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How to Combat Intellectual Property Infringement Online

Online infringement of copyrights and trademarks poses a significant threat to companies as new and more sophisticated methods of online infringement are implemented. But there are several steps companies can take to minimize the effects of online infringement and...

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Yelp Sues Websites for Selling Yelp Reviews

In February 2015, Yelp, Inc. (Yelp) filed a lawsuit in California against three companies offering to post false positive reviews on Yelp’s website. Yelp maintains that these companies engaged in several illegal practices, including trademark infringement, by...

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Distinguishing Between a Business Name and a Trademark

When starting a business, it is important to take the proper steps to acquire a valid business name and secure valuable trademarks in order to maintain the brand identity of your business and secure your property rights. In its initial stages, a business must register...

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The Laches Doctrine in Copyright Law

The laches doctrine is a legal defense that allows the defendant to claim that the plaintiff’s assertion is barred on account of an unreasonable delay in bringing the claim. The defense is based on the notion that such a delay may result in evidence being misplaced or...

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The Exhaustion Doctrine and Opt-Out Agreements

The exhaustion doctrine was designed to prevent patent owners from receiving royalty payments from multiple sources for the same invention. Thus, once the patent holder obtains a licensing royalty from the original licensee, he is barred from collecting royalties from...

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The Status of the Best Mode Requirement Under Patent Law

Traditionally, an application for a U.S. patent required the filer to provide a description of the best method of practice for the invention. Under the “best mode” requirement, patent filers must reveal the optimal method known to them for operating the invention in...

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Guidelines for Utility Requirement for Patent Eligibility

One of the primary requirements for patent eligibility under Section 101 of the statute is that the invention be useful. While most inventions are not contested for a lack of utility, the doctrine is designed to ensure that only inventions with identifiable benefits are eligible for patent protection.

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Debunking Popular Myths About Patents

For inventors and prospective patent holders, the process of applying for and securing a patent can be hindered by some common misconceptions. Becoming familiar with popular myths relating to the extent of patent protection and the means and processes for the...

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Can a Trademark Extend Beyond Words, Symbols or Phrases?

Trademarks typically consist of the words, symbols or phrases that distinguish a particular manufacturer’s product. In some cases, protection under trademark law can be extended to other features of a product including its shape and color, or the way in which the...

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What Constitutes a Distinctive Mark in Trademark Law?

The predominant feature of a valid trademark is its distinctiveness. A trademark serves as an identifier of the origin of the goods and services of the manufacturer. The proper use of trademarks promotes the prevailing public policy that drives trademark law -- that...

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What to Know About Provisional Patents

Provisional patents can be extremely beneficial as part of the process of filing a non-provisional application. Provisional patents grant the filer a 12 month period before the requirement to submit a formal patent takes effect, thereby establishing a patent priority date through a low cost, relatively simple process.

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How Trademark Rights Can Be Lost By Its Owner

An owner of a trademark must be diligent in protecting that trademark in order to claim ownership of the mark and pursue future infringement suits. There are several instances in which rights to the mark can be lost through action or inaction.

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The Importance of Bringing Infringement Cases Early

Several important decisions in trademark infringement actions have highlighted a significant lesson for any entity seeking to protect its trademarks: timing matters, and the failure to assert your mark or address unauthorized uses could lead to the relinquishment of all rights in that mark.

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