IP & Social Media

Post image for Basic Training: Does Selling Lego Creations = Trademark Infringement?

Q: Just wondering if my kids can sell their Lego creations online? I’m mostly concerned about the “Lego” brand name infringements. That is, if my kids were to make their own original creations using Lego pieces and advertise them on the internet as, oh, I don’t know, “Jake and Joe’s original Lego designs”–and sell the completed creations–without implying […]

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It’s tempting to think that firewalls are the only security protection your computer data needs. But increasingly, data gets into the wrong hands for more prosaic reasons. It’s not the lone hacker, toiling away through lines of code in a basement, or the foreign virus that gets uploaded through an attachment–although vigilance is needed there, […]

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If you collect customer data, you have to comply with a growing batch of laws addressing privacy and security. What information do you collect from your clients and customers? Full names? Social Security numbers? Driver’s license numbers? Credit card numbers? IP addresses? Birthdays? Congratulations–your business is now subject to the new and growing batch of […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Will Cybersquatting Apply to Twitter Names?

Courts have already come down hard on people who snap up domain names that belong to well-known corporations, and then try to ransom them back for large sums of money.  Does that apply to Twitter names as well? Q: Does cybersquatting also apply to sites such as twitter.com/trademark and facebook.com/trademark ? A: Not just cyberquatting, […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Online Images–Can I Use ‘Em?

A wise tax attorney colleague of mine once said, “Tax deductible does not mean ‘free.’ ” Likewise, fat-free does not mean calorie-free.  And freely viewable (online) does not mean you can freely take it and use it for your own purposes. This week’s Basic Training query wonders if it’s OK to take images found on […]

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Post image for Ideas And Their Protection

Q: I’m an independent/freelance software developer by profession. Over the past last few months I came up with an innovative idea for a web-based-to-mobile-device business solution.  I’ve tested it and, suffice it to say, it works.  I was contacted by one of the leading global telecommunication giants, who expressed interest in talks that might reveal […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Ants and Aardvarks in the Trademark World

Q: I have a small business in which I sell bails for jewelry. Another company (of course larger than mine) is claiming I’m infringing when the two items don’t even look alike. What should I do?  A: For those of us Saturday morning cartoon fiends, this is reminiscent of the Ant and the Aardvark. The aardvark, much […]

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Post image for Basic Training:  Zap, Zing, Zowie!–the Sound of One Trademark Lawsuit Clapping

Q: I want to sell goods online. There is a specific product which I can get for a very low price. The problem is that it may be a fake. The name is a well-known name, but I think it is a copy. Can I get in trouble by selling fake goods on the internet? A: The short answer […]

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Post image for Score 1 for The Good Guys–How StartUp Nation Fought Back

Here’s an encouraging story about how someone fought back against a Twitter-jacker–and won!  StartUp Nation founder Rich Sloan outlines how he found out that someone had co-opted StartUp Nation’s identity on Twitter and the steps he took to resolve the situation . . . and without incurring huge legal fees.  Read through the comments, too, […]

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Do your employees use email for company correspondence? Do your business partners conduct research on the Internet? Does your company regularly back up and store the contents of its company computers? If so, your business is ripe for an electronic media and communications policy. It’s called by several names — communications policy, user guidelines, electronic […]

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