‘Tis the season to start holiday shopping. For many, that means it is time to start looking for presents for friends and family. In many cases, that includes a trip online to look for good deals on golfing equipment. Unfortunately, while that club for Uncle Rico might look like a screaming deal, what you order (and pay for) and what they ultimately get can potentially be two very, very different things.
Mobile apps have quickly become the preferred platform for customers to interact with brand holders and companies are jumping on the app bandwagon by the thousands. And while there are benefits to this new technology, there are also clear drawbacks, including the potential damage to your brand from trademark infringement.
Ben Milliam is the Executive Vice President/General Counsel of AppDetex.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for online service providers who allow users to post or store material on their systems, search engines, directories, and other information location tools. To qualify, a service provider must designate an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement – both on the service provider’s website and with the U.S. Copyright Office. Previously, the Copyright Office accepted the filing of hardcopy agent designations. New designations, however, must now use the Copyright Office’s online electronic system.
Congratulations! You’re starting a business. You’ve got a product you believe in, a business plan that’s rock solid, and a marketing strategy that’s guaranteed to put you at the top of the game. But wait, before you really launch your new empire, you should consider registering an official trademark.
Here are 5 questions and answers about trademarks to get you started.
Smell is one of the strongest triggers for memory. Catching a whiff of a particular scent can send your brain into what’s called an “odor-evoked autobiographical memory,” a memory so strong and real that in some cases, you can feel yourself being transported back to a specific time and place.
Because memory is so tightly connected to smell, it’s no wonder some companies are eager to make sure that the smell of their products are well protected, including most recently, PLAY-DOH.
Intellectual property (IP) is often the most important and often overlooked asset of a business.
From the organization and initial launch to focusing on sales and cash flow and (hopefully) profit, it’s easy to forget about protecting your IP when launching a new business or product.
But what exactly is IP?
At its most basic, a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another. On a deeper level, a trademark can come to embody an entire corporation, becoming so enmeshed with that identity that it instantly instills an emotional response for consumers when they see it on products. A well-designed trademark can be used to convey, in a single image, a message to consumers regarding your company, its products, services and reputation. A trademark that becomes synonymous with the company makes it possible for consumers to identify your products at a glance, helping to differentiate you from your competitors.
For this reason alone, you need to make sure you’re protecting your trademark.
Here are five things you should do consider for protection of your trademark¹: