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“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...

Trademarks — Online Services or Attorneys? You Get What You Pay For

A new client came in last week. He had filed a trademark application through one of many of the online services that emphasize that they are not law firms and charge accordingly. This client has developed a brand name for his professional services, but his employer will not allow him to use the brand name unless he has a registered trademark. The Trademark Office initially refused the application on the grounds that...

SHOULD YOU TRADEMARK YOUR BUSINESS NAME OR LOGO?

A trademark is used to identify the source of goods or services. Some of the most recognizable consumer brands in the world are also the world’s most valuable trademarks. According to a recent survey, the world’s most valuable brands are, in order, Wal-Mart, Google, Coca-Cola, IBM and Microsoft. All of these brand names, and their accompanying logos, resonate with the public and create a clear image in...

GRAY MATTERS Statutory Remedies for Sales of Unauthorized Parallel Goods Post-Kirtsaeng

Gray market goods or parallel imports are genuine branded goods that are legitimately produced but then imported into a market without the consent of the trademark and/or copyright owner In contrast to counterfeit goods, gray goods are manufactured under license from or even by the brand owner, but then imported by another party into a jurisdiction for which they were not intended. Brand owners have historically...

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