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Cease & Desist!

So you’ve discovered that someone is infringing on your trademark. Now what do you do? My clients often find that some other person or business is infringing on their trademark rights. They’re then faced with deciding what to do about it. Ownership of a trademark (whether or not it’s been registered with a trademark office such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office) gives the owner, in many cases, the right to prevent competitors from using an identical or confusingly similar mark. By “trademark” or “mark”, I’m referring to anything that identifies you as the source of your goods…

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What Apple’s Trademark Bullying Means for Brand Owners

A recent article in the New York Times detailed Apple’s aggressive approach to trademark protection. The headline didn’t hesitate to call Apple out for bullying, and I think that’s the right term to use. The article begins with a story of “one of dozens of entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporations that Apple has gone after in recent years for applying to trademark names with the word ‘apple’ or logos of stemmed fruit.” It goes on to note that “Apple has frequently targeted entities that have nothing to do with tech or that are infinitesimal in size. It has even set…

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How to Terminate a Contract

Every business owner enters into a contract hoping that it’s going to work out perfectly and they’ll never need to terminate it. But often, for a variety of reasons, there’s a need to take action to bring a contract to a close. This is true whether you’re working with an independent contractor or a large company. I’ve found that some clients have never put much thought into the contract termination process. As with most things, it’s best to start at the beginning. When you’re actually negotiating the contract, take the time to consider why you might need to get out…

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New CA Law Restricts NDAs in Workplace Settlements

A new year means new laws go into effect. On January 1, 2022, the Silenced No More Act (S.B. 331) officially became law in California. The SNMA expands on previous restrictions on non-disclosure agreements signed between employers and employees. Some employers believe that they can put whatever they want in an employee settlement agreement, and as long as the employee signs the document and takes the money, the employer has nothing to worry about. That’s not the case in California. A prior law, S.B. 820 (the Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure Act or STAND), outlawed non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements, but…

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