Intellectual Property

Very often we get questions from clients regarding “authorized” – “issued” – and “outstanding” shares and what the terms mean in the context of corporations and raising money. Below is a quick explanation of the terms; thanks for reading.

Authorized Shares means the total (read, total ever that could be) shares a Corporation can create or “cut itself into.”  If you imagine a pizza, Authorized Shares are like the total number of slices the pizza will ever be cut up into.  There is
Continue Reading Authorized, Issued, and Outstanding

We’ve all done it. We’ve said we are going to do something…later.  Then it never gets done. We are going to go to the gym. We are going to call our mom. We are going to write that thank you card, article, novel, etc. But it doesn’t get done. Or it gets done only after oh, say, we wake up at 1:37 in the morning remembering it hasn’t been done. (Too oddly specific? There’s a reason for that.) Want
Continue Reading Implementation Isn’t Implied

In 1981 Andy Warhol used a photograph made by Lynn Goldsmith as reference for an illustration of the musician Prince. Vanity Fair magazine had hired Warhol to make the illustration; it was to accompany an article about Prince in the magazine’s November 1984 issue. Goldsmith had issued a limited license for this purpose. The license stated her photograph could be used for reference, “one time only.”

Turns out – in addition to the Vanity Fair illustration – Warhol made
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court: Warhol Foundation’s Use of Prince Photograph Not Fair Use

Friday May 12, 2023 was a big day here at the office. Thanks to the efforts of City Brewing and Wisconsin Brewing Company, the Department of Revenue issued a declaratory ruling that approved contract production (through Alternating Proprietorships, or straight contract) between distilleries (and by extension and our reading of the statute, wineries too). This is huge for any distillery with capacity, as well as upstart distillers looking to dip a toe in the industry prior to committing the
Continue Reading Contract Distilling? Sure, We Can Do That!

For our readers that have gone through the process of developing a trademark, you are aware of how hard it can be to come up with a word or a series of words that best identify your brand and embody the goods or services you offer. Let’s now stretch that mental picture a little further: imagine that you finally settle on a trademark after thinking long and hard, but then discover that there is an identical mark out there
Continue Reading Can I Mix it Up a Little?

What happens when two trademarks have the same spelling? Can they coexist? The answer is yes, but with some caveats.

The Trademark Act provides for a system of trademark classes to categorize goods and services. Classes 1-34 cover goods, while classes 35-45 cover services. The use of the same trademark is permissible across different classes, as long as there is no likelihood of confusion among consumers. For example, “Delta” can be used by both Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets
Continue Reading Can Identical Trademarks Co-Exist?

My staff teases me a lot about certain phrases that I repeat over and over (and over). They should. I would tease me a lot, too. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep repeating those things, though. A lot of the repeat-isms are things I say to myself even more often than I say to them. One such gem? “How do you eat a brontosaurus?” All together now. “One bite at a time.” (They made me stop saying elephant.)
Continue Reading Brontosaurus Bite Pie

Today’s post revisits something discussed several years ago on this blog: fair use. If you are looking for background or further reading, check out Erin’s posts here, here, and here, as well as Collin’s post here. As a quick TL;DR to those previous posts, fair use is a defense to copyright infringement claims for a use of a copyrighted work that would otherwise be considered infringement. Courts use a four-factor test to determine whether fair
Continue Reading Poking Fun or Making a Point?

As a business owner, you are no doubt very busy: you are building your brand, perhaps considering applying for applicable trademarks, contracting with clients and vendors, or even considering selling or buying a business. Some of the small details associated with these events can seem trivial and unnecessary. When clients approach business lawyers with these situations, they sometimes ask about certain aspects of the processes: “Is this necessary? Can I just skip it?” I will detail in this post
Continue Reading “Can I Just Skip It?” 

This post is about Chapter 4 of the Distilled Spirits Beverage Alcohol Manual (“BAM“). The BAM is the classification guide the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB“) will use to classify a distilled spirits product into a category (whisky, gin, vodka etc.) depending on its formula. This post is pretty short, but pretty nerdy. You’ve been warned.

Link to the BAM:

Before I started reading the BAM for fun (professionally), I was under the impression that to
Continue Reading My Gin was Made from Vodka?

Generally, to properly file a copyright application, the applicant must complete three components. First, the applicant must complete an online application. This process is relatively straightforward and requires certain pieces of information to be filled out and specified concerning the type of work, year of creation, publication information, author(s), claimant(s), and certain limits on use (if applicable). Second, the applicant must submit a filing fee by credit card, debit card, bank account, or deposit account. Lastly, the applicant must
Continue Reading Copyrights: The Difference in Deposits

Patent Fee Reductions

It’s that time again – Congress has passed another massive omnibus spending bill, and buried within its 4,400 pages are a few provisions that could have significant implications for small and micro entity patent applicants. Don’t worry if you missed them – it’s not your fault. The patent fee reductions were easy to overlook amidst the pages and pages of budgetary minutiae and pork barrel spending. Nonetheless, everyone should take note of these changes, as they
Continue Reading 2023 Patent Fee Reductions and Trademark Response Period Changes

If any readers have ever gotten in touch with OG+S regarding a potential trademark application, we have likely mentioned the possibility of doing a “preliminary screen” for your mark. This process, sometimes also referred to as a “knockout search”, helps trademark applicants get a sense of the field before they apply. Here at OG+S, we are always happy to run such a screen (for a reasonable flat fee) for anyone considering applying for a trademark.

In this post, I
Continue Reading First Things First: Trademark Preliminary Screens

There has been a bit of upheaval over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like 2023 is going to suddenly calm itself down. That means we continue to have the choice on how we view the external world and act upon our assessment. I propose that there are two dichotomies of options presented that maybe aren’t so opposite as they first seem. The first is the question of Opportunity versus Threat. The second is reactive versus proactive

Three years ago, I went on vacation. When I came back, COVID started, my son Noah was born, our team grew, and shrank, and grew again; time became a vortex. I cannot believe three years has gone by, but it has; time really flies. A lot of things have changed in both our business and personal lives – but not much has changed as far as your rights at the border – you still don’t have any! I’ve dusted
Continue Reading The Border Revisited

Many of the readers of this blog are busy people—and life only seems to get busier by the day. As Erin discussed in her recent post about delegation and its benefits, time is finite, and taking time to do one task means you can’t do another at the same time. That ties into an idea we discuss often at OG+S— “opportunity cost”—that for every opportunity you embrace and every choice you make, there is a cost, an infinite amount
Continue Reading Time Management Takeaways