The 2010 Women Grow Business Boot Camp<br />Sponsored & hosted by<br />Network Solutions and Steptoe & Johnson LLP<br />Ju...
Overview of Program<br /><ul><li>Intellectual Property and Social Media
Employment and Contract Issues</li></li></ul><li>Intellectual Propertyand Social Media<br /><ul><li>Intellectual Property ...
Trademarks 101
Social Media for Small Businesses</li></li></ul><li>Intellectual Property Types<br /><ul><li>Trademarks
Patents
Copyrights
Trade Dress</li></li></ul><li>What is a Trademark?<br /><ul><li>A trademark is a mark, name, word, or symbol used to ident...
What is a Patent?<br />Exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing an invention in the Unit...
Copyright Examples<br />Bundle of exclusive rights in a “creative work”<br />Includes right to reproduce a work, to create...
What is Trade Dress?<br />Overall look and feel of a product or its packaging<br />Signifies to the consumer that it comes...
Trademarksand Domain Names<br /><ul><li>Examples of Trademarks
Importance of Trademarks in Business
Selecting a Trademark and Domain Name
Obtaining and Protecting Trademarks
Trademark and Domain Name Enforcement Basics
Proper Trademark Use</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Symbols/designs:
Numbers: </li></ul>The Many Faces of a Trademark<br /><ul><li>Words:</li></ul>Walmart®<br />	American Red Cross®<br /><ul>...
Shapes:
Sounds:
Color:  </li></li></ul><li>Importance ofTrademarks in Business<br /><ul><li>Represent a company’s good will and reputation
Ensure that your customers and the public associate your brands with your business
Can be a company’s most valuable business asset</li></li></ul><li>Choosing a Trademark or Domain Name<br /><ul><li>When ch...
Is someone else using the same or a similar mark, especially for the same/similar goods or services?
Has someone filed an application for or registered the same or a similar mark?
Conduct a WHOIS search before selecting a domain name</li></li></ul><li>Obtaining and Protecting Trademarks<br /><ul><li>T...
Trademark rights are geographical in scope
If a trademark is used locally, only local rights are granted
If a trademark is used in interstate commerce, national (federal) rights are granted
Registration of a trademark
Can apply based on current use of a mark
Can also apply based on a bona fide intent to use a mark in the near future
Allows time to do market research product development and regulatory clearance--and obtain rights in a clever mark!</li></...
Document situations of confusion
Help co-workers use your company’s marks properly
Honor and make proper use of other parties’ trademarks</li></li></ul><li>Proper Use of Trademarks<br /><ul><li>Once obtain...
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"Legal Eagle" - presented by Kimberly Berry & Emily Murray at the #wgbiz Boot Camp

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"Legal Eagle" - presented by Kimberly Berry & Emily Murray at the #wgbiz Boot Camp

  1. 1. The 2010 Women Grow Business Boot Camp<br />Sponsored & hosted by<br />Network Solutions and Steptoe & Johnson LLP<br />June 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.<br />
  2. 2. Overview of Program<br /><ul><li>Intellectual Property and Social Media
  3. 3. Employment and Contract Issues</li></li></ul><li>Intellectual Propertyand Social Media<br /><ul><li>Intellectual Property Basics
  4. 4. Trademarks 101
  5. 5. Social Media for Small Businesses</li></li></ul><li>Intellectual Property Types<br /><ul><li>Trademarks
  6. 6. Patents
  7. 7. Copyrights
  8. 8. Trade Dress</li></li></ul><li>What is a Trademark?<br /><ul><li>A trademark is a mark, name, word, or symbol used to identify goods and to distinguish them from competitors’ offerings</li></ul>Example: COACH® leather goods<br /><ul><li>A service mark is the same as a trademark, but identifies the origin or sources of services</li></ul>Example: DELTA® for air travel services<br />
  9. 9. What is a Patent?<br />Exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing an invention in the United States<br />Exists for a limited time only<br />After expiration, invention becomes part of public domain and can be made, used, or sold by anyone<br />
  10. 10. Copyright Examples<br />Bundle of exclusive rights in a “creative work”<br />Includes right to reproduce a work, to create adaptations (“derivative works”), to distribute copies, and to publicly perform/display a work<br />Designs<br />Patterns<br />Sound Recordings<br />Paintings<br />Literary Works<br />Software<br />What is a Copyright?<br />
  11. 11. What is Trade Dress?<br />Overall look and feel of a product or its packaging<br />Signifies to the consumer that it comes from a particular company<br />Sum-total of the appearance of the product or its packaging, including:<br />Trademarks<br />Copyrights<br />Other non-protectable design features<br />
  12. 12. Trademarksand Domain Names<br /><ul><li>Examples of Trademarks
  13. 13. Importance of Trademarks in Business
  14. 14. Selecting a Trademark and Domain Name
  15. 15. Obtaining and Protecting Trademarks
  16. 16. Trademark and Domain Name Enforcement Basics
  17. 17. Proper Trademark Use</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Symbols/designs:
  18. 18. Numbers: </li></ul>The Many Faces of a Trademark<br /><ul><li>Words:</li></ul>Walmart®<br /> American Red Cross®<br /><ul><li>Letters:</li></li></ul><li>The Many Faces of a Trademark<br /><ul><li>Slogans:
  19. 19. Shapes:
  20. 20. Sounds:
  21. 21. Color: </li></li></ul><li>Importance ofTrademarks in Business<br /><ul><li>Represent a company’s good will and reputation
  22. 22. Ensure that your customers and the public associate your brands with your business
  23. 23. Can be a company’s most valuable business asset</li></li></ul><li>Choosing a Trademark or Domain Name<br /><ul><li>When choosing a trademark, consider whether the mark is available:
  24. 24. Is someone else using the same or a similar mark, especially for the same/similar goods or services?
  25. 25. Has someone filed an application for or registered the same or a similar mark?
  26. 26. Conduct a WHOIS search before selecting a domain name</li></li></ul><li>Obtaining and Protecting Trademarks<br /><ul><li>Trademark rights in the United States are based on use
  27. 27. Trademark rights are geographical in scope
  28. 28. If a trademark is used locally, only local rights are granted
  29. 29. If a trademark is used in interstate commerce, national (federal) rights are granted
  30. 30. Registration of a trademark
  31. 31. Can apply based on current use of a mark
  32. 32. Can also apply based on a bona fide intent to use a mark in the near future
  33. 33. Allows time to do market research product development and regulatory clearance--and obtain rights in a clever mark!</li></li></ul><li>Trademark and Domain Name Enforcement Basics<br /><ul><li>Monitor the marketplace
  34. 34. Document situations of confusion
  35. 35. Help co-workers use your company’s marks properly
  36. 36. Honor and make proper use of other parties’ trademarks</li></li></ul><li>Proper Use of Trademarks<br /><ul><li>Once obtained, trademarks must be protected and nurtured like any other property
  37. 37. Proper use on all business documents, advertising, displays, packaging, labels, and correspondence is critical to survival
  38. 38. Use the ®, TM, and SM trademark notices as frequently as possible!
  39. 39. Make sure that only those with a license to use the marks use them under your control
  40. 40. DO NOT permit modification of your mark
  41. 41. Monitor the marketplace to make sure others are not using your mark for similar goods or services</li></li></ul><li>Social Mediafor Small Businesses<br /><ul><li>Overview of major platforms and demographics
  42. 42. Business uses of social media
  43. 43. Best practices for developers
  44. 44. Developing and executing a social media policy
  45. 45. Enforcement in social media spaces</li></li></ul><li>Social Media Platforms<br /><ul><li>Facebook
  46. 46. Twitter
  47. 47. YouTube
  48. 48. Mobile Applications</li></li></ul><li>Noteworthy Demographics<br />Users are decision-making consumers with strong purchasing power<br />Many users are over 35, have children and earn over $100,000 per year<br />Tens of millions of visitors a month (or more) for major platforms such as YouTube, Craigslist, Blogger, Twitter<br />30% global growth in social media use from February 2009 to February 2010<br />
  49. 49. Business Uses for Social Media<br />Increasing brand exposure<br />Improving customer satisfaction and investment<br />Search engine optimization<br />Application development <br />
  50. 50. Developer Considerations<br />Use the proper platforms for your demographic, including geographical considerations<br />Consider mobile applications and different types of hardware<br />Look to user community to help determine optimal app features and feature updates<br />Understand terms and conditions for developers – different and separate from user policies<br />Conduct legal review before releasing an app to the public<br />Use your trademarks properly and respect others’ trademarks and copyrights<br />
  51. 51. Social Media Policy Basics<br />Policy defines acceptable social media behavior for employees, third parties such as licensees and affiliaties, and other third-party users of social media resources<br />May include one or more of the following:<br />Information on philosophy, strategy and presence<br />Guidelines for employees authorized to speak officially for the company, including who is authorized to speak.<br />General employee and affiliate guidelines<br />Terms and conditions for general user community<br />Ensure that policy is designed to suit your organization’s needs – do not copy another organization’s policy<br />
  52. 52. Social Media Enforcement Mechanisms<br />Maintain library of information on major platforms’ terms and conditions and enforcement policies<br />Facebook has takedown procedures for copyright infringement and other IP infringement, as well as an impersonation reporting mechanism<br />Twitter also has copyright, trademark, and impersonation reporting options<br />YouTube allows for submission of copyright complaints; videos that violate community guidelines can be flagged<br />
  53. 53. Business Functions<br />Finance<br />IT<br />Human Resources<br />Marketing <br />Development<br />Office Services/Operations<br />Legal<br />
  54. 54. Employee or Independent Contractor?<br />An employer must generally withhold federal income taxes, withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee<br />An employer does not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors<br />
  55. 55. Employee vs. Independent Contractor<br />Examine the relationship between the worker and the business, including:<br /><ul><li>Behavorial Control: whether the business has the right to direct or control how the work is done, through instructions, training or other means
  56. 56. Financial Control: whether business has right to direct or control the financial and business aspects of the worker’s job
  57. 57. Relationship of the Parties: how parties perceive their relationship</li></li></ul><li>Behavioral Control<br />Employee<br />Independent Contractor<br />Generally business has not retained the right to control the details of the worker’s performance and has given up that right<br />Ordinarily uses her own methods<br />Generally subject to the business’ instructions about when, where, and how to work:<br />When/where to do work<br />Tools or equipment to use<br />Workers to hire/assist w/work<br />Where to purchase supplies<br />What work must be performed<br />What order/sequence to follow<br />May be trained <br />
  58. 58. Financial Control<br />Employee<br />Independent Contractor<br />May incur unreimbursed expenses<br />Generally guaranteed a regular wage amount for hourly, weekly or other period of time (big indicator, even if wage supplemented by commission)<br />More likely to have unreimbursed expenses<br />Often has significant investment in facilities used in performing services (not necessary, though)<br />Generally free to seek out business opportunities<br />Often advertise, maintain visible location, available to work in relevant market<br />Usually paid flat fee (or hourly)<br />Can make a profit or loss<br />
  59. 59. Type of Relationship<br />Employee<br />Independent Contractor<br />Employee-type benefits provided, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation or sick pay<br />Expectation that relationship will continue indefinitely<br />If services provided are key aspect of regular business activity, more likely you will have right to direct and control activities<br />Written contract describing relationship<br />Expectation that relationship will continue for a specific project or period<br />
  60. 60. Key Considerations in Hiring<br />Business Needs<br />Interviewing/Legal Requirements<br />Questions to avoid<br />Anti-discrimination laws<br />ADA – accommodation requirements<br />Written Job Description<br />Key: job-related and avoid inconsistent standards<br />Targeting Outreach<br />Recordkeeping requirements<br />Offer Letter<br />Setting Compensation Equitably<br />Fair Labor Standards Act<br />Minimum wage<br />Pay overtime to employees working more than 40 hrs/wk <br />Nonexempt vs. exempt<br />Other Compensation Issues<br />Commissions, bonuses, advances, stipends, benefits<br />Reference Checks<br />Background Checks<br />
  61. 61. Employment At-Will Doctrine<br />An employee is “at-will” if there is no definite term of employment<br />DC, MD, VA and PA recognize limitations to at-will doctrine<br />Terminated employees can bring claims on:<br />Wrongful discharge<br />Breach of contract<br />Breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing<br />Promissory Estoppel<br />Employers can defeat implied contracts by using unambiguous disclaimers:<br />“No employee will have contract of employment unless approved by company”<br />Use disclaimers in handbooks, offer letters, and similar business communications<br />
  62. 62. Non-competition Agreements<br />Some employers require employees to sign non-competition agreements to prevent employees from taking their talents and the employer’s trade secrets to competitors<br />
  63. 63. Non-Competition Agreements Cont’d<br />Courts will critically examine and likely enforce an agreement that is:<br />Narrowly drawn to protect employer’s legitimate business interest<br />Not unduly burdensome on employee’s ability to earn a living <br />Not against public policy (e.g. restrictions limiting access to medical or legal services, innovation of life-saving products)<br />Courts consider:<br />Temporal scope of non-compete<br />Geographic scope of non-compete<br />Clarity and unambiguous nature of non-compete<br />Silver bullet: Likely enforceable if employer pays employee for duration of non-compete<br />
  64. 64. Alternative: Non-Solicitation Agreements <br />Employers should consider Non-Solicitation Agreements as an Alternative to Non-Competition Agreements<br />Customers: <br />Former, Current, Prospective<br />Employees:<br />Former, Current<br />Avoiding liability: best practice is to have new hires sign statement that they agree not to disclose to you or use any of the prior employer’s confidential or proprietary information <br />
  65. 65. Surviving With Employees in a Tough Economy<br />Getting the right people on the bus<br />Keep just your core people if downsizing (think of who you need in the long term)<br />Cut expenses – including benefits if necessary<br />Cut your own pay, if possible<br />Be creative re: what your employees can do <br />Don’t be afraid of change as you usually cannot survive, improve, learn, etc., without it!<br />
  66. 66. THANK YOU!<br />Emily MurrayIP Trademark Coordinator (Non-Attorney)Steptoe & Johnson LLPPhone: 202.429.1331Email: emurray@steptoe.com<br />Kimberly BerryManaging PartnerBerry & Berry, PLLCPhone: 202.955.1100Email: kberry@berrylegal.com<br />

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