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Keep it Legal Blog

Are Cloud Music Services Legal?

Over a decade ago, a teenage Sean Parker took on the music establishment with his basement project Napster and the industry has never been the same since. While Napster was ultimately shut down, various online music download services have continued to sprout up. The latest trend involves “Cloud Music Services” such as Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and Google’s Music Beta, both of which launched within the last 6 months. Music “clouds” are services that store your music on the Web and allow you to stream those songs to any computer or mobile device, such as a computer or…

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In-N-Out Sues Grab-N-Go

v.       Famed California-based fast food chain, and sworn enemy of my cardiologist, In-N-Out Burger, has sued an East Coast-based competitor, Grab-N-Go Burger, for Trademark Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement, and Trademark Dilution. The Huffington Post has a brief article summarizing the claims. Their illustrations are good, but they confuse trademark and copyright. Editorial Note: Mainstream media articles confuse trademark, copyright, and patents all the time. Journalists, please learn the difference between these types of intellectual property, or contact an IP attorney when you’re writing a story on this type of topic – we are happy to talk about…

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Does California Charge Sales Tax on Licensed Software?

  California says no sales tax on certain licensed software… With California’s current budgetary and fiscal issues, the State has attempted to come up with new ways to increase revenue (see my previous blog post on the Amazon sales tax). But doing so through a sales tax on certain software transactions is still a no-no in this State. This rule applies to any transfer of non-tangible intellectual property subject to a patent or copyright. Recent events This past April, a California appellate court ordered the State Board of Equalization (“BOE” – a public agency responsible for tax administration and fee…

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College Logo Showdown: Hawkeye vs. Golden Eagle

Iowa says USM’s “Golden Eagle” to similar to their “Hawkeye” In the world of college athletics, a university logo or mascot means almost everything. Especially at a place like the University of Iowa, where there is no professional athletic team and the Iowa Hawkeyes have come to represent not only the school itself, but an entire state. So it’s not surprising that University of Iowa officials were not pleased in 2003, when the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) debuted a Golden Eagle logo that looked eerily similar to the Iowa Hawkeye, a logo that has been in use for over…

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