, 2020,

The Function of a Trademark

Trademarks have been in the news a lot recently. Media personality Kim Kardashian West applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to register “KIMONO SOLUTIONWARE” as a trademark for her line of shapewear. Rapper Cardi B applied to the USPTO to register “OKURR” as a trademark on clothing. NBA Superstar and businessman LeBron ...

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February 11, 2020,

All About Copyright Notice

What is copyright? Copyright is a form of protection granted by law for original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright protects literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works including writings, artwork, photographs, poetry, songs and movies. Copyright protection attaches or begins once the original work (photograph, writing, drawing, image, ...

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February 6, 2020,

Protect Your Ideas With a Confidentiality or Nondisclosure Agreement

Why do you need a Confidentiality or Nondisclosure Agreement?: Confidentiality agreements, also referred to as nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are legal agreements between parties that specify information that one or both of the parties consider confidential and prohibit the other party from disclosing it. The party disclosing the information is commonly referred to as the “Disclosing ...

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February 4, 2020,

The Value of Protecting Your Brand

I speak to business owners and entrepreneurs everyday about how to protect their business name, logo or slogan with a federal trademark registration. I often hear: “It’s too expensive”, “It’s not necessary for my business right now”, “I’ll do it myself” Or “I’ll do it later when my business is making more money”. My response ...

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January 30, 2020,

USPTO Mandates Electronic Filing for Federal Trademark Applications

Effective February 15, 2020, all trademark applicants and registrants (with limited exceptions) will be required to file their trademark applications and documents concerning trademark applications and registrations online using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Electronic Application Filing System (TEAS). In addition, trademark applicants and registrants will be required to: 1. Provide and ...

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January 28, 2020,

USPTO Enacts New Rules for Foreign Trademark Applicants

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently amended the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases to require applicants, registrants, or parties to a trademark proceeding whose domicile (home) is not located within the United States (U.S.) or its territories to be represented by an attorney who is an active member in good standing of ...

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January 23, 2020,

Trademark Application Filing Basis: Use or Intent to Use?

Rapper Cardi B filed a trademark application to register her catchphrase “OKURRR”. Media personality Kim Kardashian West applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to register “KIMONO SOLUTIONWARE” as a trademark for her line of shapewear. Professional basketball star and entrepreneur LeBron James recently filed a trademark application to register “TACO TUESDAY” for ...

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January 21, 2020,

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) will be effective starting January 1, 2020. The CCPA is considered to be the first comprehensive consumer privacy bill in the U.S., very similar to what the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR was for citizens of the European Union. Who Must Comply? The CCPA applies to ...

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January 16, 2020,

You have probably seen the following symbols before:®, TM, SM. Read on to find out what they mean and how to use them to help your protect your brand. What is a Trademark?: A trademark is any word, slogan, symbol, design or combination of these which does two things: 1) identifies the source of goods ...

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January 14, 2020,

What do all the symbols mean?: Copyright

Have you seen these symbols before?: ©,℗? The copyright symbol:© and the phono record symbol:℗ are used as part of a copyright notice. A copyright notice is a statement that informs the public that the author or creator of the work is claiming ownership of the work. What is Copyright?: Copyright is a form of ...

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December 28, 2017,

Trademark Application Issues

What Happens if There is a Problem with your Trademark Application? After your trademark application is filed, it is assigned to an examining attorney in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The examining attorney will review your application to determine if your trademark meets the legal requirements for registration and if the trademark you ...

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December 21, 2017,

Why Most Trademark Applications Fail

Avoid the Number One Reason Trademark Applications Fail The number one reason most trademark applications are refused registration is on the basis of likelihood of confusion with an existing trademark or a trademark on a pending application. If you file an application for a trademark that is confusingly similar or identical to an existing or ...

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December 21, 2017,

Why Most Trademark Applications Fail

Avoid the Number One Reason Trademark Applications Fail The number one reason most trademark applications are refused registration is on the basis of likelihood of confusion with an existing trademark or a trademark on a pending application. If you file an application for a trademark that is confusingly similar or identical to an existing or ...

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December 15, 2017,

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality What is net neutrality? Net Neutrality is the principle that all data and traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Net Neutrality means that providers of internet access services must remain neutral regarding their treatment of the information and data that flows across their networks and cannot treat any content more or ...

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December 14, 2017,

Time Necessary for Trademark Applications

Do You Have the Time to File a Trademark Application? After you file your trademark application, it usually takes anywhere from 1 year to 18 months to obtain a trademark registration. In some cases, the registration process can take years to complete. During this time, you have to monitor the status of your application regularly ...

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December 7, 2017,

How Much Will My Trademark Application Cost?

How much will my trademark application cost? There are 3 different Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) you may file to obtain a federal trademark registration. Each application has a different fee and different requirements. The application fees are as follows: $225: TEAS Plus $275: TEAS Reduced Fee $400: TEAS Regular The application fee quoted for ...

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November 30, 2017,

Trademark Maintenance Documents

Trademark Maintenance Documents Earlier this year, I wrote about 10 important reasons to obtain a registered trademark. As a trademark attorney, I was surprised to find out that many owners of federal trademarks, especially those that filed the application themselves, do not know that they need to file additional documents to keep their trademark registration ...

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November 10, 2017,

Domain Names vs Business Names vs Trademarks

Domain Names vs Business Names vs Trademarks Legal Identity and Trademarks In my conversations with entrepreneurs and business owners I have discovered that there is much confusion regarding the differences between a business name, a domain name and a federal trademark. Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it seems. Business name A business name is ...

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October 14, 2017,

How Small Business Owners Can Avoid Copyright Infringement

It seems that almost weekly I am reading about yet another business owner or entrepreneur that has downloaded a photo or image from the internet for use on their website or in their print advertising and then is surprised to be sent a cease and desist letter from the copyright owner requesting payment of tens ...

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October 5, 2017,

Why your Website needs a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

The Internet Vortex It happened.  Everyone is online.  Some may say this was caused by the personal computer becoming so affordable that every home now has one (or two)?  Or was it the proliferation of Wi-Fi, laptops and smart phones?  Maybe it was caused by the advancements in technology that allowed anyone with a mobile ...

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August 25, 2017,

Las Vegas Golden Knights vs the USPTO – Round 2

On 1/20/17 I wrote about the trademark application filed on behalf of the Las Vegas Golden Knights professional hockey team was refused for registration (not a final refusal) by the assigned examining attorney from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The main reason cited for the refusal was the likelihood of confusion between the ...

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August 17, 2017,

Transfer of Copyright Ownership and Rights

One of the purposes of creating a will is to identify the assets you have that you want to pass on to your loved ones.  We are usually concerned with identifying all of our tangible physical assets, including personal property, bank accounts, and real estate to make sure that these assets are bequeathed according to ...

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March 24, 2017,

The Rights of Authors of Joint Works

Enough about Trademark, let’s talk a little bit about Copyright law!  Specifically, the rights of joint authors. I am often asked by co-authors if they can take any action against another co-author for using their joint work in a fashion that they don’t agree with.  Before we answer that, let’s discuss what a joint work is. ...

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March 6, 2017,

Why You Can’t Wait to Protect Your Intellectual Property

The late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a book entitled “Why We Can’t Wait”.  The book describes in detail the nonviolent campaign against legal segregation and racial injustice waged by Dr. King and his followers in the 1960s, specifically in Birmingham, Alabama.  The title of the book was meant to answer those who ...

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February 15, 2017,

The Top 10 Reasons you Should Have a Registered Trademark

Today’s blog post is about the top 10 reasons why you should obtain a registered trademark.  First, let’s discuss what a trademark is.  A trademark is a word, slogan, symbol, design or combination of those which does two things:  1) identifies the source of goods or services in the marketplace; and 2) distinguishes those goods ...

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November 20, 2015,

Basics of Copyright and Copyright Infringement

Founding Partner and Managing Member at Johnson Moss L.L.C. Copyright is a form of protection granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  This means that the work must be an original creation, not copied, and it must be somehow fixed or recorded so that a copy of ...

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