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Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets

Every business, large or small, needs to have procedures in place to protect Trade Secrets. A Trade Secret is a piece of information, not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, that gives a business an economic advantage over its competitors. Some examples of Trade Secrets include: Recipes (Coca-Cola) Formulas (WD-40) Algorithms (Google Search) Common business information, such as customer lists, internal specifications, upcoming products, and best practice guides. Trade Secrets can last forever – but legal rights in a Trade Secret only exist as long as the secret is maintained. And Now: The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets Maintain an…

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Fair use or not? Parody vs. satire in copyright law

Do you know the difference between parody and satire? While the terms are often confused with one another, U.S. copyright law treats parody and satire very differently. Understanding the difference between parody and satire can be crucial in determining whether something that uses all or part of another copyrighted work is protected under the doctrine of Fair Use. What’s a Parody? We commonly think of parodies in the context of a movie, song, play, etc. that is “poking fun” at something in our culture. Saturday Night Live skits and Spaceballs (Mel Brooks’ take on Star Wars) are a few common examples of…

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You Set the Price, I’ll Set the (Contract) Terms: #1 – Jurisdiction & Choice of Law

You can always tell when someone is new to business negotiation because they can’t stop talking about price – how much they got paid for something, or how little they paid for something. Experienced negotiators know that oftentimes the terms of a contract are much more important than the top-level price. That’s the origin of the saying “You set the price, I’ll set the terms.” It’s a phrase that seasoned business people and lawyers often use. OK, so it’s easy to throw that phrase around, but what do the terms actually mean? I’m going to talk about a few common…

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4 Things You Need to Know About Trademark Office Actions

Anyone who files trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should be familiar with the term “Office Action”. An Office Action is simply the title of an official letter sent by the USPTO – although nowadays, most Office Actions are sent via email rather than in a paper letter. When a trademark application is filed with the USPTO, the first thing that happens is that it’s assigned to an Examining Attorney employed by the USPTO. The Examining Attorney will review the application and if they find any issues, they will send out an Office Action to…

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