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Legal Articles, Intellectual Property

Don't Hire A Lawyer To Copyright Your Stuff!

Save yourself a LOT of money and do it yourself. It will take 5 minutes.

Our Copyright System Sucks

Our copyright system here in the USA needs a major overhaul. I'm embarrassed by it.

YOUR COMPUTER MAY BE EVIDENCE IN A WILL CONTEST CASE

On August 9, 2016, a New York Surrogate’s Court entered an order requiring an attorney, who had drafted a decedent’s Last Will & Testament which was now the subject of litigation, to produce his computer during discovery.

YOUR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES RIGHTS TO YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS

In Ajemian v. Yahoo!, Inc., (Mass., No. SJC-12237, Oct. 16, 2017) the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court addressed the issue of whether the personal representative of a decedent’s estate was entitled to access their email account. Yahoo had refused to provide the personal representative with access to the account and the estate was subsequently forced to commence a declaratory judgment action to gain the access it sought. In reliance on the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) , 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq., which prohibits unauthorized third parties from accessing communications stored by service providers, the matter was initially decided by the Probate and Family Court Judge by summary judgment. The personal representatives then appealed the ruling. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the issue, reversed the lower court ruling and found that the SCA did not prohibit the personal representatives, who stepped into the shoes of the decedent, from accessing the decedent’s emails since the personal representatives consented to the disclosure on the decedent's behalf and granted them unrestricted account access.

Trade Name, Trademark, Trade Dress - What's the Difference?

This reference provides a short discussion of three terms in intellectual property that are often confused.

Working with Web Hosts & Designers

No matter how averse you are to "techie" projects like web development and site management, you must be involved enough to ensure your rights are protected--and that no one else's are being violated. This reference discusses how.

Alimony Award of Intellectual Property Shares Ruled Improper Double Dipping

Blog post about a court that mistakenly awarded a woman a large share of her ex-husband's intellectual property and value from his unsold books.

What is trade dress infringement?

The core concepts of trademark protection are that consumers not be confused, misled, or deceived as to whose product they are buying, that sellers’ goodwill--or investment in their reputation for quality--be protected, and that competition thereby be enhanced.

What is the test for infringement of a federally registered trademark pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1114?

A registered trademark is infringed when a person uses it or a phrase similar to it in a manner likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among ordinarily prudent buyers or prospective buyers as to the source of the product.

Naming your Business - More than just choosing a cool name

Technology has a big impact on choosing a name for your business, including a greater risk of violating a trademark

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