Intellectual Property Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Intellectual Property.

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Battle of the Famous Mark “LEXUS” in Hong Kong

  April 15, 2014     By Angela Wang & Co.
On 19 March 2014, the Registrar of Trade Marks in Hong Kong dismissed the opposition application by the owner of well known automobile maker “LEXUS” against a Malaysian biscuit brand also named “LEXUS”. The latter mark was filed as a series of two marks by Munchy Food Industries Sdn Bhd (“Munchy”). This decision is highly significant to well known trademark owners and the Registrar’s detailed reasoning will likely be followed in future similar opposition cases.

Harvard Professor Fires Back Against Copyright Infringement Claims

  April 15, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Harvard University Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is fighting back against allegations that his online lecture posted on YouTube violates the copyright to a French pop song. Fittingly, Lessig is a respected expert on law and technology as well as an advocate for less restrictive copyright laws.

Internet Enables Thieves to Steal $4 Billion in Tax Refunds

  April 11, 2014     By DeBlis & DeBlis
Criminals are utilizing their Internet connection to file false tax returns that help them steal refunds from the innocent. In 2013, fraudulent returns saw almost $4 billion sent into the hands of scam artists. Making things worse is the fact that the Internal Revenue Service is having a hard time stopping the fraud from happening in the first place.

Infringement of the Intellectual Property Rights (Trademark, Copyright and Patent) in Pakistan

  April 11, 2014     By Irfan Mir Halepota & Associates
Pakistan penal code provides Sections 478 to 489 in relation to the infringement of registered Trade Mark before the trial by the Magistrate 1st Class Schedule II of Cr.P.C. Has enlisted all offenses as bailable and non-cognizable.

Copyright FAQ: What is Considered Fair Use?

  April 10, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
When deciding whether you can use someone else’s work without permission, there are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration. One of the most important limitations to copyright protection is the doctrine of fair use.

Are You Getting Shortchanged on Patent Royalties?

  April 8, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Licensing intellectual property can be a lucrative stream of revenue. However, businesses need to have procedures in place to ensure accurate reporting and royalty payments.

GAO Reports Sheds Light on Impact of NPEs

  April 3, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently released a report on the impact of non-practicing entities (NPEs). The findings debunk many of the criticisms waged against so-called “patent trolls.”

Key Changes to China Trademark Law and Practice

  April 1, 2014     By MMLC Group
From 1 May 2014, the new China trademark law will commence operation. The new law differs in key aspects to the old law, and trademark registration practice will also differ greatly. This article looks at the key changes that all trademark lawyers and owners need to be aware of.

Presidential Hopefuls Taking Heat for Possible Copyright Infringement

  March 27, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Every election season, at least one of the candidates seems to end up in legal hot water over music used by the campaign. in 2012, it was Newt Gingrich. He is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for his use of the Rocky III theme song, "Eye of the Tiger."

The Fage Greek Yoghurt Case

  March 26, 2014     By CSB Advocates
The world renowned manufacturer of Greek Yoghurt, FAGE, has recently won an ‘extended passing-off’ case against Chobani UK Limited and Chobani, Inc in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, an extended passing-off claim, unlike a classic passing-off claim, may be brought by one or more members of a class of traders which share the collective goodwill in a mark.

Sino Legend Prevails in Business Secret Fight

  March 26, 2014     By Lehman, Lee & Xu
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recently issued a substantial modification to its initial determination in the Sino Legend (Zhangjiagang) Chemical Co., Ltd. and SI Group Inc. intellectual property case. The Commission ruled that the majority of SI Group’s alleged business secrets are not protectable. The ITC also struck down the originally recommended general exclusion order.

Green Technology Pilot Program Marks 500th Patent

  March 25, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced that it has issued the 500th patent through its Green Technology Pilot Program. Under the patent program, applications involving reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation, and environmental quality are eligible for accelerated review at no cost to the inventor.

A Call for Big Patent Changes

  March 18, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Federal Judge Richard Posner recently dismissed the high-profile intellectual property litigation between Apple and Motorola, after determining that neither side could prove damages.

Imitation Protection Of Internet Sites By Copyright Law

  March 14, 2014     By GRP Rainer LLP
The operator of an Internet address has, as a rule, a special interest in the protection of his advertising appearance on the Internet against imitation. However, such a protection, from the copyright law, is guaranteed only up to a certain creation/design point.

Requirements for Registration of Local Trademark in Albania

  March 13, 2014     By LPA Law Firm Albania
In case foreign entities wish to file a trademark in Albania they can do so only through an authorized local trademark agent registered with the Albanian Patent and Trademark Office.

The EU Court Rules Linking to Free Web Content is Legal

  March 13, 2014     By CSB Advocates
Last month the European Court ruled that websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder.

Are Neutral Experts the Key to Complicated IP Litigation?

  March 13, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Judge Richard Posner is taking a novel approach to the upcoming patent litigation between Apple and Motorola. He is using court-appointed witnesses to explain complicated subject matter.

What Does Neil Young Have Against MP3s? Rock Legend Seeks Trademark for New Audio Format

  March 11, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Legendary rocker Neil Young reportedly does not like how his songs currently sound on his iPod. To remedy the problem, he is working on a new, high-resolution audio format to replace MP3s, as evidenced by several trademarks applications recently filed on his behalf.

USPTO Issues Guidance to Patent Examiner in Wake of Prometheus Decision

  March 6, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a memorandum to its patent examiners regarding the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. The memorandum provides preliminary guidance to the Patent Examining Corps. in light of the Court’s decision, and also indicates that further guidance will be forthcoming.

Has Louis Vuitton Gone Too Far to Protect Its Trademark?

  March 4, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The intellectual property world is buzzing about the trademark dispute brewing between luxury brand Louis Vuitton and University of Pennsylvania Law School. Louis Vuitton recently sent a strongly worded cease and desist letter demanding that the school remove posters advertising the Pennsylvania Intellectual Property Group’s (PIRG) annual symposium on fashion law because the posters "misappropriated and modified" Vuitton's trademarked monogram design.

Fictitious Licence Fee In Case Of Unauthorized Publication Of Photos – Copyright Law

  March 3, 2014     By GRP Rainer LLP
If photos are published without authorization, this is a violation of the right of owning one’s own image. The persons depicted are entitled to receive payment of a licence fee.

Vesting of Contingent Compensation in Pay or Played Television Director Agreement

  February 27, 2014     By IP Law Click, PC
One of the issues in negotiating director agreements in television is whether contingent compensation provision applies in situations where a director is pay or played off a film. The question becomes will the director be entitled to any portion of the negotiated contingent compensation since she has been terminated and is no longer with the project.

U.S. Gymnasts Are Not the First “Fab Five”

  February 25, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
If the U.S. women’s Olympic team wants to capitalize on their gold medal win, they may need to hire an experienced trademark attorney. The group’s famous nickname—the Fab Five—is already trademarked by NBA player Jalen Rose.

KU DE TA Keeps Name in Singapore

  February 24, 2014     By Patrick Mirandah Co.
In Guy Neale and others v Nine Squares, the Singapore High Court dismissed a trade mark invalidation suit and passing off claim and confirmed the requisite attributes for the establishment of goodwill.

South East Asia is Fertile Ground for Intellectual Property Recognisance and Growth

  February 23, 2014     By Patrick Mirandah Co.
In 2013, several Southeast-Asian countries including Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore have seen some significant development in their respective Intellectual Property regime.

China Leads the World in Patent Filing

  February 20, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
China was the world’s top patent filer for 2011, according to a new Thompson Reuters report. The significant uptick is attributed to the country’s desire to transform from a "made in China" to a "designed in China" market.

Copyright FAQ: What Is a “Useful Article?”

  February 18, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
In a recent copyright infringement case involving Batman’s famous ride, the Batmobile, a U.S. federal judge ruled that the famous car was protected under the Copyright Act because it possessed non-functional artistic elements that could be separated from the utilitarian aspect of the automobile.

Employment Law in Israel

  February 17, 2014     By Livnat, Mayer & Co.
Significant Issues in Employment Law in Israel

Key Issues Regarding the Third amendment to PRC Trademark Law

  February 17, 2014     By UB & Co. Attorneys and Counselors
On August 30, 2013, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the Third Amendment to PRC Trademark Law (the "Amendment"). The new Trademark Law based on this Amendment will enter into force on May 1, 2014. In general, the Amendment improves the legal framework regarding critical issues such as trademark application, review and opposition, trademark use, assignment and extension, trademark infringement and punishment, etc.

Singapore’s Apex Court Develops and Clarifies the Law of Trademarks

  February 13, 2014     By Patrick Mirandah Co.
2013 has been a progressive year for Singapore as 3 Court of Appeal decisions have been handed down in relation to the law on trademarks and the tort of passing off.

Patent FAQ: Is My Invention Patentable?

  February 13, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
A patent is a valuable property right because it excludes others from “making, using, offering for sale, or selling your invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a certain period of time. However, before embarking on the patent process, the first step is determine if your invention can indeed be patented.

Rock Legend Seeks Trademark for New Audio Format

  February 11, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
What Does Neil Young Have Against MP3s? Legendary rocker Neil Young reportedly does not like how his songs currently sound on his iPod. To remedy the problem, he is working on a new, high-resolution audio format to replace MP3s, as evidenced by several trademarks applications recently filed on his behalf.

Strong v. Weak Trademarks: How to Tell the Difference

  February 6, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Strong trademarks are so distinctive that it is easy to prevent a third-party from using the mark. It is subsequently less difficult to both register and defend these trademarks. In contrast, “weak” trademarks are often descriptive and/or already used by others to describe their goods or services. As a result, weak trademarks are difficult to legally protect.

Fair Use in Trademarks

  February 3, 2014     By IP Law Click, PC
Unlike copyrights, the defense of fair use in trademark law is relatively new and not as developed.

Birkenstock prevails and steps on competition

  February 3, 2014     By Patrick Mirandah Co.
The Philippines Supreme Court was once again confronted with the issue on ownership of trademark in its recently decided case of Birkenstock Orthopaedie GMBH and Co. KG vs. Philippine Shoe Expo Marketing Corporation (G.R. No. 194307, November 20, 2013).

9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Decide a Major Occupational Licensing Case

  January 31, 2014     By Kassouni Law
Appeals lawyers assess Underwood v. Mackay - whether occupational licensing applicants must submit to all licensing procedures and be denied a license before they can challenge the constitutionality of those procedures in court.

Can You Patent a Tattoo? Nokia Says Yes

  January 30, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Patents and patent applications are often the first indicators that a new technology or product is on the horizon. This may be the case with Nokia’s recent patent application for a vibrating tattoo.

Will EU Ruling on Copyright Protection for Software Impact U.S. Litigation?

  January 28, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The Court of Justice of the European Union recently confirmed that computer functions are not eligible for copyright protection. While the decision is clearly a win for the software industry and its reliance on reverse engineering, its impact on U.S. copyright litigation remains to be seen.

Copyrights: Amplifying Sound Signals is Not Infrigement

  January 26, 2014     By BCH Lawyers
Although the doctrine of precedent does not underpin the Portuguese legal system, there are some (extraordinary) cases where the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice rules upon a certain subject matter and makes a decision that may be seen as having a “stare decisis” nature.

Trademark FAQ: What Is Dilution?

  January 23, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
As we mentioned last week, trademark owners can protect their intellectual property by bringing a trademark infringement action. This post highlights another valuable legal tool—an action for trademark dilution.

Intellectual Property in Albania

  January 21, 2014     By LPA Law Firm Albania
Protection of intellectual property rights in Albania. Trademark in Albania.

Patent Marking Goes Virtual: Are You Ready?

  January 14, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
As part of efforts to improve the patent process, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act modernizes the ways that patent holders may mark their products. It specifically allows patent owners to mark their products with an Internet address that provides the patent numbers associated with the product.

Sheen’s Case Against Warner Brothers/CBS and Lorre

  January 13, 2014     By IP Law Click, PC
Although it has been a few years since Charlie Sheen decided to sue CBS for canceling his contract. It is important to revisit the issues for understanding Moral Clause, Pay or Play or Force Majeure clause and how they come into play during that matter.

Trademark Litigation: Maker’s Finally Gets Its Mark

  January 9, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
After nine years of legal wrangling, a federal appellate court has ruled that Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc.’s signature red seal on its bottles is a valid trademark. As Bloomberg noted in its report, “The litigation lasted longer than the bourbon-aging process.”

Towersquatting - and Contributory Cybersquatting

  January 7, 2014     By Bay Oak Law
The cybersquatter is a parasite that benefits from an internet user’s confusion who thinks that they are accessing a popular website, when they really get something else. The US banned cybersquatting in 1999's Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) and is codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d).

New Google Search Algorithm May Deter Copyright Infringement

  January 7, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Google recently announced that it has changed how it ranks search results in order to account for copyright infringement claims. The move is seen as a big win for large media companies that have been pressuring the search giant to take a stand against piracy.

What is a Work for Hire Agreement?

  January 5, 2014     By IP Law Click, PC
If you are commissioning someone to work on a project for you, are not a traditional employer, and yet want to retain all rights to the work created, it becomes important to understand "work for hire" agreements.

Does Europe Need Bold IP Reforms?

  January 2, 2014     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
A report on the status of innovation and intellectual property in Europe suggests that the region must make “bold” reforms to keep up with the ever-evolving digital economy. The report, authored by ten European leaders in arena of IP law and policy, was formally presented at the 2012 Intellectual Property and Innovation Summit.

Obligation to Maintain Company Websites under the New Turkish Commercial Code

  December 27, 2013     By ADMD Law Office
The (New) Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 dated July 1, 2012 ('the Law') implemented a number of provisions and brought additional obligations for capital companies. One of such obligations set forth by the Law is the obligation to have a dedicated website. According to Article 1524 of the Law, all capital companies subject to auditing are also required to open a dedicated Internet website and publish certain information.

Can You Offer Free Digital Music and Be Profitable?

  December 24, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Digital music sites like Pandora and Spotify are extremely popular with music fans because they offer free or low-cost music on a variety of different devices from computers to smartphones. However, despite their growing number of users, these digital music companies are still losing money.

U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide if the Human Genome Should Be Patented

  December 20, 2013     By Gagnon Peacock & Vereeke, P.C.
Medical researchers and private companies across the world spend years mapping the human genome in an effort to discover the root causes - and cures - for gene-related diseases and illnesses that kill people every day. The research involves isolating and testing individual genes in order to determine how to manipulate them.

Legal Protection Options for Non-Functional Product Designs

  December 20, 2013     By Gagnon Peacock & Vereeke, P.C.
All businesses strive to market their products in ways that connect well with potential customers and establish their brands. Fortunately for these businesses, it is possible to protect their efforts from copy cats. Three types of protections exist for product designs that are non-functional, yet essential to marketing and brand development: copyright, design patent and trade dress.

Is it Possible to Commit the Crime of Theft with Regard to Intellectual Property?

  December 20, 2013     By
When it comes to intellectual property, many of us think of copyrighted works of art, patented products, or trademarked logos. All of these items are intellectual property, but infringing on someone's intellectual property rights is usually handled as a civil matter, not criminal. So, is it ever possible to commit the crime of theft with regard to intellectual property?

USPTO Announces Text2PTO Program for Patent Applications

  December 19, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Filing your patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just became a little easier. The agency recently announced a new program called Text2PTO, which will enable the USPTO to receive patent applications as text files.

Are Emoticons Really at the Center of a Patent Dispute?

  December 17, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Apple and Samsung Electronics continue to be involved in lawsuits spanning the globe and covering a number of cell phone and tablet technologies.

PRC Data Privacy Laws in a Nutshell

  December 13, 2013     By Pamir Law Group
Notwithstanding the reasoning, companies in China have yet another amorphous compliance bugbear to obey. Given the inconsistent state of existing data privacy rules and recent dicta that position personal data at the epicenter of the data protection maelstrom, one might think it counter-intuitive, if not disingenuous, that there is no legally authoritative definition of “personal data” under Chinese law.

Patent FAQ: When Should You File a Design Patent?

  December 12, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
In general, a “design patent” protects the way an article looks, as opposed to a “utility patent” that protects the way an article is used and works. In some cases, an invention possesses both functional and ornamental characteristics, and both design and utility patents may be obtained.

China Trademark Law Revamps

  December 10, 2013     By Angela Wang & Co.
On 30 August 2013, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed amendments to the PRC Trademark Law (“Trademark Law”), which amendments are the most significant revision to the Trademark Law since it was last amended in 2001.

Copyright Office Proposes New Protection for Pre-1772 Recordings

  December 10, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Copyright Office recently recommended that sound recordings made before February 15, 1972 be brought under federal copyright law. Under the current copyright regime, recordings made before that date are protected under state law.

What is a Patent Troll?

  December 9, 2013     By
Many have read about legal battles fought between large technology companies and entities referred to as “patent trolls” and wondered, “what is a patent troll?” Obviously, it has something to do with patent laws and infringing on someone's patent rights, but what does it really mean? Who does it apply to? Is anyone who asserts a patent infringement a “troll,” or just certain people and entities? Where did the term come from?

Advertising with External Brand Names – Germany

  December 9, 2013     By GRP Rainer LLP
If an external brand name is used as a component for one’s own advertising, the trade-mark proprietor can potentially file for injunctive relief.

Patent Litigation: Google Vows to Stand Behind Android Vendors

  December 5, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Android vendors face a growing number of patent lawsuits from competitors, including formidable opponent Apple Inc. However, help may be on the way. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt recently stated that his company will stand by those firms in any patent lawsuit.

Trademark FAQ: Is Your Product Eligible for a Trademark?

  December 3, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Owning a Federal trademark registration provides several advantages, including the ability to file a trademark lawsuit to protect the mark. In order to obtain that protection, applicants must be able to show current use of the mark in commerce, or their intent to use their mark in commerce in the future.

How Do The Law and Social Media Intersect?

  December 3, 2013     By
Finding someone who does not have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or other social media profile is getting harder to do. Granted, there are still a few stalwart holdouts, but the vast majority of Americans use social media everyday (in fact, you may have come across this article in your social media feed). With social networking such a huge part of our lives, are there any social media laws? How are common legal issues resolved when they occur in a social network?

NFL Player Loses Race to Trademark Office

  November 27, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
While Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs may be good at defending the quarterback, he has a lot to learn about protecting his intellectual property. Suggs recently lost a race to the federal trademark office, after trying to cash in on a stunt he pulled before the team’s recent playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Is the Patent Fast Track Working?

  November 26, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The Track I Prioritized Patent Examination Program appears to be doing its job, according to a recent blog post by Peggy Focarino, the USPTO Commissioner for Patents. The expedited track allow inventors and businesses—for a fee of $4,800—to have their patents processed within 12 months.

Same Protection for Works of Applied Art as for Works of Fine Art – Germany

  November 25, 2013     By GRP Rainer LLP
Requirements for achieving copyright protection for works of applied art must not be more specific or even higher than requirements for works of fine art.

Muhammad Ali Hoping for a Knockout in Trademark Infringement Case

  November 21, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Muhammad Ali has entered the legal ring, accusing digital bookseller Kobo Inc. of using the former heavyweight champion’s “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” slogan in an advertisement without permission. The trademark lawsuit seeks injunctive relief against Kobo, requests that it recall and destroy all allegedly infringing advertisements, and seeks attorneys' fees and damages.

Ninth Circuit Outlines Boundaries of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

  November 19, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
In United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine the boundaries of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. It ultimately concluded that violations of an employer's computer use policy did not amount to "exceeding authorized access" under the CFAA.

Is it Illegal to Buy Counterfeit or Knockoff Designer Goods?

  November 17, 2013     By
Every year, millions of Americans visit the little bodegas and shops, often located in ethnic ghettos of large cities, to purchase counterfeit or knockoff designer goods. Others buy these items online, at flea markets, or dozens of other locations. Wherever one goes, there is some question as to the legality of such transactions. After all, one is knowingly buying a product that is a copy of a trademarked and copyrighted work. Is this legal?

Every Book Ever Written Soon to be Searchable on the Internet Thanks to Fair Use Doctrine

  November 16, 2013     By
Virtually anyone who has used the Internet outside of China has heard of the search engine giant Google (China blocks Google and has its own domestic search engine). But, many did not know that in 2002, one of Google's founders, Larry Page, had a plan to put every book ever written on the Internet. The plan stalled after legal troubles, but may now be back on track thanks to the Fair Use Doctrine.

Trademark FAQ: Why Is a Trademark Search Necessary?

  November 14, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office conducts a search for conflicting trademarks as part of the official examination of an application. Therefore, a pre-application search is always a good idea.

DuPont Awarded 20-Year Ban in Trade Secrets Case

  November 12, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
DuPont Co. was recently awarded a 20-year permanent injunction in a trade secrets misappropriation case involving its Kevlar technology. The court order bans Korean textile maker Kolon Industries Inc. from making a competing high-strength fiber.

Why License Video Games?

  November 9, 2013     By IP Law Click, PC
Generally speaking, the underlying code of a video game is protected as a literary work, and the artwork and sound are protected as an audiovisual work. While the work (video game) does not have to be registered to be covered by copyright law, there are advantages to registration.

Dispute “Brewing” over Alleged Trade Secret Theft

  November 7, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
When an employee leaves to join a competing business, the security of trade secrets and other proprietary information is always a concern. Fears of trade secret theft recently prompted a legal dispute between two iconic breweries located on opposite sides of the country. The Boston Beer Company (maker of Sam Adams beer) is suing the Anchor Brewing (maker of Anchor Steam beer) over allegations that Anchor illegally poached one of their executives in order to steal trade secrets.

Private Investigator Busts Long Beach Restaurant for Copyright Infringement

  November 5, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
A private investigator walks into a bar… This is not the start of a bad joke, but the crux of a recent California copyright infringement case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers filed the lawsuit against the owners of a popular Long Beach restaurant and jazz lounge after discovering that it was playing copyrighted music without a license.

What is Plagiarism?

  November 3, 2013     By
Perplexing and scary, the concept of plagiarism has long been the bane of students everywhere. Whether something is plagiarized and what that means has long been a matter of some uncertainty, however. So what exactly is plagiarism and is it against the law?

Corporate Defamation in China - New Judicial Interpretation of China’s Supreme Court

  November 3, 2013     By MMLC Group
China’s Supreme People’s Court held a press conference on 9 September 2013 to issue the Judicial Interpretation of China’s Supreme Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate about Several Questions on the Application of Law in Trial of Defamation Via Information Network. The judicial Interpretation has come into effect on 10 September, 2013.

TV Streaming Service Hits Roadblock Under U.S. Copyright Law

  October 31, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
In a major victory for broadcasters, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a preliminary injunction against ivi, Inc., a company that streams television programming live and over the Internet. The appeals court ruled that its service likely infringes the copyrights of major broadcasters like NBC, ABC, and FOX, which had filed suit to keep the new technology offline.

Copyright FAQ: What If I Want to Use a Pseudonym?

  October 29, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Sometimes, authors want to their true identity to remain hidden from the public. For instance, popular author Dean Koontz has written under at least eleven pen names. Many often wonder if authors who use pen names or pseudonyms can still copyright their work.

Can Innovation Really Drive the U.S. Economy? USPTO Releases New IP Report

  October 24, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
A new report released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office demonstrates that innovation is a key force behind U.S. economic growth and national competitiveness. In fact, the report, Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus, concludes that the entire U.S. economy relies on some form of intellectual property (IP), because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.

Christian Louboutin Wins Partial Red Shoe Trademark Victory

  October 22, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the distinctive red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are entitled to trademark protection. However, it limited the mark in such a way that the defendant did not infringe.

The Dangers of Knock-Off Products

  October 19, 2013     By
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to stealing someone's product design it may be the basis for both civil and criminal liability.

Patent Expirations Creating Opportunities for Biotech M&A

  October 17, 2013     By IP Law Click, PC
With patent expirations large pharmaceuticals are facing, there has been a tremendous opportunity for growing biotech companies.

DOJ Monitoring Antitrust Implications of Patent Transfers

  October 17, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Department of Justice continues to monitor the potential antitrust implications of patent portfolio transfers, particularly in high-tech industries like wireless. In recent remarks at the Fordham Competition Law Institute’s 39th annual conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, Acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland discussed how the DOJ is working to “balance patent rights, competition and innovation in the information age.”

Tips for Protecting Your Intellectual Property in a Social Media World

  October 15, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Many companies and organizations are changing their business strategies to address the growing importance of social media. Protecting your intellectual property should be part of this process.

The Temptations Latest to File Suit over Royalties for Digital Downloads

  October 10, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The number of copyright lawsuits over royalties for digital downloads continues to grow. Motown giants The Temptations are the latest artists to file a lawsuit claiming that they are being cheated out of revenue from sales of their songs on platforms like iTunes.

Strengthen of Enforcement of Trademark Law in China - Highlights of Trademark Law Amendments

  October 9, 2013     By Borsam Intellectual Property
The updated Chinese trademark law would be effective from May 1st, 2014. That means, mutiple trademark applications and sound trademark are accepted from then.

Online Video-Sharing Site Not Liable for Copyright Infringement

  October 8, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
California’s Ninth Circuit recently ruled that Veoh, an online video-sharing site, is not liable for any copyright infringing content posted by its users. Specifically, the Court found that the company's efforts to combat infringement warrant protection under the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Intellectual Property Law - Rihanna sues Topshop over T-shirt

  October 7, 2013     By Angela Wang & Co.
In around March 2012, Topshop, the fashion retailer, started selling a T-shirt with an image of Rihanna, a famous singer, on it. The image was a photograph taken by an independent photographer with whom Topshop had a licence but there was no licence from Rihanna. Rihanna contended that the sale of this T-shirt without her permission infringes her rights.

Copyright FAQ: Can a Copyright Owner Transfer His Rights?

  October 3, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
As with any other property right, any or all of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights may be transferred. In fact, it is quite common when a copyright owner wants to commercially exploit the work covered by the copyright. Of course, there are certain rules and requirements that must be followed to ensure that a transfer is legally enforceable and protects the rights of the parties involved.

Multilateral Treaty Will Address Audiovisual Performances

  October 1, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are praising a new multilateral treaty that will bolster the international intellectual property protections for audiovisual performances.

Demarcation Agreements between Businesses for an Indefinite Period Valid – Germany

  September 30, 2013     By GRP Rainer LLP
If two competing businesses reach a demarcation agreement on the marketing of their products, this is in principle valid for an indefinite period of time.

Video Games and the Law

  September 29, 2013     By
Like virtually every other activity Americans engage in on a daily basis, even video games are subject to the restrictions and protections of the law. This is also an area of increasing interest as hundreds of new companies come into the video game market every year by developing the wildly popular game apps played on mobile phones and tablet devices.

Copyright FAQ: What Is a Work for Hire?

  September 24, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
If a copyrighted work is considered a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was made is deemed the owner of the copyright unless there has been a written agreement to the contrary signed by both parties. Therefore, it is important for employees and consultants to understand the meaning of a “work for hire.”

Want to Test Your Intellectual Property Knowledge?

  September 24, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
If you want to see how your intellectual property (IP) knowledge stacks up, you can check out a new web-based IP Awareness Assessment Tool recently unveiled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). It is designed to help manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent inventors easily assess their IP knowledge.

Intent to Use Trademark Applications

  September 23, 2013     By Gerben Law Firm PLLC
One of the pieces of information you’ll need to disclose to the government during your trademark application process is whether or not you’re currently selling your products or services. The following article covers "intent to use" in more detail.

Can You Patent Happy Hour?

  September 18, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Yes, you can patent happy hour, but it is not what you think. A patent was recently granted for a “virtual happy hour” that offers discounted products on gaming and social networking sites at designated times.

Can You Trademark a Highway Sign?

  September 18, 2013     By Sheldon Mak & Anderson PC
Highway signs for famous roadways are increasingly popping up on a variety of consumer merchandise from home décor to t-shirts. But can companies who use these logos obtain trademark protection?

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

  September 13, 2013     By IP Law Click, PC
There are four main areas of intellectual property that any company or individual must protect because it is so easy to do so and can save you a great deal of money and time on litigation.