Technology Law Blog

Showing 34 posts in Intellectual Property.

How to Protect Your Business's Intellectual Property

Sam Frederick and John Mashni, both attorneys for Foster Swift, will be presenting a live webinar on how to protect your business's intellectual property on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at the Lansing Regional Chamber Board Room. The webinar will be held from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

They will discuss copyright, trademark and trade secret basics and the importance of monitoring and enforcing your intellectual property rights. Frederick and Mashni will also present the best practices for protecting your intellectual property.

For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks

Patent Basics

So you just had a Eureka moment and your epiphany is going to make you millions as soon as it hits shelves. Learn more about patent basics in this short video including:

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

What's in a Name: Selecting a Name for Your Business

Why is a business name so important? A name is everything, it is your business's identity. When you select your business name, from a legal perspective, you need to come up with a unique name, a name that does not infringe on others rights. Unique names are the easiest to protect. Learn more about protecting you business name in the video below:

Categories: Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Why You Should Register Your Copyrights: The Benefits of Registration Under The Copyright Act

A copyright is automatically created upon the completion of an original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. While an automatic copyright protects that work, a formal registration of copyrighted materials within three months of release to the general public provides extra benefits that can prove extremely valuable to the owner. These benefits serve to not only protect the copyrighted work, but also to provide additional remedies for the author in the event of infringement. Registering a copyright is as simple as submitting an application to the United States Copyright Office with a minimal filing fee and a copy of the copyrighted material. Then, once the work is registered, the benefits begin immediately. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Will You Read My Script?

Practicing entertainment law, I am repeatedly asked to read different film scripts or book manuscripts. Sometimes I agree, but I always preface my review with a specific conversation. Here is my initial answer to the question, "Will you read my script?"

Categories: Intellectual Property

Three Tips for Music Licensing in Media Production

Obtaining the proper music licenses helps protect your production from a copyright lawsuit, which can ultimately prevent the release of your final product. Watch the short video clip below for these three practical tips on music licensing.

  1. Recognize the need to obtain a license for ALL music.
  2. Know "sync" and "master use" rights.
  3. Start the licensing process early.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Chilling Effect or Creative Boundaries? Full Impact of “Blurred Lines” Ruling Still Hazy

A decision in a copyright infringement case concerning the song “Blurred Lines” casts ambiguity on the future of expression and copyright protection in the music industry. On Tuesday, March 10, an eight-person jury in Los Angeles concluded that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the performer and songwriter-producer of the most successful song of 2013, “Blurred Lines,” committed copyright infringement by using elements of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song, “Got to Give it Up,” without proper credit. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property, News & Events

Do I Need a License to Play Music in My Own Building?

Did you know that playing music in a commercial setting can be copyright infringement?  Listen to this six-minute interview with attorney John Mashni to learn more.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Trade Secrets: The Big Thing for Tech Companies

What do Google and WD-40 have in common? They can both attribute their continued success to trade secrets. It may be relatively easy to build a search engine or an aerosol can that sprays lubricant, but it is practically impossible to replicate the success of Google and WD-40. The two companies do not have patents on their products, precisely because that would require public disclosure of how to produce the product that has made them so successful. The benefit of a trade secret is that it continues in perpetuity. Coca-Cola's trade secret for its formula is over 120 years old. If Coke had decided to patent its formula instead, the patent would have expired over a century ago and the company would not be the giant it is today.

In order to qualify as a "trade secret," the information must have economic value and must be kept confidential by the company. This can be done through legal documents, compartmentalizing information, physical and digital security, and enforcement actions against leakers of information. Tech companies should consider the use of trade secrets if a product is one that is not easy to develop independently. Software code and chemical formulas are two prime candidates. Importantly, trade secrets are governed by state law, which can vary as to confidentiality requirements. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade Secrets

Design Patents

It is time that we talk about design patents. Generally, when I mention design patents to potential clients, they invariably protest that they have an “invention” and not a “design.” However, most “inventions” at least contain ornamental elements that have the potential for design infringement in the marketplace. In those cases, pursuing a design patent, by itself or in combination with a utility application, can be an effective and affordable way to secure valuable intellectual property protection.

To help you decide if a design patent might be right for you, I have devoted this post to answering the most common questions I get regarding design patents. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents