News & Resources

Do You Need a License to Show That Movie?

A homeowner’s association has a pool movie night. A dentist plays movies in their waiting room. A church shows a film in their community room. In each of these situations, material protected by copyright law is shown in a public setting. If the organization did not obtain a license prior to the showing, it could be subject to penalties for copyright infringement. This is because U.S. copyright law protects original works of authorship fixed in […]

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When Not to Register a Trademark

Trademarks are a fantastic way to secure your brand. But how do you know if you really need to invest the time and expense in registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)? There are at least four reasons a trademark registration may not be necessary. Use is limited. Is your product use limited to a certain location? Is the trademark needed only for a brief period? If you can answer […]

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Trademark Co-Existence Agreements in an Internet World

Have you ever noticed on the internet two businesses functioning under the same or similar trademarks? This is not an uncommon occurrence, but if each business is producing different products or services, there is usually no problem. If the businesses are selling similar products and services in different geographical areas, there may not be a problem. The trademarks are still able to maintain their main function: to distinguish a company’s goods or services from its […]

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Trademark Tip: Why to Register in Black and White

  Consider registering your trademark in black and white. This protects trademark use in all colors, rather than only limiting protection to the colors provided in a color image. If color is vital to your brand, consider two applications: one in black and white and one in your brand colors.

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Copyright Tip: When There’s No © Symbol

All original works of authorship are protected by copyright as soon as they are created and placed in a fixed format. This is true even if there is no © symbol used. Be safe. Always obtain permission before: Reproducing the work Distributing copies of the work Preparing derivative materials based upon the work Displaying or performing the work publicly

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Options for Protecting Original Software Code

Protecting your original software code allows you to gain control over how your idea is distributed to the public. Do you want it to be open source? Licensed? Kept secret? Furthermore, without legal protection, you could even be prevented from using your own code in certain situations. There are three main ways to protect your code: trade secret, copyright, and patent. Trade secret A trade secret is proprietary information that gives an individual or company […]

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