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

Intellectual Property Blog

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

Cybersquatting and Public Use: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently decided a case involving trademark protection for domain names. The case, Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A, 898 F.3d 1144 (11th Cir. 2018), involved alleged cybersquatting, which refers to the bad faith registration or use of a domain name containing someone else’s trademark or name. Plaintiff Via Varejo, a Brazilian corporation, owned roughly forty trademarks worldwide for the “Casas Bahia” brand, under which its subsidiary operated a chain of retail stores throughout Brazil.  Worldwide, Via Varejo used the Casas Bahia mark in e-commerce under the domain name, [...]

By | October 24th, 2018|Categories: Intellectual Property|0 Comments