Intellectual Property & Business Law

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Your intellectual property is a crucial asset for your business. Whether it is your branding, your content, your ideas or your trade secrets, your intellectual property needs proper handling and protection. We have many years of experience with building and protecting trademarks, registering copyrights and handling contracts, litigation and other intellectual property matters, and forming corporations and limited liability companies. This website will introduce you to our services and acquaint you with our approach.

Trademark registration and maintenance is only one area in which we have significant experience. We also appear on behalf of our clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (otherwise known as the "TTAB"), in responding to refusals to register and in defending and prosecuting trademark opposition and cancellation actions. We prosecute and defend trademarks and copyrights in federal courts and assist our clients by drafting a wide range of agreements, including non-disclosure non-use agreements, co-existence agreements, rights of first refusal and matching offer, and licensing agreements. In addition, we assist clients in strategizing for branding, brand building and brand protection across the spectrum, including through use of our automated trademark portfolio management system. We have appeared in federal courts in Vermont, New York, California, Florida and Washington, D.C., and have extensive experience with Paris Convention filings, International Trademarks, Madrid Protocol, WIPO matters, domain disputes, domain name sales and purchases, and Internet issues and disputes.

We serve a wide range of clients, many of them in software and emerging technologies, but also in electronics, fashion, clothing and accessories, food, pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals, exercise modalities, boxing and mixed martial arts, music and fine art.

We also partner frequently with other law firms, particularly foreign practices who need assistance registering and maintaining their intellectual property in the United States.

Intellectual Property Practice Areas

Trademark

We can file your trademarks both domestically and internationally. We have filed and prosecuted (that means brought to registration) many thousands of trademarks throughout the world. This section explains what you will need to provide us with in order to file your trademark and some of the basics of trademark registration.

Copyright

The Internet has made copyright a "hot button" issue, rife with misunderstanding. This section explains why you need to register your copyrights (even if the law doesn't require it), and will introduce you to some of the issues surrounding copyright infringement and defenses such as "fair use."

Internet Law & Domain Name Issues

We have successfully litigated to protect our clients' Internet domain names, used trademark for cyberpiracy prevention, issued and responded to so-called DMCA takedown notices, participated in ICANN arbitration proceedings, and dealt with cybersquatting. On many occasions, we have helped our clients negotiate the sale and transfer of domain names, sometimes for considerable sums of money. In this section, we will introduce you to some of the basic concepts and procedures of protection in this area.

Licensing & Contracts

Written agreements are essential to protecting your intellectual property, whether trademarks, copyrighted content, potential inventions or trade secrets. This section discusses the kinds of contracts we prepare for our clients, from LLC operating agreements to non-disclosure and confidentiality issues to work for hire agreements and trademark and content licenses. We have served some of our clients from early start-up through acquisition or public offering, and we know how important it is to protect your intellectual property in writing at every stage.

IP Issues in Employment Law

"Non-competition" agreements have become more common over the last ten years even while courts give them mixed reviews. In addition, the presence of the Internet in the workplace has created new problems for employers in terms of protecting both their intellectual property and public image. This is a rapidly evolving area that needs to be addressed in employee handbooks and policies, as well as in employment contracts, even ones that are "at will." This section provides an introduction to these issues from the standpoint of both employers and employees.

Recent Events in IP Law

DMCA
Copyright Holders Dominate Closed-Door DMCA Hearings
As discussions over DMCA reform continue, a number of closed-door hearings have taken place in San Francisco. Representatives from Fight for the Future and YouTube's Channel Awesome were there and they report that discussions were dominated by copyright holders seeking new powers to permanently disappear content and even whole sites from the Internet.
Acquazzura
Aquazzura Calls out Ivanka Trump for Copying
Aquazzura's founder took to the brand's Instagram account this past week to call out Ivanka Trump for copying. The presidential candidate's spawn maintains a New York-based clothing and accessories collection, which released a shoe that was just a bit too close for comfort to Aquazzura's Wild Thing fringe sandal for the brand's creative director, Edgardo Osorio.
Quaker Oats
Quaker Oats misspells tree farm's name in trademark blunder
Food brand The Quaker Oats Company has accused a group of Quakers of trademark infringement despite the fact that the group's business, a Christmas tree farm, is called Quaker Oaks. The PepsiCo-owned company sent a cease-and-desist letter to Quaker Oaks Christmas Tree Farm, an organisation run by the Orange County Friends Meeting in California.
Google - Oracle
Oracle v. Google Copyright Trial Heads Into Second Week
Oracle President Safra Catz and Android lead developer Dan Bornstein were the spotlight witnesses on the stand May 16 on Day 6 of the third Oracle v. Google copyright case. Litigation has been going on for six. Oracle is seeking $9.3 billion in damages and lost profits because it claims Google has made more than $42 billion on the extremely popular Android mobile device operating system, which Oracle says borrows heavily from the open-source Java programming language without obtaining licenses.
Tyson Park's finest
Tyson Foods Wins Hot Dog Trademark Fight
Tyson Foods Inc. has won a summary judgment motion ending a trademark infringement suit brought against its "Park's Finest" frankfurters. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the motion on May 10, finding that plaintiff Parks LLC's unregistered "Parks" trademark did not deserve protection because it lacked the necessary secondary meaning.(Parks LLC v. Tyson Foods Inc., 2016 BL 148589 (E.D. Pa. 2016). The court sided with Tyson, even though Parks presented evidence that there was a relatively high likelihood of confusion.
Apple
Apple Loses iPhone Trademark in China
Last week, Apple lost a four-year trademark case on iPhone to a Beijing leather products maker. The plaintiff in this case was Xintong Tiandi? Technology, a company which sells leather products such as handbags, wallets and ironically, smartphone cases under the label "IPHONE". The case was ruled in favour of the plaintiff by the Beijing Municipal High People's Court. Apple will further appeal.
Gucci
Gucci Apologizes for Policing its Trademark
Gucci and its parent company have apologized after drawing heavy criticism for threatening legal action against an array of Hong Kong-based shops, accused of selling novelty paper offerings for the deceased that resembled the fashion brand's luxury products. The brand and its Paris-based owner, Kering, also said in a statement on Friday that they regret any misunderstanding caused by the letters, which were sent to six shops last month. After meeting with the shop owners, "Kering and Gucci would like to reiterate their utmost respect with regards to the funeral context," the statement said.
Milano
Trader Joe's settles Milano cookies infringement spat
Trader Joe's and Pepperidge Farms have ended a months-long dispute about their rival sandwich cookies, reaching an out-of-court settlement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The cookies, which look similar in appearance and share the same basic ingredients, were the subject of a federal lawsuit filed in December. WebTM Post from 12/2015

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