Legal Blog

New Rules for Federal Acquisition Regulation

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Jun 22, 2017 10:47:22 AM

New Rules for Federal Acquisition Regulation

Federal Government contractors must comply with new privacy training procedures related to federal acquisition regulation due to a final rule passed by the United States Department of Defense, General Service Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Federal contractors are now required to meet training obligations to address the protection of privacy with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information. These new regulations became effective on January 19, 2017. To make sure that an individual is in full compliance with these rules, it is often a good idea to contact a knowledgeable government contract attorney who can help to make sure that you are in full compliance.

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Topics: Government Compliance, Government contracts

Intent to Use Applications

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 21, 2017 10:20:06 AM

Intent to Use Applications

Trademark owners who apply for “intent-to-use (ITU) applications” are at risk of losing trademark rights if the identification of goods and services with the intent to use application are broader than the actual intended use of the trademark. A recent case emphasized that applying for a larger application than is actually used is not always a wise idea. This case, Kelly Services v. Creative Harbor, emphasized that potential plans for use of a trademark will be excluded from registration when challenged. Instead, the application must be able to demonstrate that more than an intention to reserve a right in the trademark exists. In “ITU” applications for a trademark like in this case, individuals often require the assistance of particularly skilled legal counsel. Trademark applications can be filed under several types of basis, but the two most common filing bases are having a bona fide intent to use a trademark as well as actual use of a trademark in the course of interstate commerce.

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Topics: Trademark Attorney, Intent to Use Applications

Advice on Protecting Trademarks in the Healthcare Industry

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 16, 2017 12:26:29 PM

Advice on Protecting Trademarks in the Healthcare Industry

Due to a growing need for medical care, the healthcare industry is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of business in the United States. As old healthcare companies try to maintain a secure trademark in the industry, newer healthcare companies are able to create a point of identification for consumers. If you are interested in protecting trademarks in the healthcare industry, there are some recommended steps that you should follow.

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Topics: Intellectual Property, trademark protection

Buy-Sell Agreement Advice for Baby Boomers

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Jun 15, 2017 11:23:42 AM

Buy-Sell Agreement Advice for Baby Boomers

An increasing number of business owners in the baby boomer generation are planning to transition out of their business. If an individual has their retirement savings connected to a business and there is a delay in selling or an individual is not sure about how to obtain the full amount from a business, retirement could be postponed or sometimes not even possible. A buyers-sellers agreement or business succession plan can prove to be particularly important for baby boomers who are interested in retiring. For individuals who are interested in retiring sometime soon, it is often a wise idea to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney and develop a buyers-sellers agreement.

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Topics: Estate Planning

Video Game Company Trademarks “Cyberpunk” (Trademark Trolling)

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 14, 2017 11:08:23 AM

The CD Projekt Red company recently trademarked the word “Cyberpunk” in preparation for the release of the company’s latest franchise, Cyberpunk 2077. Some individuals have expressed concern that CD Projekt Red might begin to appropriate “Cyberpunk” and enforce the use of the phrase in a negative manner. Responding to these concerns, CD Projekt Red expressed that “Cyberpunk” had been trademarked to protect the company’s work and that the company does not intend on using the trademark offensively. CD Projekt Red went so far as to promise that the trademark would only be enforced in situations that might cause confusion among consumers. This “Cyberpunk” case is the most recent example of “trademark trolling” (TMT) in the video game industry. This type of behavior has the potential to create substantial changes for trademark holders and frequently requires the assistance of skilled legal counsel.

What Is Trademark Trolling?

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Topics: Trade Secret Law

Trademark Infringement on the Rise

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 14, 2017 10:22:42 AM

Trademark Infringement on the Rise

A recent study conducted by Compumark, a leading research agency, in 2016 revealed that eighty percent of C-level executives report that trademark infringement (TMI) is on the rise but only 20 percent of these executives have plans in place to actively watch more than three-quarters of their marks. The study also revealed that litigation in the field is particularly common with more than half of the executives indicating that their organization had initiated legal action against third parties who had infringed on their brand. The number of trademarks being filed is expected to increase which will likely result in increased trademark litigation. As a result, it is a particularly wise idea for companies to make sure that their trademark is properly secured. Fortunately, knowledgeable legal counsel can often prove to be beneficial in securing a trademark. Because TMI often results in profit losses for a company, TMI must be viewed as is a very serious event. If you are a trademark holder who has experience trademark infringement, it is often a wise idea to retain the assistance of a seasoned trademark or intellectual property attorney.

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Topics: Trade Secret Law

Apple's Trademark Lawsuit vs Swatch

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 14, 2017 9:01:43 AM

Apple recently filed a lawsuit against the Swatch company under the claim that Swatch is capitalizing on Apple’s mark. Apple's Trademark Lawsuit vs Swatch for placing the phrase “tick different” on certain watches is similar to Apple’s 1990 “think different” ad campaign. While the case is being heard in Sweden, Swatch applied for and was granted a U.S. trademark for “tick different” over two years ago with its mark officially published in October 2016. Swatch has previously litigated against Apple twice before: once in 2015 for alleged trademark infringement by Swatch of words used by Apple’s founder Steve Jobs and a second time in an effort to block Apple’s trademark application for “iWatch”. Receiving a notice of infringement like Swatch, in this case, causes many companies to grow confused about how to respond to such an action. One of the best pieces of advice, when faced with a notice of infringement, is to promptly retain the services of skilled legal counsel like the attorneys at Whitcomb.

How to Respond if You Receive a Notice of Infringement like Apple's Trademark Lawsuit vs Swatch

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Topics: Trademark Lawsuit

Food Company Files Willful Infringement & Unfair Competition Claim

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 12, 2017 11:05:42 AM

Amplify Snack Brands has filed a Federal Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition (UC) lawsuit to prevent its competitor Snyders-Lance from the use and importing of popcorn products copying Amplify’s SKINNYPOP® popcorn trademark. SKINNYPOP® is one of the largest popcorn makers in the United States with over $200 million of sales in the United States in 2016. Amplify’s lawsuit alleges that Snyders-Lance is preparing to introduce a competitor popcorn brand called Metcalfe’s “Skinny” popcorn. As a basis for legal action, the complaint lists willful infringement of Amplify’s SKINNYPOP® trademark and an effort by Snyders-Lance to confused consumers. This case emphasizes the basis of UC claims, which occur when competitors are placed at a disadvantage as applied to other competitors in the same industry. Most often when UC applies in the case of trademark usage, there are elements of deception, dishonesty, and fraud involved. For individuals who have been sued for UC, it is frequently essential to quickly retain the assistance of a seasoned trademark or intellectual property attorney. 

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Topics: Trademark Attorney, Trademark Lawsuit, #Willful Infringement, Unfair Competetion

Errors in Trademark Filing

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 9, 2017 3:42:50 PM

 

Trademark Filing

One of the most common ways our law firm helps individuals is by correcting mistakes that were made in Trademark Filing. If not properly remedied, some of these errors have the potential to create problems for the mark holder. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has particularly complex laws regarding how trademarks should be filed. Due to these complicated laws, statistics for the first quarter of 2017 reveal that not every trademark is properly filed. In order to ensure that a trademark is properly filed, individuals who are interested in filing a trademark should consider retaining the assistance of a skilled attorney like the legal counsel at WSM.

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Topics: Trademark Attorney, Trade Mark Attorneys, Trademark Lawsuit

Rock Band Faces Trademark Lawsuit

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Jun 7, 2017 1:35:10 PM

 

The Slants Trademark Lawsuit

The Portland, Oregon-based band, The Slants, has been facing an eight-year legal battle. The band’s trademark lawsuit struggle began when their application for a trademark was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office several times. The federal government then ruled that band’s name violated the Lanham Act, which prevents applicants from trademarking disparaging terms.

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Topics: Trade Mark Attorneys, Trademark Lawsuit

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