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“The Founder” Shows the Value of Trademarks for Growing Businesses

In the new film “The Founder” Michael Keaton’s Ray Kroc takes the concept for an efficient, high quality low cost diner with a limited menu and, through his relentless drive, expands it into the world’s biggest restaurant chain. In franchising the original concept developed by the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, Kroc created the world’s most successful — and lucrative —...

Trump, Trademarks and Transactions: Considerations for Asset Sales

When he is sworn in on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the first American president to have owned trademark registrations while in office. (Quick quiz: Who was the only U.S. President to have a patent while in office? Answer at the end of the post). Trademark Office records show that he has personally owned 90 trademark registrations, most of which include the Trump name. This unprecedented situation —...

Is Pearl Jam the Last Great Rock Band?

“The waiting drove me mad/You’re finally here and I’m a mess” Behind a pounding beat and thrashing guitars Pearl Jam recently opened the final night of their spring U.S. Tour at Madison Square Garden with “Corduroy” from their third album. From my seat in the middle of the floor I could barely hear Eddie Vedder sing the opening verse because Pearl Jam’s devoted fans were...

“Happy Birthday to You” and the Neverending Term of Copyright

Everyone has been to a birthday party, and everyone has sung “Happy Birthday to You.” Anyone who has recorded their friends and family singing that song and posted the recording on YouTube has committed copyright infringement.  The Warner Music Group claims ownership of the copyright in the musical composition “Happy Birthday to You” and reaps millions of dollars annually through licensing...

Would You Ask Your Attorney To Prepare Your Tax Returns? Then Why Ask Your Accountant To Set Up Your Company

Do you ask your attorney to file your taxes every year? Do you ask your lawyer to audit your company? †If your answer to either is “no”, then why would you ask your accountant to form your business entity. I have been working with a client for about a year, advising him on intellectual property issues and drafting contracts for his business. When it became clear that he needed to set up a business...

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