What’s in a Name? Everything! Trademark and Copyright Essentials Jordan A. LaVine 215-279-9389  [email_address] © 2009 Fla...
What is a Trademark? <ul><li>Any word or symbol or device, or sound or smell or color used by a manufacturer or merchant t...
What is  NOT  a Trademark? <ul><li>Trademarks distinguished from other types of intellectual property or “IP” </li></ul><u...
 
Categories of Trademarks <ul><li>Generic ,  e.g.,  Apple, Mug </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive ,  e.g. , “Home Improvement Gu...
Trademark Selection:  Select a “Strong” Trademark and (if possible)  Don’t Forget the Search <ul><li>Trademarks are a prop...
Mom, do we HAVE TO?  Yes, dear, you really should. <ul><li>Failing to search does not inevitably result in a finding of ba...
Types of Trademark Searches <ul><li>Trademark searches are a “snapshot” in time. </li></ul><ul><li>A state “Corporate Name...
Likelihood of Confusion <ul><li>Similarity of marks </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of marks </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity of go...
Federal Trademark Registration -- You  should  register your trademark, but many will ask, “ Why Bother?” <ul><li>Securing...
The Benefits of Federal Registration  <ul><li>Intangible impression, deterrence and corporate asset </li></ul><ul><li>Pres...
The Benefits of Incontestability <ul><li>Conclusive evidence of the registrant’s ownership and exclusive right to use the ...
Federal Registration Two Types of Trademark Applications <ul><li>Based Upon Actual Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of tradem...
Timelines For Achieving Registration in the United States <ul><li>Patience is a virtue </li></ul><ul><li>10 months is “bes...
Principal/Supplemental Registers <ul><li>The “Principal” (or “Primary”) register confers all of the benefits previously di...
Foreign Trademark Protection <ul><li>Unless you can demonstrate cross-border renown, your trademark rights are limited to ...
Proper Use of Trademarks <ul><li>Use a distinctive typeface for the trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Use the  ™  or ® with the ...
Protecting Your Trademarks <ul><li>A trademark owner has a duty to police against infringements of its trademarks; a failu...
Trademark Licensing and Distribution Agreements <ul><li>Licensing can be an effective way to leverage a brand and generate...
Trademarks in Business Transactions:  How Trademarks and Copyrights Play a Role in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions <ul>...
Copyright and Your Business: What Can You Do To Protect Yourself? <ul><li>Copyright exists in a “Work of Authorship” – whe...
Works Made for Hire <ul><li>A work made for hire is prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment – Th...
The “Fair Use” Exemption/Defense <ul><li>Certain uses of copyrighted works are excused from liability because they are “fa...
Doing Business in the Electronic World <ul><li>Maintaining a website for your business can raise a variety of IP issues. <...
 
Thank You!
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

What’s in a Name? Everything! Trademark and Copyright Essentials

1,913 views
1,777 views

Published on

Your company name, your slogan and the goodwill of your customers are critical to elevating your bottom line. This free seminar will show you how to protect, leverage and capitalize on these valuable assets, and provide useful tips on protecting and enforcing your rights as a business owner.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,913
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
10
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

What’s in a Name? Everything! Trademark and Copyright Essentials

  1. 1. What’s in a Name? Everything! Trademark and Copyright Essentials Jordan A. LaVine 215-279-9389 [email_address] © 2009 Flaster/Greenberg PC
  2. 2. What is a Trademark? <ul><li>Any word or symbol or device, or sound or smell or color used by a manufacturer or merchant to distinguish its products and/or services from products and/or services of others </li></ul><ul><li>Trademarks provide consumers (and trademark owners) with a “shortcut” for identifying a product or service </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a guarantee of quality (or lack thereof!) that is consistent among products and services bearing the same trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Trademark rights are born upon “use” of a trademark in commerce with products and/or services </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is NOT a Trademark? <ul><li>Trademarks distinguished from other types of intellectual property or “IP” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patents : protect any new, useful and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture or composition of matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright : specified works of authorship, including books, songs, visual arts, sculpture, photographs and computer programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade Secrets : proprietary business information </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Categories of Trademarks <ul><li>Generic , e.g., Apple, Mug </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive , e.g. , “Home Improvement Guide” </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestive , e.g., Play Magazine, “Tide” </li></ul><ul><li>Arbitrary , e.g., “ Apple,” “Crest” </li></ul><ul><li>Fanciful , e.g. , “Kodak,” “Prozac,” “Rogaine” </li></ul><ul><li>( Suggestive , arbitrary and fanciful marks are referred to as “inherently distinctive” trademarks) </li></ul>
  5. 6. Trademark Selection: Select a “Strong” Trademark and (if possible) Don’t Forget the Search <ul><li>Trademarks are a property right with boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>Searching is done to determine availability , registerability and protectability. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Available . . . . for What?” </li></ul><ul><li>Law prohibits use of marks that are likely to cause confusion, or to dilute the distinctive quality of famous marks. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Mom, do we HAVE TO? Yes, dear, you really should. <ul><li>Failing to search does not inevitably result in a finding of bad faith – usually considered as one factor among many surrounding adoption of the mark. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Willful indifference,” “intentional blindness,” “blind disregard,” “willful ignorance” - Significant evidence bearing on the issue of good faith </li></ul><ul><li>A search is a commercially reasonable and customary precaution. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on a search opinion of competent trademark counsel is widely recognized as affirmative evidence of Good Faith . </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps most importantly, a trademark search will indicate how strong your trademark rights are/will be in the relevant marketplace. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Types of Trademark Searches <ul><li>Trademark searches are a “snapshot” in time. </li></ul><ul><li>A state “Corporate Name” search is not a trademark search. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of searches: No search is perfect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive Trademark Searches </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Likelihood of Confusion <ul><li>Similarity of marks </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of marks </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity of goods </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity of trade </li></ul><ul><li>channels </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity of </li></ul><ul><li>purchasers/users </li></ul><ul><li>Purchaser/user </li></ul><ul><li>sophistication </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of actual </li></ul><ul><li>confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Intent in adopting the </li></ul><ul><li>mark </li></ul>
  9. 10. Federal Trademark Registration -- You should register your trademark, but many will ask, “ Why Bother?” <ul><li>Securing registration can take a long time. </li></ul><ul><li>Securing registration can be expensive (relative to other business expenses?) </li></ul><ul><li>Aren’t trademark rights based upon use, i.e., not registration? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your business likely to expand geographically? </li></ul>
  10. 11. The Benefits of Federal Registration <ul><li>Intangible impression, deterrence and corporate asset </li></ul><ul><li>Presumptive evidence of validity and ownership </li></ul><ul><li>“ Incontestability” after five years of continuous use </li></ul><ul><li>Notice of registrant’s claim of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Nationwide rights (with certain qualifications) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to bar importation of goods bearing an infringing trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Can be the basis for seeking foreign protection of your trademark </li></ul>
  11. 12. The Benefits of Incontestability <ul><li>Conclusive evidence of the registrant’s ownership and exclusive right to use the mark </li></ul><ul><li>Immune from attack on the basis of prior use </li></ul><ul><li>Immune from attack on the basis of descriptiveness </li></ul>
  12. 13. Federal Registration Two Types of Trademark Applications <ul><li>Based Upon Actual Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of trademark has already begun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of use must be submitted to trademark office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights prior to filing date are “Common Law” rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intent to Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows “Reservation” of mark prior to actual use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing date of application establishes “Constructive” first use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing date establishes priority over subsequent users </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Timelines For Achieving Registration in the United States <ul><li>Patience is a virtue </li></ul><ul><li>10 months is “best case” </li></ul><ul><li>Average is 18 months; can be much longer </li></ul><ul><li>Use ™ in the meantime </li></ul>
  14. 15. Principal/Supplemental Registers <ul><li>The “Principal” (or “Primary”) register confers all of the benefits previously discussed. </li></ul><ul><li>The “Supplemental” (or “Secondary”) register is reserved for marks capable of “acquiring distinctiveness” (not “inherently distinctive”) or what is known as “Secondary Meaning.” </li></ul><ul><li>Not as valuable, but permit use of the ® symbol and preclude the registration of similar marks </li></ul><ul><li>You can re-apply for registration on the principal register later. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Foreign Trademark Protection <ul><li>Unless you can demonstrate cross-border renown, your trademark rights are limited to the United States, i.e. , there can be another “you” somewhere else. </li></ul><ul><li>In many Asian countries, the first to register is presumed to be the trademark owner. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. registration can be basis for foreign registration. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike in the U.S., providing evidence of use is not required to secure registration in many foreign countries and jurisdictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Cost saving mechanisms like the “Madrid Protocol” and the “European Community” trademark enable registration of your marks outside the U.S. for a small investment. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Proper Use of Trademarks <ul><li>Use a distinctive typeface for the trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Use the ™ or ® with the trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Use trademarks as adjectives modifying the common term of the product or service, e.g., “Listen to XM Satellite Radio” desserts, NOT “Listen to XM” </li></ul><ul><li>Resist changing the spelling or altering the mark </li></ul><ul><li>Implement an advertising policy to ensure correct usage of your trademarks </li></ul>
  17. 18. Protecting Your Trademarks <ul><li>A trademark owner has a duty to police against infringements of its trademarks; a failure to take prompt action against infringements can result in an erosion of a trademark owner’s exclusive rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying infringements as early as possible will make an aggressive defense less likely; contest confusingly similar marks in the trademark office. </li></ul><ul><li>How to police: “in house” internet screening, law firms, “trademark watching” services </li></ul><ul><li>Protect your investment. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Trademark Licensing and Distribution Agreements <ul><li>Licensing can be an effective way to leverage a brand and generate revenue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Extensions – extending scope of protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written agreements are strongly recommended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Quality Control” is the most important provision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third-party distribution agreements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure any agreements involving your brand indicates your exclusive ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Reserve and exercise your ability to review advertising including your brand </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Trademarks in Business Transactions: How Trademarks and Copyrights Play a Role in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions <ul><li>Trademarks as assets </li></ul><ul><li>Confirm clear chain of title (like a title search when you buy a house) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to investigate status of use/registrations for important trademarks </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct infringement analyses </li></ul>
  20. 21. Copyright and Your Business: What Can You Do To Protect Yourself? <ul><li>Copyright exists in a “Work of Authorship” – when the work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive rights: reproduction, derivative works, distribution of copies, performance </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright does not protect underlying ideas, concepts, or systems </li></ul><ul><li>A work is “created” when it is fixed </li></ul><ul><li>Use the © symbol to indicate claim of copyright, e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>© 2009 Flaster/Greenberg P.C. </li></ul><ul><li>All Rights Reserved. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Works Made for Hire <ul><li>A work made for hire is prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment – The company , not the employee , owns the copyright. </li></ul><ul><li>If someone is creating a work for your company as an independent contractor (a “White Paper,” computer program, brochure, etc.) you need to establish in writing that any work product is a “work made for hire.”– It will not be presumed (a/k/a “a work for hire agreement.”) </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of joint ownership issues – Each joint owner is presumed to have an undivided interest in the entire work. </li></ul>
  22. 23. The “Fair Use” Exemption/Defense <ul><li>Certain uses of copyrighted works are excused from liability because they are “fair.” </li></ul><ul><li>Several factors will be weighed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The purpose and character of the use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The nature of the copyrighted work (Is it more or less original?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The amount and substantiality of portion used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The effect of the use on the potential market for the copyrighted work as a whole </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Doing Business in the Electronic World <ul><li>Maintaining a website for your business can raise a variety of IP issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Terms and conditions state what visitors can and cannot do. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of third party trademarks and copyrighted material </li></ul><ul><li>Improper use trademarks in websites and internet advertising </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A New Jersey federal court determined in 2006 that use of a competitor’s trademark as a Google “Ad Word” can constitute trademark infringement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of trademarks at “Meta Tags” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of “Flash” imagery can thwart copyright infringement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use proper notices to deter would be infringers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A website makes your business national/global and can put you at risk of waking a sleeping giant. </li></ul>
  24. 26. Thank You!

×