Intellectual Property

Late last month, a little clock-app and a handful of online creators made moves that are likely to permanently alter the existing copyright landscape. That’s right, Tiktok, an app with over 689 million active monthly users, and creators like Keara Wilson (the dancer who choreographed the insanely viral Savage Challenge dance to the Megan Thee Stallion song entitled Savage) have turned to the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure that the original creators of the app’s signature dance moves are acknowledged and compensated for their creations. Wilson, and other BIPOC dancers, decided to copyright their choreography after larger, white creators consistently…
I called the customer service line for my utility provider the other day and had a moment of confusion when I was addressed as “Samuel J. Kavalier.” The name I heard was not “Sam,” the name by which friends and family have known me for as long as I can remember, and the name I use when I introduce myself. I recognized after the moment passed that the name I heard was my legal name, and customer service was just using the name the company should and did have on file for my account. This moment got me thinking about…
Cyberpunk 2077 is the 20202021 equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever: Protracted development timeline, multiple delays, and upon eventual release – mixed reviews. Although Cyberpunk certainly faired much better than Nukem did from a gameplay and critical reception standpoint – the legal fallout experienced by CD Projekt (developer of Cyberpunk) has been decidedly much worse. Not only do they have to contend with a class-action lawsuit surrounding the release of the game – the Copyright Office denied their application for copyright protection on the Cyberpunk 2077 logo. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing the Cyberpunk 2077 copyright rejection and some…
It’s a new day in college athletics as sweeping changes in law and the NCAA policy on an athlete’s ability to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness (NIL) take effect across the nation. Universities are working quickly to draft and communicate their policies and athletes are chomping at the bit to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded to them under these changes. But, with excitement and new opportunities comes the risk of missteps, especially as all sides learn the new landscape at the same time. Because college athletes are new to the business side of sports, education…
Many businesses work hard and invest heavily to develop and protect their intellectual property rights, including trade secrets and proprietary processes, designs, and know-how.  However, special rules apply in determining ownership of these intellectual property rights when the work product is created by employees and independent contractors or consultants, particularly in a technical or creative role.  In some cases, these special rules can result in an unpleasant surprise for companies that do not take proper steps to protect their proprietary rights.  This post will summarize some key considerations for your business. Under U.S. law, whether a company automatically owns inventions…
Big weekend! Taylor Swift has re-released her 2008 album “Fearless” to claw back ownership of, and agency over, her music after the much publicized sale of the original master recordings to a private equity firm. The release, of course, is taglined, “Taylor’s Version” – but what is the (copyright) legality behind how Taylor was able to make the re-release happen? Read on for…..some of the best cocktail knowledge you’ll get from me this year. A “Bundle of Rights” – Made Even Larger in the Context of Music Copyright “rights” are referred to as a “bundle of rights” that their owner…
As trademark attorneys, we get the absolute luck to work with marketing firms and graphic designers a lot.  It is a lot of fun to work with such creative professionals. One thing that I hear from them over and over again is “Branding is so much more than trademarks!”  I agree! But since I am just a simple trademark attorney, that is what I can help clients address.  I didn’t learn about branding in law school.  However, as a business owner and through years of discussion, I’m starting to get an idea of what it is and what it isn’t.…
The Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC helps a lot of start-ups. The founders of these newly formed businesses often have methods or devices that they have invented, or logos, slogans or business names that are unique. Should they protect those inventions, logos, slogans or names? The short answer is yes. But the long answer requires diving into whether the wellness professional is willing to invest their resources in obtaining such protection. It can be a long, expensive, and grueling process, particularly for patents, and particularly if you go it alone. Here are some examples of intellectual property wellness…
On September 17, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) launched a new pilot program in an effort to incentivize inventors to find solutions to COVID-19. Under the new pilot program, filing fees for provisional patent applications may be deferred and, in some cases need not be paid at all if certain conditions relating to COVID-19 are met. The pilot program is reserved for provisional patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(b). Nonprovisional patent applications or international applications designating the United States are not eligible for participation. Currently, inventors enjoy the economic advantage provided by the patenting right…
Here we are. We know our company has value and so does the trademark.  That means I often look at it through a final set of lenses.  Those are succinctly put: Offense Defense Increase value Other third party considerations (a/k/a Amazon told me to) Offense:  Are we wanting to swat down people trying to pretend they are us? Those darned SCRUBBIEDUB imposters begone!  If yes, that means we are going to take proactive measures to do so including take-down demands and maybe even sue.  Yes, we will spend the money to do it – sometimes a lot of money.  Beware,…