IP & Social Media

“What’s in a name?” asked Shakespeare. I often wonder what celebrities are thinking when they name their kids Tu (Morrow), Moon Unit (Zappa), or North (West, of Kardashian-West fame). Or not thinking. Somehow, they latch on to an idea … which may have been hilarious after a few too many 3rd trimester appletinis … and […]


Post image for Snooki Gets into Cat Fight Over Her Name

Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s latest wrangling with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over her trademark just goes to show ya: Celebrities are ordinary businesspeople, too, and they also run into trouble with their trademarks.  Seems that Polizzi wanted to trademark her nickname, Snooki, but ran into a cat fight.  Literally.  Here’s the issue: Snooki […]


The United States Supreme Court ruled recently that as long as an employer has a legitimate work-related purpose, and the search is reasonable in scope, then employers can review their employees’ text messages when those messages are sent or received on an employer-provided device. Attorney Bradley Gross, Esq., parses through the decision and what it […]


Post image for ‘Don’t Try This At Home’–Interview with IP Attorney Amy Goldsmith

“Why can’t I handle my own patent/trademark/copyright filings?” you ask.  “I’m getting started on a shoestring–do I really need to spend the legal fees?” Go right ahead and DIY . . . but if you’re not on target about what you’ve done or how thoroughly you’ve handled your background research, you could find that you’ve […]


Post image for How to Prevent Others from Poaching Your IP

Complaining about someone stealing your IP when you sat on your hands is like complaining that someone broke into your house when you left the front door wide open. If you have items at home that you value, you take steps to protect them. You put a lock on your door. You hire an alarm company. You […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]