Stan Lee’s Copyrights and Work for Hire

Copyrights and Work for Hire Doctrine Stan Lee, the co-creator and ambassador of the Marvel Universe, died this week. From a copyright perspective, Lee’s legacy is a complicated mess. Marvel, one of the original comic book publishers introduced over 8,000 characters including those created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Steve Ditko. This Read more about Stan Lee’s Copyrights and Work for Hire[…]

Copyright in Buildings for Architects and Artists

Copyright in Buildings Generally, copyright protects all works of art including those which are related to a building design and to artwork fixed to buildings.  However, because copyrights do not extend to functional works, buildings were not always considered Copyrightable.  Currently, the law protects artwork for and on buildings under both traditional copyright law and Read more about Copyright in Buildings for Architects and Artists[…]

Racing to file a Patent Application for Blockchains

Race to File a Patent Application Why would an inventor file a patent application covering a blockchain? Recently, many American and Chinese inventors have filed for patent applications covering blockchain technologies. IBM recently was awarded a blockchain patent (US Pat. No. 10,091,228) for detecting network security breaches. Currently, IBM has 89 blockchain patents, while Alibaba (a Read more about Racing to file a Patent Application for Blockchains[…]

Trademark Protection – Cease and Desist

In America, a lot of successful companies like Apple, Disney, Google and Microsoft invest time and money into trademark protection.  However, trademark protection is not limited to large companies, many smaller companies including sports teams and universities also invest in trademark protection.  In some cases, they have whole departments in charge of brand management where Read more about Trademark Protection – Cease and Desist[…]

101 Series – How to Copyright a Website

A common question we get from new businesses is how to copyright a website.  The U.S. Copyright Office does not expressly recognize websites as being copyrightable.  However, you can register the text, images, sounds, movies, computer code or even databases associated with a website or web page. A website is generally considered to be an Read more about 101 Series – How to Copyright a Website[…]

Fanciful Trademark

Many people wonder about a Fanciful Trademark?  Why should anyone want a fanciful trademark? Generally, trademarks help consumers distinguish one product or service from another by acting as a source identifier.  It helps consumers wanting to purchase Quaker Oats branded oatmeal purchase Quaker Oats and not some “knock-off.” Trademark protection offers greater protection for stronger Read more about Fanciful Trademark[…]

Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take on the issue of whether a copyright registration or a copyright application is required before bringing a copyright infringement suit. Currently, depending on the location of your copyright lawsuit, some courts require a copyright registration.  Other Courts simply require that you have filed a copyright application Read more about Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration[…]

Searching for Patents Can Save Money

Searching for Patents can Save Thousands of Dollars. Recently the U.S. reached its 10 millionth patent. Internationally, there are more than 1 million patent applications filed each year but only about 50-70% of them result in a patent. A conservative estimate for preparing and filing each application is around $10,000. This means that the odds Read more about Searching for Patents Can Save Money[…]

Trademark Actions – Reverse Passing Off

Trademark law protects your business against confusion, which can be created by Forward Confusion, Reverse Confusion, Passing Off and Reverse Passing Off.  If this occurs, a trademark infringement lawsuit may be necessary to protect your business. Trademark Rights Trademark law functions as a type of unfair competition law and protects businesses against competitors stealing customers or Read more about Trademark Actions – Reverse Passing Off[…]

Plant Patent Provides Monopoly for Holiday Flowers

U.S. Plant Patent Many of us associate the holiday season with Poinsettia Plants. However, few people realize that it was covered by a plant patent for over a hundred years. Like the poinsettia plant, its history, is colorful and interesting. It also provides an example of how valuable a patent can be, namely, Plant Patents. Read more about Plant Patent Provides Monopoly for Holiday Flowers[…]