Intellectual Property Blog

What to Know about Copyright Protection for Presentation Materials

Presentations are given every day to a wide variety of audiences throughout the world.  Professional consultants provide presentations on leadership development, handling stress, how to improve sales techniques, financial investments, real estate sales, and insurance as an investment — just to name a few. If the materials in these presentations and the handouts distributed to the audience are original works, the creators of presentations should submit copyright applications to obtain copyright registrations for those original […]

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Did the City of Pasadena Infringe on the Rose Bowl Trademark?

Last week, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte dismissed a lawsuit on behalf of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association (The Association) against the City of Pasadena. The lawsuit included several claims: The Association sought a declaration that the City of Pasadena did not have an ownership interest in the ROSE BOWL GAME trademark or the ROSE BOWL trademark. The Association sought a declaration that if a force majeure event should occur under the Master License […]

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What’s Mine Is…Yours? Distinguishing Trade Secrets from Other Forms of IP

Written By Guest Author, Marks Gray Summer Law Clerk Corrine H. Bowden Let’s say you develop a formula, method, or process, build a client list, or other compilation of information at work that derives independent economic value for the company and your employer takes reasonable steps to keep it secret. Who owns it – you or your employer? What if you developed it for technology or equipment owned by your employer? Or if you developed […]

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Tips for Business Owners: Registering Your Company Name as a Trademark – The Importance of Classes

Clients often tell me they just want to “trademark” the name of their company — using trademark as a verb. I explain that the company name is the trademark, and that they need to register the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  During the trademark application process, the client must tell me what product(s) or service(s) they are providing in commerce using that trademark. Sometimes, the client responds, “I just want […]

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How Do You Obtain Permission to Use Someone Else’s Original Copyright Protected Materials?

Preparing copyright applications for clients can lead to tough questions, such as, “Does this book only contain your original work? Not original work from a third party?”   I always review the complete, submitted work that is the subject of a copyright application for photographs, artwork, quotes, or graphics. My goal is to identify if any were created by a third party and inserted in the client’s original work.  Sometimes I receive telephone calls from copyright […]

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Trademark Registration or Copyright Registration, What is the Difference, and Do I Need One?

Do you own a business? Or are you an author, photographer, or composer who openly publishes your work? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it might be beneficial to ask yourself: “Do I own any trademarks? Have I published any works that need copyright protection?”  You may even ask yourself: “What is the difference between a copyright and a trademark?” A trademark is defined as “a symbol, words, stylized words, or […]

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