You just received a cease-and-desist letter from a law firm in New York accusing you of trademark and copyright infringement. Your anxiety spikes. What do you do? Consult this checklist of nine steps you should take to protect your business and personal assets: In spite of any inconvenience or how you may feel, do not ignore the cease-and-desist letter. Do not throw the cease-and-desist letter away. Read the letter thoroughly. Make sure you understand what […]Continue Reading
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 […]Continue Reading
Joint Ownership of Intellectual Property Means You Cannot Act Alone
I recently came across an interesting legal case involving joint ownership and trademark registration. Here is an overview of the case and its implications. Yogi Bhajan was an Indian-born yoga and spiritual teacher who introduced his version of Kundalini yoga to the West in the late 1960s. When he died in 2004, he left behind his widow, Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri, along with the Yogi Bhajan Administrative Trust (YBAT). Puri and YBAT have been battling […]Continue Reading
Business Owners Who Ignore Their “Signs” Do So At Their Own Peril
I have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, as well as small, medium, and large businesses. So trust me when I say that I understand starting a business and keeping it operating takes a lot of determination, planning, and an open mind. Those who are the most successful not only recognize when they face a problem that could significantly impact their business, but also have the smarts and humility to seek out skilled help in these […]Continue Reading
Do Not Ignore Cease and Desist Letters
Imagine this scenario: You receive a cease and desist letter from a law firm. It says you are committing trademark infringement and/or copyright infringement. What do you do? Let’s take this step by step: 1. Do. Not. Ignore. It. The circular file is not the appropriate place for the letter. If you ignore it, the attorney who sent the letter will eventually file a lawsuit in federal court against you for trademark infringement and/or copyright […]Continue Reading
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 […]Continue Reading