Common Questions

Welcome to the “Common Questions” column on the Privacy and IP Law Blog.

Here, you can find all of the articles that have been posted since 2009 for general reference about a particular area of IP or computer law.  These posts generally do not “expire” and can be used for reference even well after the publication date.  If you have particular questions, please feel free to contact us using the “Contact Us” page above.

Please note — these posts do not constitute specific legal advice, and are offered merely as an analysis of some of the issues raised by particular events or statutory developments. If you have particular concerns that you wish to have addressed, please contact a lawyer directly so that your specific circumstances can be evaluated.

TRADEMARKS

What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Service Mark?  (Nov. 17, 2016).  This post explores the differences between demonstrating use of a trademark versus use of a service mark in the application process.  Specifically, different specimens (i.e., examples) showing how the mark is used in commerce are required for each type of application. These differences are set forth in the USPTO’s guidance and described briefly here.

What’s Involved in Registering a US Trademark? (Dec. 30, 2015).  What can you expect from the registration process if you’ve decided to register your U.S. trademark?  Not every application is the same, so there will be variations in exactly what happens in the prosecution of your application, but this post explores some common features, and can perhaps serve as a “Trademark 101 Primer” to describe the basic process.

Benefits of Trademark Searching (Apr. 13, 2015).  Trademark searching is not required before filing an application with the USPTO, but it is highly recommended. This article explores some reasons why.

Webinar Scheduled for February 12, 2013 (Feb. 4, 2013).  This post provides links to a West LegalEd Center webinar entitled “Brand Protection: Ten Tips to Managing Trademark Rights Effectively” — in which I participated, along with two colleagues from the ABA IPL Section.  The webinar is still being offered “on demand” and provides a good background in “protecting trademark rights from conception to renewal and beyond, provide you with a basic grounding in trademark rights in the U.S.”

So You’re Starting a New Business, How Do You Protect your Brand?  (Jan. 23, 2012).  This post explains the basics of trademark law for the entrepreneur, including how to choose a name and how to enforce your mark if you detect that someone is misusing it.

When Should I Enforce My Trademark Rights? (Nov. 1, 2011)  This post focuses on the timing of enforcement once a brand owner learns of potential infringement.  Specifically, this post focuses on the possible lapse in ability to enforce, due to the legal doctrines of acquiescence, laches and/or waiver.

COPYRIGHTS

Can I Copyright My Formula? (Nov. 28, 2016).  This post considers whether copyright law can protect formulae/recipes from being copied by others and whether trade secret law may be a viable alternative to keep others from using a secret formula.

Can I Copyright My ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ Story? (Mar. 13, 2013).  This post addresses why authors cannot claim exclusive rights in story elements that provide building blocks to the development of other unique and original, non-infringing stories.

Can I Copyright My Idea? (Oct. 24, 2011).  This post identifies the key components in a copyrightable work, and distinguishes it from un-protectable ideas.  (Note that some ideas may be protected by patent law under the right circumstances, but this post focuses on the copyright issues only.)

DATA SECURITY/PRIVACY/BREACH

Mobile Device Security Policies for Employers – Small and Large (Feb. 10, 2015).  You may have BYOD policies in place governing employee-owned devices that are also used for business purposes, but do you have policies in place to handle Company-issued devices?  Data losses can occur through these devices, too, and they should not be overlooked.

Is Your Company Subject to Laws Regulating Safe Destruction of Documents? (Sept. 2, 2014).  This post highlights state data destruction laws, most recently enacted in Delaware.

Summary

You will find that many of these posts includes links for further research, making it easy to learn more about a particular topic if you are interested.

Copyright (c) 2016.  Christina D. Frangiosa, All Rights Reserved.