Showing 9 posts by Samuel J. Frederick.
Speed Date USA, Inc. is suing the online dating company Match.com for $5.65 million for allegedly breaching its contract and misappropriating trade secrets. In essence, the lawsuit claims that Match.com terminated the contract early and then breached its obligations to hold joint events. Match.com terminated the contract, according to the lawsuit, upon learning Speed Date's trade secrets. Match.com then allegedly began to run its own speed dating events without compensating Speed Date USA.
Trade secrets are commonly defined by state statues and generally consist of four elements for the information to constitute a trade secret. The elements of a trade secret are: (i) information; (ii) that has independent economic value; (iii) which is not generally known or readily available; and (iv) such information is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. Read More ›
Crowdfunding, some would say, is the new social networking platform of raising money from people online. While crowdfunding is a relatively new term and concept, traditional principles of law still apply. Artists, startups and online creators using this new platform are governed by Intellectual Property principles.
Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind; and most commonly include ideas or inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols that identify your brand, names, logos and/or competitive business ideas or information. Under this broad umbrella of Intellectual Property, there are generally four categories that govern the use of Intellectual Property:
Before pitching or disclosing your concept to an online crowdfunding community to raise money these four categories of protection and the potential resulting consequences should be thoroughly examined. Failure to do so could result in the inadvertent theft, infringement or forfeiture of your IP rights. Let's take a deeper look at these four categories. Read More ›
Legislation allowing victims of trade secret theft to sue in Federal court was introduced in the Senate recently. The Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2012, sponsored by Senators Herb Kohl, Chris Coons and Sheldon Whitehouse, grants companies the option of using Federal courts to bring a civil lawsuit against offenders. The proposed law helps companies maintain their global competitive edge by ensuring an effective and efficient way to recover their losses from trade secret theft. Read More ›
Let's take a look at a common scenario. An employee named Ted leaves a company, let's say "Company A," and goes to work for another company in the same industry – "Company B." While employed by Company A, Ted worked on key projects and had access to and developed many new and creative concepts. When Ted joins Company B, he implements many of the new and creative concepts he helped develop while working for Company A. Company B later commercializes some of these concepts developed and brought over by Ted. Company A then sues Company B, claiming misappropriation of trade secrets. A trade secret, of course, is any information that has economic value because it is not generally known to the public and is subject to efforts to keep the information secret. This scenario is common - the characters in the real life saga of Mattel v MGA Entertainment are not. Read More ›
How would you like to have the weight of the U.S. Federal Government behind you in combating piracy of your product? And how would you like to have it for free? If you answered no to both, perhaps you should reevaluate your business acumen. For those who answered in the affirmative, please read on.
The free service is offered through the Office of Intellectual Property Rights (OIPR) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. OIPR can assist your company in combating intellectual property piracy of your products. After you have secured your intellectual property protections at home and abroad and taken local enforcement steps through the administrative or legal process, OIPR will step in on your behalf and work with the foreign government to target, confiscate and destroy the piracy items. Read More ›
If you own or are operating a video or file sharing website that utilizes another's content (read another's copyrights) the following case presents you with a valid defense. If you are the user whose copyright has been infringed, this law is worth knowing before proceeding with costly litigation.
Veoh Networks - a video hosting website - sought protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provision against a user's infringement claims. The user claimed Veoh (1) knew of and failed to remove infringing videos uploaded by other users; (2) had the ability to control infringing activity on its system; and (3) that its infringer policy was inadequate. Read More ›
Are you purchasing items online, or, are you a merchant selling products using a website? If so, you should check your Terms and Conditions link.
The case in point is Hines v Overstock.com Inc., and is relatively new under commercial law standards. Read More ›
Software licenses provide businesses with the right to use software programs. Many of these programs become interwoven into the fabric and function of the company. As a general rule companies do not own the software they license. The corollary is that they do not, unless expressly agreed, possess the right to transfer or assign the licensed software they use to a new entity when later involved in a merger, acquisition or internal corporate restructuring. Read More ›
A new land-grab is occurring on the World Wide Web.
There are presently more than 90 million domain names registered with the .COM extension. Now, 25 years after the launch of the .COM domain extension, domain space is crowded and availability is sparse; thereby, making the selection of a suitable domain name difficult.
Recently, however, a new .COM domain name competitor has entered the fray. On July 20, 2010, in a described "landrush event," the ".Co" domain became available worldwide via participating registrars (e.g., Go Daddy). In the first 24 hours, nearly 250,000 .Co domain names were registered. Read More ›