Intellectual Property

We’ve talked about why we should delegate and what and when we should delegate. All of that is great unless we don’t actually do it or do it poorly. So today, we’ll provide some pointers on the how we can delegate successfully. 

First, choose the correct person for the correct task. Each team member has a role and a strength. Just because they “can” doesn’t mean they should. Match the task and the delegate.  

Second, build parameters and guidelines.
Continue Reading Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Last week, I talked about why we delegate. Great, now we’re sold! But what do we delegate and when?

Not every task can be delegated.  Before simply handing off a task (especially menial ones), consider whether you can eliminate it in the first place completely. If it doesn’t need to be done, then we do not need to be losing time (and money) by having someone else do it. A necessity is not always one, and it may not
Continue Reading Delegation: What Do I Give, What Do I Keep?

Have you ever convinced yourself that something is simple…just because you want it to be simple?
You’re not alone. In the context of applications for US copyright and trademark registration, people decide every day that do-it-yourself (DIY) is an acceptable option because, to their wishful eyes, “it’s just paperwork.”
Or maybe they think, “maybe I shouldn’t do this completely on my own,” so they fork over a small fee to an online Service that offers to take
Continue Reading US Copyright Applications: Not As Simple As You Think

Delegation is important for proper efficiency for any organization. In a series of three posts, I discuss why, when, and how to delegate. First up, why should we delegate tasks?


There are two main reasons to delegate: You and Them. A lot of ink is spent on the first, and that is the part that is easy to see. When you delegate, you free up your time and effort to focus on what you should focus on. If
Continue Reading Delegation: Why We Don’t Need to Do it All

“That was good, wasn’t it?” This was the question that Republican Senator John McCain asked Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, after having one of their heated debates on the floor of the United States Senate. Two men putting aside their staunch differences because of a friendship. Now over the years, I have noticed that more and more of my fellow students have become more politically engaged and opinionated. More than likely a result of our growth, and how we are
Continue Reading The Good Fight with the Good Friends 

As another year concludes, a bit of reflection can be in order. For me, there is much to reflect on after completing one year of work as a new lawyer at a busy law firm. Amid the end-of-year deal closings, trademark applications, and other adventures in the practice of law, I wanted to close out the final entry of the OG+S blog for 2022 with a few lessons I learned from this year of work—forged from a mix of
Continue Reading Reflections on a Year of Firm Practice 

During these joyous holiday times, thoughts turn to peace on Earth, goodwill toward all and, of course, data scraping.

The United States Supreme Court is presently deciding whether to review a Second Circuit case that gave Google a free pass to scrape the content from another business’ website. The business that got scraped (Genius Media Group, “GMC”) provides an online platform for music enthusiasts who transcribe song lyrics. GMC invested millions of dollars to build its technology and to
Continue Reading Fighting Back Against Data Scrapers

         Christmas and all of its “Christmas magic” is so ingrained in American culture, it can tempting to assume that the holiday is immune from IP considerations. For those who have been reading our blog for a while, you know that this is not the case (shameless plug for my post from last year on a similar topic). However, you might not be aware that there are many registered trademarks related to Christmas. Here are some you might recognize,
Continue Reading A Trademark Christmas

A lot has changed since Wisconsin growers and processors of hemp applied for their first permits from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection under the 2014 Farm Bill. Now, the growing of hemp in our state is managed by the USDA via their local Farm Services Agencies, among many other changes. In this post we discuss the basic steps for applying for a hemp growing permit from the USDA. If you have dreams and aspirations of growing hemp
Continue Reading Applying for a License to Grow Hemp in Wisconsin – 2022 Edition!

Are you a musical artist looking to protect your work? If you’ve ever sought copyright protection of your songs before 2021, you may remember feeling the burn of paying to register each song individually. However, there was news early last year from the Copyright Office which can help ease the financial burden of protecting your work and enforcing the rights to your music. Enter: the GRAM (Group Registration for an Album of Music) Copyright Application.

This post continues the
Continue Reading Copyright Office Sings a Different Tune

Let’s start with five fundamental concepts:

  • Copyright protects original expression.
  • To qualify for copyright protection, that original expression must be “fixed in a tangible medium.” (For example: painted on canvas; sculpted in stone; captured on film; written on paper.)
  • The tangible media (the canvas; the stone; the film; the paper) are, for estate planning purposes, “tangible personal property.”
  • Copyright rights that attach to original expression are, “intangible personal property.”
  • The intangible copyright rights and the tangible media are

  • Continue Reading Estate Planning: Copyright and the Limits of Digital Property

    Compensating service providers with equity is a pretty regular occurrence with startups. New companies don’t have a lot of cash (or any) to pay the people they need to run the business (just get a quote on the cost to develop an MVP of your new app if you don’t believe me) and providing equity is a great way to build buy-in because…we know…a startup, at least from the perspective of the Founders, is a long-play, not a short
    Continue Reading Getting Over That Hurdle (Rate)

    As you learned from Drew’s post last week, we attended the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Solo and Small Firm Conference.  It is a conference for well, solo and small (fewer than 10 attorneys) firms. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of discussions about teams with other attendees – especially those of us who have a dispersed workforce.  One key ingredient in having a team whether dispersed or not is trust, but it becomes even more important when people work from
    Continue Reading How trust enhances team performance

    Every year, many Wisconsin lawyers who work for small firms or practice law solo attend a conference sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin which facilitates gatherings, lectures, and conversations about relevant topics and issues. I was excited to be able to attend this year’s Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference to gain insight into approaching legal practice in this way through lectures and conversations. These in-person discussions are especially valuable to me as a new lawyer at an
    Continue Reading Three Insights from the 2022 Wisconsin Bar Solo & Small Firm Conference  

    After moving to Wisconsin, I came to appreciate many things about Wisconsin culture, including the near-universal adoration of Kwik Trip. After a few visits to Kwik Trip, I realized that Kwik Trip was something I had experienced long before ever having been to Wisconsin. In my native state of Iowa, Kwik Trip had been present my whole childhood. The only difference is that I recognized it under the Kwik Star brand name. Many Wisconsinites I share this with are
    Continue Reading Quick (Kwik? Quik?) on the Draw

    Below is an actual question that I have seen on Reddit, received on Facebook, and chosen not to answer on forums. But now is the time to unravel some copyright questions.

    I found a crochet pattern, and I hate it. I had to re write it in different terms to understand it. How much would need to be changed in order to have a new pattern? Plenty of designers get ideas from crochet pieces they see. But they come
    Continue Reading Unraveling Copyright for Patterns