1. How Influencers Can Influence More Revenue and Stay Out of Trouble

    Social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have become the go-to destination for video content consumption by teens and millennials. It far surpasses what they consume on television. These platforms (often referred to simply as “social”), collectively generate billions of views, and hundreds of millions of hours of watch time, every single day. Teens and millennials create most of th…Read More

  2. Register Your Copyright Before You Register Your (Infringement) Complaint

    There have been several high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the last few years. Marvin Gaye's estate sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, for allegedly appropriating some of Gaye’s famous song “Got to Give It Up”, into their big hit, "Blurred Lines". Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson were sued twice, over their hit “Uptown Funk” (which had been certified 11 times platinum,…Read More

  3. “Dilbert” On Contracts

    As those of you who know me well, or have caught my article or presentations on it, I’m evangelical about writing and revising contracts in understandable, conversational English. To me, a contract's primary objective is to be a clear set of instructions. This puts the parties on the same page about its subject matter, and their rights and obligations under it. They can then work in tandem towar…Read More

  4. Influencers Need to Be Under the Influence – of the Laws Governing Endorsement Disclosures

    Being a social media Influencer can be very lucrative. Brands are more willing than ever to pay popular Influencers lots of money to tap into their millions of followers, to promote their products to what have proven to be willing consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (the "FTC") is paying attention. They’ve consequently ramped up enforcement of the FTC Act (the “Act”), which is basically …Read More

  5. Got Rights? A Jenner or Kardashian Will Probably Infringe Them

    I really thought I wouldn’t be writing about this again. I thought that Kylie Jenner and her sisters would hire and listen to knowledgeable and competent trademark and copyright attorneys for their future business endeavors, after: Kylie Jenner infringed several of multi-platinum singer Kylie Minogue's trademarks; and, then she and her sister, Kendal Jenner, infringed copyrights and rights of pu…Read More

  6. Your Trademark Can Become Useless If You Can’t Prove Use

    A U.S. trademark registration must be maintained every five years, and renewed every ten, to keep it active and enforceable.  A component of this is the trademark owner filing an affidavit with the Trademark Office, stating the trademark owner is still using the mark in connection with the goods and services in the registration.  The affidavit had to be accompanied by a current specimen showing …Read More

  7. Kylie and Kendall Jenner Don’t Know Wrong from Rights

    Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner tried to register a U.S. trademark for “Kylie” as a brand for her celebrity and her branded goods.  For some reason, she or her legal counsel neglected to first find out if that name/brand was available for trademark registration in the trademark classes Kylie sought.  It wasn't. As early as 2006, several “Kylie” registrations had been obtained by supersta…Read More

  8. Got Bad Reviews? That’s Too Bad, Under New Law

    It’s been said that "opinions are like a________s – everyone has one".   But they can do serious damage to a business, when they take the form of negative reviews online. People are entitled to express their opinions (it's that pesky free speech thing).  Reviews have become powerful influencers.  Most of us won’t consider buying or using something, choosing a restaurant, hotel or activit…Read More

  9. No Fake News Here. Your Website or App Content Can Get You Sued for Copyright Infringement, Unless It Complies with New Law

    President Trump regularly says you can’t trust the media.  He’s 100% right -- if he’s talking about a type of digital media.  This would be the third-party content, such as videos, photos and posts to chat rooms, bulletin boards and discussion forums, that are hosted on a site or app (“Site(s)” for purposes of this blog), can be accessed there by referral or linking to other Sites, or …Read More

  10. What’s in A Name? Everything If Your Name Is Kylie Jenner

    We’re saturated with Kylie Jenner.  She has celebrity.  She’s all over reality TV as a Kardashian adjunct.  She regularly graces the covers of tabloids.  She has tens of millions of followers as a social media icon.  She has a burgeoning career as a fashionista, either selling or planning to sell clothing, cosmetics and accessories. What she doesn’t have is trademark rights in her name.…Read More