1. Should Musical Works be Entitled to ‘Broad’ or ‘Thin’ Copyright Protection?

    A hotly disputed legal issue between the majority and dissent in the recent, highly publicized, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit “Blurred Lines” decision in Williams v. Gaye, No. 15-56880, concerned whether Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit song “Got to Give it Up” was entitled to “broad” or “thin” copyright protection. The Ninth Circuit panel, in a 2-1 decision over a vigorous d…Read More

  2. What is the ‘Right of Publicity”?

    Most people have heard of well-known categories of intellectual property law such as trademark or copyright, but there is another type that you might not know, and all of us own one – the right of publicity. Don’t be misled by the word “publicity”; this right does not require you to be a celebrity pursued by paparazzi. Rather, it is the right to control the use of your own name or likeness…Read More

  3. Re-Filing Trademark Applications Can Be A Way to Solve Examiner’s Rejection Which You Think Has No Proper Basis

    When your trademark application is being rejected by an Examiner as being confusingly similar to another registered mark, you may disagree because you feel the registered mark is not that similar to your mark or because the goods and services between the marks are very different.  However, no matter how hard you explained this to the Examiner (i.e., through response to Office Action), the Examine…Read More

  4. 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

  5. Trademark Infringement VS. Copyright Infringement

    Some clients are confused about when should they enforce their Intellectual Property (IP) right under Trademark and when should they do so under Copyright.  In short, while there may be some overlap between the two IP rights, the primary purpose for Trademark is to protect brand names and logos used on goods and services, and the primary purpose for Copyright is to protect an original artistic or…Read More

  6. Strengthening Protection for Your Ideas Through Overlapping IP

    Most business owners are generally aware of intellectual property and the legal protections it affords to different aspects of their business. However, in my encounters with the business community I am often surprised that most businesses, especially small and startups, are unaware of the power of overlapping IP to strengthen and enhance protection for their products and provide added value to the…Read More

  7. Intellectual Property

    Briefly, the term intellectual property is an umbrella of rights that include patents (utility and design), trademarks (trade name, logo or trade dress), and copyrights. Patents afford protection for ideas that are useful, novel and non-obvious. There are typically three types of patents that concern most businesses; utility patents, which protect the use, function and structure of products; desig…Read More

  8. What to Do If You Are Sued for Patent Infringement

    I’ve heard and met clients, mostly small business owners, who were sued for patent infringement, but thought the allegations were untrue and their product do not infringe plaintiff’s patent, so they simply ignored the lawsuit.  This is absolutely the wrong choice as the plaintiff can simply enter default against you.  Even if the plaintiff is a non-practicing entity (also known as patent tro…Read More

  9. I Don’t Know Who’s Watching The “Big Game”, I’m Watching The Super Bowl

    Ah, yes, it's that time of year again. That time of year when everyone becomes a football fan. The time of year when we are reminded as to how many pounds of guacamole Americans eat, how may liters of beer Americans drink, and how many pizzas Domino's will deliver on one particular day of the year. A time of the year when during an important moment of a major sporting even we hear questions like "…Read More