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When thinking about intellectual property (IP), most people likely think about patents, trademarks and copyrights. In the most simplistic terms: patents protect novel and non-obvious inventions; trademarks protect a business’ brand names and logos; and copyrights protect tangible, fixed works of creative expression. Trade secrets are also increasingly being recognized as the fourth main pillar of IP and can run the gamut from things like customer lists and pricing, to inventions that may or may not be patentable. Every business has some or all of these forms of IP, but what about lesser known forms of IP such as “trade dress”? Trade dress is a kind of trademark that protects the overall look and design of products and packaging. Many (if not most) product companies and retail establishments have protectable trade dress, although not all companies recognize that they have it (and therefore don’t protect it!).
By Michael W. Mitchell and Edward Roche
The decision in Brammer v. Violent Hues sheds some light on when re-posting will be a “fair use” and when it will give rise to liability.
By Rob Maier
The trade war between the United States and China has had far-reaching effects on international trade and the global economy. The dispute is slowly developing into a battle of attrition, without any immediate resolution on the horizon despite ongoing trade talks. As businesses change the way they operate in response to this unpredictable trade environment, counsel should consider the risks and potential impacts on corporate IP strategy.
By Alan L. Friel
Part One of a Two-Part Article
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a comprehensive new consumer protection law set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. In the wake of the CCPA’s passage, approximately 15 other states introduced their own CCPA-like privacy legislation, and similar proposals are being considered at the federal level. Part One of this article covers how the CCPA applies to businesses — both in and outside California, the revenue threshold, proposed amendments and other open issues.
By George Soussou and Jeff Ginsberg
More Than a Recitation of Hooke’s Law Needed for Patent Protection
A Claim for a Chair Limits the Claim to a Chair