Crowdfunding: The Newest Way to Fund Your Business Venture, Part I

This is the first in a series of two articles on crowdfunding. Be sure to check back next month for the second installment. Investing in new business ventures has traditionally been by private invitation only for accredited and wealthy investors. Until recent years, a typical example of “crowdfunding” might have amounted to taking up a collection to help your neighbor pay for his new pool. Thanks to the Jumpstart ... Read More

Where Does Your Brand Fall on the “Trademark Continuum”?

This is the first in a series of two articles on the concept of the “trademark continuum”. Be sure to check back next month for the second installment. Not all trademarks are created equally, and not all trademarks get the same amount of protection from courts. It is important to understand where a trademark lands on the “trademark continuum,” which is a concept that is frequently used to illustrate the legal ... Read More

Why Bother Filing a Trademark Application? Here Are 5 Reasons

I am often asked by new business owners to describe the advantages of applying for federal trademark protection (and the risks associated with doing nothing).  Despite the relatively low cost related to doing so, the majority of small businesses do not adequately clear and register their trademarks.  Proper trademark planning and protection are essential for every business.  Here are five reasons why. ... Read More

Using DIY Contracts: A Money-Saving Tool or Dangerous Trap for Entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs are typically by their nature enterprising, quick-thinking, and resourceful. These attributes serve them well because they wear many hats when starting a business.  Sometimes business founders find themselves in the roles of CEO, secretary, accountant, and even general counsel all in the same day. I am well acquainted with the realities of limited startup budgets, and that paying for any form of outside ... Read More

S. 3376: Congress takes on the DOJ regarding Internet Gaming

A new bill, S. 3376, introduced last month in Congress is taking direct aim at the legally divisive world of online casino and poker gambling websites. It was submitted by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The bill aims to undo the actions of the Department of Justice, which in 2011, issued an opinion on the application of the 1961 ... Read More

4 Free Things You Can Do Right Now To See If Your Trademark Is Clear

Often companies don’t think about checking to see whether a brand, logo, or tagline is legally available for use until marketing and development efforts are already underway. When a company has a limited budget, it’s tempting to postpone or forego a trademark search and focus dollars and efforts in other areas. Unfortunately, the downside risks of using an infringing trademark in commerce are significant. A ... Read More

Understanding the Key Differences Between Trademarks and Copyrights

When new clients contact us with questions about how best to protect their intellectual property, we are often asked to explain the difference between trademarks and copyrights. While they are both important established means of protecting intellectual property, they have significant differences. Understanding these differences can help you to identify your company’s valuable intellectual property assets and guide ... Read More

Open Innovation or Unfair Competition?

GOOGLE DEFENDS AGAINST ANTITRUST CLAIMS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION Mega-giant internet company Google was hit last week with multiple antitrust charges in the European Union in the form of a “Statement of Objections” issued by the European Commission. The Commission alleges that Google has been abusing its dominance on the market by forcing Android phone makers and mobile network providers to load Google’s ... Read More

A “Cool” Shipping Idea?

Do you have a “cool” shipping idea? The Hershey Company recently launched a crowd-sourcing campaign on NineSigma to seek out the next big innovation in shipping, specifically, shipping cold chocolate to warm climates.  According to the contest website, Hershey is looking to develop “a lightweight, affordable shipping system that will keep chocolate close to the temperature at which it was packed, 75°F or below, ... Read More

Crowdsourcing and Clinical Trials

A recent article written by Llewellyn King discusses crowd-sourcing’s newest application: clinical drug trials. Traditional drug trials are not terribly efficient at actually helping patients who are suffering from a particular disease. These trials are lengthy and expensive, and the control group is often treated with a placebo or nothing at all. What’s worse is that the knowledge gained from such trials is ... Read More