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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
Continue Reading Legal Names vs. Trade Names or “Samuel J. Kavalier DBA Sam”

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
Continue Reading Cyberpunk 2077 – A Good Lesson in Copyright vs. Trademark

I wrote this post last year, but the US Supreme Court has been busy since then addressing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  In April of 2021, they unanimously overturned the Ninth Circuit’s broad interpretation of an autodialer in Facebook v. Duguin.  The opinion states that a notification system that neither stores nor produces numbers “using a random or sequential number generator” is not an autodialer.  “In sum, Congress’ definition of an autodialer requires that in all cases,
Continue Reading Narrow Auto-Dialing Definition Broadens Text

On July 1st, the threshold requirements ramped up for Illinois schools and the software vendors that provide them services under the Illinois Student Online Personal Privacy Act (SOPPA). Most of the new requirements fall within the purview of the schools, such as maintaining a publicly available list of all software vendors providing software to the school, providing an explanation of all kinds of personal data the school collects, and publishing a description of how parents can exercise their rights
Continue Reading Education Software Beware: Updates to Illinois SOPPA Law

Royalties, the Net v. Gross Profit Distinction, and Dolly Parton.

Part 1

One of my guiding life principles is as follows: if it can include Dolly Parton, it should include Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton makes things better, and she is relevant in almost any discussion. Creating a children’s library? Reference Dolly Parton. Citing vaccination statistics? Reference Dolly Parton. Opening an amusement park? Reference Dolly Parton. Writing an article about the importance of a solid royalty agreement? Reference Dolly Parton.
Continue Reading A Cut of What?

Time flies when you’re having fun. In November & December 2018, I wrote a series of posts about ownership dilution in the context of startup fundraising – it seems like it was yesterday – but apparently it was more than two years ago! If you’re interested in checking out those posts, they’re available here and here.

In the intervening time, dilution has continued to regularly come up as a point of confusion among new founders and entrepreneurs. In
Continue Reading Revisiting Dilution

Unsurprisingly, I find myself often being asked to describe what “intellectual property” is.  I, all too often, find myself giving a description that is not all that helpful.  If you are asking what “intellectual property” is, then saying “intangible business assets” isn’t going to get us much closer to understanding.  One way that I have heard it described is a company’s “special sauce.” But that can sound kind of creepy. “Hey, baby, what’s your special sauce?” Yeah, no.  Let’s
Continue Reading Will You Go Out With Me?

It is our pleasure to introduce you to Sam Kavalier, our newest attorney, and Miranda Salazar, our new Law Clerk!

Sam is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin Law School, and we are thrilled he decided to begin his law career with OG+S. While interviewing Sam, we were particularly impressed with his pre-law school background in the tech industry, as well as his service to the UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic. At the clinic Sam provided legal services
Continue Reading Welcome Sam and Miranda!

Effective May 3, 2021 DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) published an Emergency Rule making further changes to Wisconsin’s Hemp Pilot Program. Although Wisconsin is still operating under a “Pilot Program” pursuant to the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, this Emergency Rule (and the others before it) are meant to add flexibility for Wisconsin hemp growers and processors as Wisconsin lurches toward full compliance under the 2018 Farm Bill (we’ll get there).

The most substantial change
Continue Reading Another Emergency Rule: More Changes for Hemp Growers and Processors in Wisconsin

One of my favorite things to do is help someone buy or sell a business.  It is often either the grand finale for the owner of a successful company or the beginning of one for new owners.  No matter if I am representing the buyer or the seller, it is exciting.  Also, regardless of who I am representing, I ask: Is this a stock or asset sale? And I usually receive the same response.  Some eye blinks, an “uh….”,
Continue Reading The Seller is Now Played By…

We are very excited to announce that Pam Benedon has joined the OG+S team as a Legal Assistant. Yesterday (May 3) was her first day!

Pam graduated from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in English and Speech Communication. In her free time, Pam enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, and traveling. Some of her travels included spending a little over a year living in Hawaii. During this time, she took the opportunity to do some
Continue Reading Introducing Pam Benedon!

for our lives to be over!

If you’re of a certain age, I hope that the title of this post caused you to belt that one out. Man, the nineties and early 2000’s were a beautiful time (which is exactly what my Dad says about the 70’s).

“I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole peaked at #5 on Billboard in December 1997. In January 1998, Dawson’s Creek premiered, and of course, Paula Cole’s song was the opening theme
Continue Reading I Don’t Wanna Wait…

We work with a lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups. Heck, at 5 years old, our firm is just getting out of the toddler stage!  So, I get asked a lot about the “how.” How do you start? How do you know what to do? How do you scale?  We can answer a lot of the legal ones easily, like “How do you create a company?” and “How do you protect your trademark?” The other ones are trickier and very
Continue Reading Awkward is the New Cool

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” –
Continue Reading Fearless (The Legal Version)

People are weird. It really boils down to that.  And I’m not excluding myself from that categorization at all.  All people are weird.  Need proof? Veblen goods are proof.  A Veblen good is a good where demand rises as price rises. See?! Weird. 

But, it turns out that people are weird in a somewhat predictable way on this one.  Often, this increased demand is because people feel its higher price reflects greater quality or greater status.  That means that
Continue Reading [Not So] Basic Economics

In welcome news for renters across the country, the Centers for Disease Control have extended the current Eviction Moratorium, which was set to expire on Wednesday, until June 30th. Under the extended order, residential tenants cannot be evicted from their homes solely for non-payment of rent, provided they give their Landlords (or Landlord’s agent) a signed copy of the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Form (link below). (Note also that tenants who previously provided their Landlords with the Declaration do
Continue Reading CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium to June 30th