Intellectual Property Blog

Should You Register Your Copyrights?

I meet many business owners and individuals who have written books or manuals, taken professional photographs, created artwork, or written music, and they never register the copyrights for the original works with the U.S. Copyright Office. Some people just do not think about the issue of registering the copyrights for their original works. Others think it is too expensive to register their copyrights. So here are some facts to consider. Copyright registration is voluntary. You […]

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I Invented a Word. How Do I Trademark or Copyright It?

“I invented a new word. How do I trademark it?”  This is a question I was asked by a potential client this week. My response was, “What is the product or service?”  There was a long pause. A word is not a trademark — unless it is used to identify a product or service for a business in commerce and distinguishes the products/services from others.  Historically, a tradesmen who crafted a knife, tools, or guns […]

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How to Start Your Business

Changes in workplaces across the country have galvanized a number of people to start their own businesses. Countless corporate employees have decided not to go back to commuting and are launching their own businesses. Maybe they had a big idea during work-from-home orders. Or maybe their health prompted them to think differently about work. Marks Gray has helped numerous business owners take their first steps to launch their new enterprises. Here are some tips on […]

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IP Tips for Business Owners During a Downturn in the Economy

Great ideas and new businesses are often born during downturns in the economy.  Resourceful people are out of work, or their businesses have been shut down. And they start to think about the business they always wanted to start, the clever new product they considered developing, or even selling their business.  With time on their hands and no money coming into the business or household, many start thinking of ways they can solve their problems. […]

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5 New Year Tips for Business Owners

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen Happy New Year! Start off the new decade the right way for your business with the following tips to protect your growth and curb problems early. Audit Your Trademark Registrations and Business Accounts The lack of simple oversight often trips up businesses whenever personnel or IT providers change. Make sure problems aren’t lying in wait for you.  From federal trademark registrations to state business filings, important notices […]

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Why a Work for Hire Agreement Should Be Signed in Advance

In the late 1970s, a US federal statute formalized the concept that a work is innately copyright protected at the time of creation. As written, “A work is created when it is ‘fixed’ in a copy or phonorecord for the first time.” While every creator naturally has copyright to any original form of expression, the United States Copyright Act of 1976 also outlines exceptions to those protections. One of those exceptions is the “work for […]

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