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

Intellectual Property Blog

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

Does My Business Need An IP Audit?

  The value of intangible assets including intellectual property (IP) is rising steeply in the U.S. and globally.  Businesses and their advisors need to understand and leverage a company’s portfolio of IP assets to maximize present and future value.  An IP audit may help. Tangible and Intangible Business Value In years past, the strength and value of a business was often measured by its tangible assets such as land, buildings, equipment, and inventory.  Today, however, most of the strength and value of a business typically arises from its intangible assets such as IP.  Although a typical company’s assets a generation [...]

By | November 7th, 2018|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments

New Copyright Law: Music Modernization Act (MMA)

On October 11, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law.  This bipartisan law amends the U.S. Copyright Act, and is the first major reform of music copyright law in the U.S. in decades. The MMA seeks to streamline music licensing and royalties in the digital age, protect pre-1972 sound recordings, and provide a mechanism to share sound recording royalties with music producers, mixers, and engineers.  The MMA includes three key components: (1) Music Licensing Modernization (Title I); (2) Classics Protection and Access (Title II); and (3) Allocation for Music Producers [...]

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments