Intellectual Property Blog 2018-08-17T16:06:15+00:00

Intellectual Property Blog

COPYRIGHT LAW UPDATE: New CASE Act Bills Introduced in Congress To Create Copyright Small Claims Tribunal

On May 1, 2019, two U.S. copyright bills referred to as the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019” or “CASE Act of 2019” were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2426) and the Senate (S. 1273). The CASE Act bills propose to create a voluntary small claims system to adjudicate copyright infringement claims, as an alternative to federal court litigation.  The proposed CASE Act would create a new Copyright Claims Board (CCB) in the United States Copyright Office (USCO).  The proposed CCB would involve a panel of three Copyright Claims Officers with the power to award [...]

By | May 13th, 2019|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

BRANDING CONSIDERATIONS: The Importance of a Trademark Search

Imagine being ordered by a court to immediately stop using your name.  How difficult would it be to: (1) choose a new name; (2) notify everyone of your new name without referencing your prior name; and (3) destroy all materials containing your prior name? Now imagine being ordered by a court to immediately stop using a trademark in which you have invested substantial time, money, and effort to build brand recognition and goodwill.  How difficult and expensive would it be to: (1) start over with a new brand; (2) notify customers, vendors, licensees, franchisees, referral sources, and others of your [...]

By | May 2nd, 2019|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

U.S. Supreme Court: Copyright Owners Must Register Works Before Filing Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that copyright owners must register their works prior to filing suit against infringers. In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 586 U.S. ____ (2019), the Court held that registration is a statutory prerequisite to a copyright infringement lawsuit. Faced with a circuit split over whether filing a copyright application would suffice over full registration by the U.S. Copyright Office, the Court relied on the plain language of the Copyright Act to reach its decision. The Copyright Act states that “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States [...]

By | March 7th, 2019|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

Copyright Works Enter Public Domain For First Time In 20 Years

For the first time in 20 years, a massive volume of artwork, books, films, music, and other works of authorship that were first published in the United States in 1923 entered the public domain on January 1, 2019.  A federal copyright law enacted in 1998 postponed the release into the public domain of works whose copyright term would have otherwise expired two decades ago.  This is the largest entry of works into the public domain in the digital age, and will likely have a substantial impact on creativity and culture. Public Domain The term “public domain” generally refers to creative [...]

By | January 28th, 2019|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

New Trade Secret and Noncompete Laws

 State legislatures have been busy enacting or considering new laws governing trade secrets and noncompete agreements, including Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.  It may be time to blow the dust off your form agreements and confer with intellectual property (IP) counsel to see if changes are necessary to conform with current state and federal laws, which continue to evolve. Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (MNAA) In 2018, Massachusetts passed the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (MNAA), codified in Section 24L of Chapter 149 of the Massachusetts General Laws.  The MNAA applies to noncompete agreements entered [...]

By | December 17th, 2018|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

New Canada Trademark Laws Affecting U.S. Brand Owners

As global trade and multinational business grow, worldwide trademark protection has become extremely important.  Canada is or may become a vital market for many U.S. brand owners, and vice versa. Brand owners should be aware that the Government of Canada is in the process of implementing a major overhaul of its trademark laws and acceding to international trademark treaties with the U.S. and other countries.  The new Canada Trademarks Act and Trademarks Regulations are scheduled to come into force on June 17, 2019.  The new law will better align Canada law with U.S. law in some respects but diverge in [...]

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments