Trade Secrets in Databases

Database as a Trade Secret Trade secrets in database records fall victim to many who seek the potential value of stored records from a variety of entities, either from government agencies and competitor businesses, to also include medical and financial enterprises, and even from their own employer or client.  Intruding into another’s database is becoming…

Website Crawling and Data Scraping Thoughts

Website crawling and data scraping have burdened the growth of e-commerce as website owners are witnessing their data scraped.  The legal questions have lingered.  Many questions stand out.  The prevalence of crawling and scraping has become too of the norm for those using web content for business, research, or marketing purposes. The common theme is…

Trademark Nominative Fair Use and Confusion

Trademark use and the element of fair use in business snags many businesses trying to market their service or product, while seemingly using a competitor’s trademark. Liability may not be avoided by relying on the fair use defense.  Words and their message are usually held to a standard regarding the possibility of consumer confusion.  There…

Trademark Misrepresentation in Advertising

Trademark misrepresentation rather than respecting the appearance of a marks brand through advertising runs the risk of using creative naming.  Courts will look at advertising’s subjective effect on consumers.  The query for concern is to determine if the advertising seeks for the consumer to make the association with an existing unrelated brand of a product. …

Website Safe Harbor Copyright Notice Designation

Website safe harbor takedown requirements by the Copyright Office is soon to undergo changes.  According to the Copyright Office, it is the responsibility of a website owner or online service entity to make it easy for a copyright holder to contact the website regarding the possibility of content infringement.  The agent designation requirement[1] process form,…

Copyright Protection Standard for Clothing

Copyright protection standard for clothing articulated as conceptual separability will now be entertained by the U.S. Supreme Court amid the background of disparate circuit court views.  Copyright protection applies to the features pertaining to design, of say, articles, and pictures.  The garment sector items fall into the dichotomy of use or utility, as the design…

Cybersquatting by Website Designer

Cybersquatting by a website designer is seldom a thought of concern by potential clients who are in the midst of working or are considering the work of a website designer for their start up a business.  Terms are rarely dickered with to ensure the handling of the domain selection and eventful registration.  When an unauthorized…

Trademark Internet Use Collides Regionally in Florida

A trademark used in a particular region of the country may not be absolutely alone with the existence of the Internet.  Marketing a business on the Internet has a ubiquitous presence to the service seeking potential customer.  Whether your business is in the southeast, such as Florida, and there is the existence of a wider…

Music Access Going Offline

Music Access in time past was always a concern for the nostalgic music enthusiast, especially the desire to hold on to music treasures from one’s growing up years. There was the concerned about scratching and breaking and not being able to find another issue.  The digital innovation has liberated the music industry allowing for creative…

Broadcasting Competition of Distribution Agreements

Broadcasting competition of distribution agreements has been in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) cross-hairs.  While under less than unusual circumstances a provider can enter into a contract to distribute its product exclusively or non-exclusively, the same cannot be said regarding agreements of communications content provider.  The concerns is with content that could draw an overwhelming…

Trademark Infringement and Sibling Rivalries

Trademark infringements may be common in the business world, but they are as well not unheard of among family members in business who are competing in the same products.  The Southern District Court in Ohio heard a case between siblings which touched on pivotal points regarding trademarks. The court wrestled with the issue of ‘use’…

Digital Copyright Disputes and First Sale Defense

Digital copyright disputes throw around terms such as “sale”, “license”, “first sale”, and “right ownership.”  The distinction of these terms began in 1908 by the Supreme Court determining that a “sale” serves as a defense as opposed to a “license” under a copyright claim.[1]  In a cited case, Bobbs-Merrill, the defendant purchased copies of a…

Free Speech in Trademarks

Free speech in trademarks has been a long existing principle only to be recently circumscribed.  Ideas in naming something personal, such as exercising an expression for a trademark, could otherwise be prohibited if it were not for the constitutional principle of free speech. Imagine starting a company and devising a slogan to register as a…

Internet Product Listing Infringing on Trademark

Internet product listing was argued to be infringing on the trademark of a watch manufacturer.  The watch manufacturer argued that it did not sell its watches to Amazon for resale nor did it authorize resale through the online retailer. The plaintiff in this case, Multi Time Machine (MTM), argued that the online retailer, Amazon was…

Trade Secrets Act Update

Trade secret law and practice is about to change if Congress pursues the “Defend” Trade Secrets Act with the current provisions.  Not only will the practice change, rights as well as competition, may be affected for the worse.  The attention that this legislative activity is getting regarding trade secrets is scant to say the most.  …

Fate of the Internet

Life has changed with the Internet but it will change even more as the fate of the Internet is in court hands once again. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will determine how Internet providers will change how we use the internet, what content will be permitted, and how we access and…

Copyright Basis

Copyright basis draws the question of whether copyright law is based on government granting a monopoly, if you will, vis-à-vis against any other potential entrepreneur.  Many see it that way and tend to deny copyrights having a proprietary property right for the creator of the work.  Historically the value of crafting an idea composed was…

Personal Identifiable Information under VPPA

Digital media law and the digital media industry wrestles with how courts define personal identifiable information under the Video Privacy Protection Act.  This definition is important to companies that stream deliver videos to customers. How broadly the court define the scope of liability will remain a concern with personal identifiable information under the VPPA. In…

Developing Apps

Developing Apps Developing apps could be thrilling and troubling.  Of course, it is the thrilling aspect or expectation that drives the creative ideas.  But what is not thought of is the necessary planning that is crucial for it to be successful.  Simple creation is not enough.  Long before that, just the thought of an idea…

Electronic Self-Publishing Considerations

Electronic self-publishing considerations are overlooked by many who venture on to electronic self-publishing.  The efforts to do so could be for self-publication or out of an egalitarian purpose of making materials easily available. The issues for self-publishing for those seeking to venture are immaterial to the purpose  Initial costs of publishing can be limited which is…

eCommerce and the FTC

eCommerce and the FTC For businesses seeking to engage commercially in the realm of cyber space ‘eCommerce’, their eCommerce efforts will be under the eyes of the FTC – Federal Trade Commission. While it was established in the early 1900s, the FTC has been focused on protecting consumers and enforcing their rights. There has been…

Business Risk and Trade Secret Misappropriation

Business Risk and Trade Secret Misappropriation Any enterprise large or small will experience business risk and trade secret misappropriation of some form or another. The offense of misappropriating trade secrets according to the Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA) is the ‘acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason…

Marketability of Hashtags

As hashtags are increasingly filed for registry as trademarks, courts are balancing the nominative use of hashtags and the descriptive use of the marketability of hashtags.  So far over 50 hashtags have been granted federally registered trademark status. The difficulty is that the descriptive use may be heightened by the courts amid the value of…