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3 Reasons to Register Your Trademark Internationally

Clients often ask me to assist in protecting their trademarks “worldwide”. This makes perfect sense. If your products or services are sold in multiple countries, why shouldn’t your brand names and logos be protected everywhere they reach? Once upon a time, most products were sold locally, or only in the country where they were produced. Unfortunately, trademark law is still largely stuck in that antiquated paradigm. Trademark law is “territorial”, which means that rights are determined separately in each country (or group of countries, such as the EU). This means that if your trademark is protected in the U.S. by…

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Should I Register My Logo as a Trademark?

In theory, anything that identifies your business as the source of your products or services can be a trademark. But in practice, when we talk about trademarks, we’re usually referring to business names, brand names, slogans, and logos. The last category hasn’t gotten as much attention on this blog as some of the others, so let’s remedy that today. Logos can function as trademarks just like any other brand identifier can. In the world of trademark law, we refer to logos as “Design Marks” as opposed to “Word Marks”. Of course, a logo can be a pure design, or it…

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Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets

Every business, large or small, needs to have procedures in place to protect Trade Secrets. A Trade Secret is a piece of information, not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, that gives a business an economic advantage over its competitors. Some examples of Trade Secrets include: Recipes (Coca-Cola) Formulas (WD-40) Algorithms (Google Search) Common business information, such as customer lists, internal specifications, upcoming products, and best practice guides. Trade Secrets can last forever – but legal rights in a Trade Secret only exist as long as the secret is maintained. And Now: The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets Maintain an…

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Fair use or not? Parody vs. satire in copyright law

Do you know the difference between parody and satire? While the terms are often confused with one another, U.S. copyright law treats parody and satire very differently. Understanding the difference between parody and satire can be crucial in determining whether something that uses all or part of another copyrighted work is protected under the doctrine of Fair Use. What’s a Parody? We commonly think of parodies in the context of a movie, song, play, etc. that is “poking fun” at something in our culture. Saturday Night Live skits and Spaceballs (Mel Brooks’ take on Star Wars) are a few common examples of…

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