The 4 Essential Elements of a Copyright Notice

You have likely seen thousands of copyright notices on printed publications, websites, TV shows, and movies. Have you wondered why they are used and what they mean? And more importantly, if you are a copyright owner, Must you (or should you) display a copyright notice on your work? A typical copyright notice contains the following four elements: 1) The word “Copyright” or the symbol ©; 2) the year of ... Read More

The Types of Damages Available for Patent Infringement

If patent infringement can be proven, the damages that can flow to the wronged party are varied and nuanced. Given the high stakes in patent litigation, both in the amounts spent by the parties in litigating the action and the investment of the original party in developing the patent, it’s not surprising that the damages available in these lawsuits may be considerable. Profits Lost: One commonly sought form of ... Read More

An Introduction to Patents

Patented inventions are all around us: in the computers we use, the cars we drive—even your drinkware may be patented. Wherever you are reading this, it is likely you can look around and spot dozens of items that are covered by one or more patents. What is a patent? The US Constitution tells us that a patent is the right of an inventor to the exclusive benefits of their invention for a limited time. From such a ... Read More

4 Essential Elements of Every Trademark Licensing Agreement

A popular way to monetize trademarks is to license their use to others. For example, franchises work this way by granting the franchisee the license to use the marks of the brand owner in the franchisee’s business. Licensing also comes into play when a business’s assets are sold, but the seller wishes to retain ownership of the intellectual property. As a condition to the sale, the seller licenses the use of the ... Read More

5 Things NOT Protected by Copyright Law

There are many articles and discussions written on the material that copyright law protects, but an often overlooked topic in the discussion is what a copyright does NOT protect. The answers are not immediately obvious, as is evinced by the fact that I frequently hear people saying “I’m going to copyright [insert non-copyrightable thing here].” So what isn’t eligible for copyright protection? Here are five things: ... Read More

The Importance of Adopting a Trademark Strategy for your Business

Trademark attorneys are increasingly topping the list of attorneys that businesses seek to retain on a long-term or ongoing basis. One reason for this the duration of the trademark registration process. Registering a trademark takes at best nine months, and that’s only if there are no refusals or oppositions or office actions from the Trademark Office. Another perhaps more important reason is that forward-thinking ... Read More

Is Asset Protection Planning Right for You?

I am frequently asked how much an individual’s net worth needs to be in order for them to be a good candidate for asset protection planning.  It’s impossible to answer with a specific dollar value, but if you are concerned that an adverse court judgment against you might wipe out your way of life, the answer may be an asset protection plan. What Is an Asset Protection Plan? The best place to start is by ... Read More

What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?

A buy-sell agreement is a contract (or sometimes part of a contract) in which a business owner makes an agreement with the other co-owner or owners as to what happens to their share of the business upon the occurrence of certain “triggering events” such as death, incapacitation, divorce, bankruptcy, or retirement. In some ways it is similar to a will in that it is a legal agreement that governs the disposition of ... Read More

The Recipe for a Strong Merger & Acquisition

Properly planning and executing the merger of two companies can mean the difference between success and failure of the newly structured business. Successful mergers require planning, forethought, and above all, commitment. Here are five ingredients in the recipe for a strong merger or acquisition. 1) It’s a good match. The royal houses of Europe spent an inordinate amount of time shoring up their power through ... Read More

A Brief Introduction to Gaming Control Boards

It should come as no surprise that the legalized gambling industry is heavily regulated. While some of this regulation comes at the federal level, the true gatekeepers are the state or local-level gaming control boards. Note that not all boards will be called “gaming control boards.” These entities operate under many different names including gambling board, gaming commission, casino control board, and gambling ... Read More