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IL trademark lawyerAs a company ventures into the global marketplace, nothing is more valuable to them than establishing a recognizable and attractive company identity. With many of today’s biggest corporations, the brand itself is essentially more popular than any of the company’s products. In other words, brand is everything. A trademark is defined as a branding tool that essentially sets your product or business apart from the rest of the competition. In today’s online economy every corporation should understand the way in which company security has changed. Trademark infringement can lead to a costly domain dispute and ultimately cost you your company.

Mistakes to Avoid in Registering Your Trademark

A trademark is the backbone of a company’s identity. From an engaging image to a catchy phrase, your trademark’s viability can make or break your company. Once you have established a trademark that you believe will draw prospective clients in, it is critically important to establish protections for your trademark. Thus the first step to take is registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Unfortunately, many costly mistakes can be made during the USPTO’s registration process. First of all, one must decide what kind of trademark they are registering for. For instance, a small local company may apply for a “™” symbol trademark, but a larger company should not. The reason behind this is that a “™” trademark protection only holds water within a specific geographical boundary of your company’s operation. Another common mistake made in trademark registration is failing to research whether there are other trademarks identical or similar to your idea. Failure to research other trademarks could cost you your trademark, valuable time, and at worst a costly lawsuit.

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FL cyber law attorneyIn a competitive market place, every edge a company can maintain over its competitor is incredibly valuable. In the online world, the development of specific algorithms, patterns, and formulas can make a company financially successful for the foreseeable future. Once these have been developed, it can be critical to keep this information confidential. When a company has knowledge that they want to keep out of the hands of the general public or their competitors, this is known as a trade secret. In order to ensure that your trade secret remains within your organization, it is important to consult a qualified trade secret law attorney.

What Constitutes a Trade Secret

Throughout the vast majority of states in the US, the legality surrounding trade secrets are defined in the Federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). In order for a trade secret to be deemed valid, there are a number of criteria the information must meet. First and foremost, the information must be secret, and not generally known by competitors. Secondly, the information must have commercial value to the company, and that value is contingent on the information remaining confidential. Lastly, the company with the information must have previously taken steps to secure the confidentiality of the information, this could come in the form of various confidentiality agreements.

Protecting Your Trade Secret

The clearest cut way to protect your trade secrets is through the development of non-disclosure agreements. A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract between a minimum of two parties that describes confidential information or knowledge, that the parties will share with each other, but will restrict from outside parties. If a party violates your non-disclosure agreement, you will be able to UTSA action.

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FL IP lawyerA trademark can mean everything to the viability of a business. A trademark is defined as a phrase, symbol, or word utilized to identify a business. For many of the country’s most successful businesses, their trademark has become a meaningful aspect of our consumer society. All that understood, here in the United States trademark infringement is taken incredibly seriously. The punishment for trademark infringement can ruin a person’s reputation and financially devastate their financial goals. Below we will examine just what trademark infringement truly is, and what the legal ramifications of infringement can be. If you have been accused of trademark infringement, it is paramount to speak with a qualified attorney immediately.

What Is Trademark Infringement?

In the event of trademark infringement, the trademark owner has the right to file a civil lawsuit addressing the violation. The process of infringement takes place when a person or corporation’s intellectual property is utilized, reproduced, or even sold without the company’s permission. In order to prove that infringement took place, there are a number of criteria that must be met. For instance, the trademark in this instance has to be owned by the victim. The attorneys for the victim also must be able to prove that the accused had access to the trademark and knowingly used the trademark without the permission of the owner.

What Trademark Infringement Could Cost You

Due to the financial toll that trademark infringement can take on a company, the punishment for infringement can be significant. Trademark infringement can constitute either a civil or criminal offense. In a civil copyright infringement case, a person may have to pay up to $30,000 in infringement fines. In a case in which the offender was willfully infringing they could be forced to pay as much as $150,000. It should be noted that trademark infringement can cost you in more than just finances. For additional information on the impact of a trademark infringement accusation, contact our team of cyberlaw professionals.

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FL copyright lawyerCopyrighting your intellectual property is simply a good idea. When you have put so much time and effort into creating something, the last thing you want is for others to be able to steal your work and cash in on it themselves. Copyrights can protect a wide array of property, though it does not cover your ideas, operational methods, or facts. The following, however, can be protected with copyright:

  • Written work like novels, poetry, short stories, etc.
  • Dramatic writings
  • Movies
  • Musicals and songs
  • Art such as paintings, drawings, and more
  • Architectural designs

Can Your Website Be Copyrighted?

Although your actual website and domain name do not fall on the list of items that can be covered by copyright, the content you place on the website (or at least some of it) does. There is a fine line about what can be covered or not. For example:

  • A book of recipes can be copyrighted, while a list of ingredients cannot
  • A song can be copyrighted, while the name of a band cannot
  • A written expression or work of art can often be copyrighted, while a slogan or logo cannot (although some of these may qualify for trademarking)
  • A written or drawn representation of your idea may qualify to be copyrighted, but the actual idea itself cannot

How to Establish a Copyright on Your Works

An author or artist who has created a particular work is eligible to copyright that work. If more than one person was involved in the creation, then the joint authors or artists must both be involved in the copyright process. The work must not have been created as part of the creator’s duties under employment for another party.

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FL cyberlaw attorneyParenting in this age of technology brings about challenges that parents of the past never had to worry about. When they are not being monitored, children can have the whole world at their fingertips via smartphones, tablets, personal computers, smart watches, and other means. However, if they are under 13, businesses must comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), or parents may be able to take legal action, and the businesses or organizations that own the websites or apps may face heavy fines.

What Is the COPPA Rule?

Any website or online service that may collect personal information from children under the age of 13 must follow the rules of COPPA. This includes multiple types of apps such as games, social media, toys that connect to the internet, and many more internet-connected services that children may use. However, it also includes plug-ins, advertising, location-based services, etc. Companies that regularly collect personal information should be careful to ensure that they are compliant with COPPA.

“Personal information” can include anything from full name, address, phone number, or a screen name through which the user can be contacted to social security number, cookie number or IP address, photo or video of the child, or even an audio recording of the child’s voice. This means that some of the information covered by COPPA is not even manually entered by the child, but rather comes from the connection through the computer or handheld device itself.

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