Tech Industry Urges SCOTUS To Reverse Verdict in Google v. Oracle Copyright Battle

A group of technology organizations and companies have recently come forth with support for Google in its Copyright Infringement battle against Oracle. The group, including Mozilla, Medium, Reddit, Cloudera, along with others, filed a joint “friend of the court” brief in which they urged the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to reverse a Federal Circuit Court’s verdict that Google infringed on Oracle’s copyright to Java API code in its Android Operating system.

The Google v. Oracle fight dates back over a decade, with a core concern being whether Copyright Laws bar the common practice of software reimplementation, the process of developing new software to carry out certain functions of a legacy product. However, with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision stating that the functional elements of application programming interfaces (APIs) are subject to copyright, Oracle won the most recent iteration of the fight.

The brief stated that ‘innovation and competition’ is the engine of the healthy internet, and software development is the field that fuels it. For the past many years, the software engineers have been relied on reimplementation, emphasizing reuse of functional protocols like the software interfaces to create competitive alternatives to incumbent industry players and develop new software without fear of copyright infringement.

The companies argued that the federal court’s decision against Google stifled decades of industry practice and upended the established expectations of developers, investors, and consumers. They urged the SCOTUS to reverse the lower court’s finding and allow Java APIs to be free from copyright or at least be accessible for fair use.

Abigail Phillips, head of the Mozilla Foundation’s legal department, said that the brief made its argument from the perspective of not just small and medium companies but even open-source tech organizations. She wrote that the consequences of the Court’s ruling in favor of Oracle are especially dire for small software developers who are already suffering due to their size and relatively limited resources. Hence, the overall result will be worst, i.e., the future would see fewer innovations from small and medium companies, along with the reinforcement of the positions of large enterprises in the tech industry. The future, as a result of this decision, would also experience a decline in incentive among big companies to improve their products and services.

At last, the brief stated – the tech industry believes that a healthy internet relies on the Supreme Court (SC) reversing the Federal Circuit Court’s decision and reaffirming the current status of play for software development, where copyright doesn’t stand in the path of software developers reusing SSOs (structure, sequence, and organization) for API packages in socially, technologically, and economically beneficial ways.

Besides this recently filed brief, an application requesting SCOTUS to reconsider the earlier judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had been filed by Google as well. However, the final showdown amid Google and Oracle is set to take place in March. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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What to do to Avoid Being Targeted by Copyright Trolls?

The industries, especially apparel in the present era is being hit by an unpleasantly hot trend that leaves several retailers, apparel manufacturers, etc., in a situation where they find themselves trapped in Copyright Infringement cases made by copyright trolls. These are the entities that go after the companies or entrepreneurs by opportunistically enforcing their copyrights to make money in litigation. They employ the strategies that make it difficult for people to defend against infringement claims. In general, their strategies include the following steps:

  • First of all, they amass vast libraries or stockpiles of copyrights on an array of fabric prints, even which they may not be producing or licensing for paid distribution.
  • After that, they send out shoppers to find merchandise made of fabric that’s identical or similar to their copyrighted fabrics.

Indeed, even the basic fabric prints, including floral, paisley, geometric, and more, can be subject to infringement lawsuits. Once the copyright trolls find something, they retain Intellectual Property Law Firms to send numerous cease and desist letters and to file lawsuits. Since the litigation is risky and expensive, most companies prefer settling them outside the court rather than fighting in front of the judiciary.

For a company, which is continuously adding to its fabrics already including many, legally clearing every suit is not practical and can eat up a lot of its money and time. Hence, apparel-related businesses need to find how to avoid copyright infringement claims by copyright trolls. Besides, they also need to look for what to do to mitigate the damage if a claim is made.

Although the perfect protection is to sell only solid fabrics produced by designing your patterns, which certainly is not realistic, you can still take a few other measures to protect yourself. Some of the steps you can follow to stay safe against copyright trolls are as follows:

  • Begin by asking your textile supplier if his/her company possesses an appropriate Copyright Registration for the pattern/ design being considered to be used in your products. You can ask for evidence of the ‘original work’ authorship. In case the supplier has purchased the pattern or design to be sold to you from any third-party, you must demand a statement stating that the original copyright is being transferred to you.
  • Obtain a clear indemnification clause and shifts the burden and damages to the supplier in the event of copyright infringement lawsuits. It is a contract under which one party (supplier) commits to compensate the other for any harm arises out of the contract. The promise, by the suppliers to cover your losses if they do something that makes any third-party to sue you, should be in writing.
  • Since the policies related to copyright infringement insurance are expensive, people often ignore purchasing their own insurance. You may also be thinking to do so, but note that it is a very small cost to protect yourself and your customers from issues, like infringements, confusions, and monetary losses due to them.
  • Prefer using ‘public domain designs.’ These are the designs available without issues of copyright ownership. There are various facilities that maintain libraries consisting of thousands or more prints, which exist in nature or are already in the public domain. You can pick and use any design from these reference materials. Although you cannot copyright that design, still it will keep you out of the courtroom.
  • Last but not least, if you are not satisfied with the supplier’s response to your inquiries, then it will be in your best interest to avoid buying the pattern or design from him/ her.

Conclusion

Whether manufacturers or retailers, legitimate companies are in the business of creating products their customers will enjoy and appreciate. On the other hand, copyright trolls are in the business of targeting these legitimate companies, and thus, finding opportunities to file copyright infringement claims and seek monetary settlements. As these types of attacks are difficult to defend against, apparel companies need to be prepared for the circumstances when copyright trolls inevitably rear their ugly heads. Hopefully, the information provided in this blog will prove helpful in preventing you from being targeted by copyright trolls. However, if you still have doubts regarding anything or face any issue, you are advised to have a discussion with an experienced IP attorney. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Kanye West Seeks to Fight Against Ultralight Beam Copyright Lawsuit

Rapper Kanye West and Universal Music are seeking to battle against the copyright lawsuit filed earlier this year over the use of a clip at the start of his 2016 track ‘Ultralight Beam’.

According to an Instagram video, this song that was recorded for West’s album titled ‘The Life of Pablo’ includes the voice of a young girl in prayer. The video was uploaded by the girl’s mother in early 2016.

Sounds a bit interesting, West claimed that he received verbal approval to use the clip in his song from the child’s mother – Alice T Johnson. Nevertheless, in the Copyright Infringement lawsuit filed back in February, the girl’s adoptive parents – Andrew and Shirley Green, who adopted the girl in 2012 – argued that the agreement in connection with the use of the clip having girl’s voice had to be with them. It is because, at the time when the clip was recorded, Johnson was no longer legally the girl’s mother, and thus, didn’t possesses the authority to allow the girl’s voice to be used in the song.

The Greens further contended that even if Johnson provided approval, the lawsuit should continue as conversations amid her and West were only verbal. Meanwhile, Kanye neither finalized any written agreement with either Johnson or the Greens, nor he ever paid a fee for using the clip in his song.

To prevent the rapper from statutory or other relevant damages, his legal representatives have attempted to limit the copyright infringement lawsuit in several ways. Their response filed with the court deals with numerous elements of the case. For instance, firstly, West’s lawyers said that the Greens had not registered the original recording of the clip with the U.S. Copyright Office at the time when Ultralight Beam was recorded. Hence, they are not entitled to either attorney fees or statutory damages. Indeed, if the representatives succeed in arguing this, then there are possibilities that the damages owed to the Greens could reduce greatly.

Elsewhere West legal team seeks to remove an additional plaintiff, Andreia Green, from the lawsuit entirely. She is a relative of the child, and her adult voice, in addition to the girl, is also heard in the recording sampled by West. However, team West insisted that because Andreia Green is not listed as a co-owner of the recording in the Copyright Registration with the US Copyright Office, she has no standing in this case.

This is how West and his legal team responded so far in regard to the Ultralight Beam lawsuit. Nevertheless, for the final settlement, it now remains to be seen how the court and the Greens respond to West’s motion. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act): Everything You Need to Know

Since the internet began, people have uploaded and published over a trillion gigabytes of digital content that includes music, games, movies, and much more. The rapid advancements in the digital age and the internet have undoubtedly served content creators and publishers with lots of opportunities to make profits and revenue but along with challenges such as violation of their data online. Indeed, Copyright Infringement is one of the biggest challenges that the digital world faces in the present era. To stop the continuous increase in widespread unlawful access to copyrighted materials observed in the 1990s, the US government put a step and came up with a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Abbreviated as DMCA, this law is a result of the teamwork of legislators, media firms, and consumer lawyers, and enacted by the US Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. The law was made on request of many organizations requested for a legal process by which holder of Copyright Website, content, or image could assert their rights to prevent the illegal use of their media. Apart from providing the copyright holders with these facilities, DMCA aims to maintain a balance between the interests of original owners and those who want to purchase the copyrighted materials. It also takes care of penalties to be put on offenders who intentionally violate any Intellectual Property (IP).

DMCA Takedown Notice

Resting as the main component of DMCA law, DMCA takedown notice is an official notification to inform the firm, search engine, web host, or internet service provider (ISP) that they are using copyrighted material. As, in the legal sense, such use is unlawful and leads to copyright infringement, the site or company who receives this notice should immediately take down the specific material. In case they avoid doing so, the ISP could forcefully remove the copyrighted content. You can send the DMCA notice or request for the following types of copyright content:

  • Videos,
  • Digital software,
  • Artwork, images, photos,
  • Posts on your official websites,
  • Songs, music, and almost every kind of audio files,
  • Written texts, including books, poetry, articles, blogs, etc.

Registration of Work Isn’t Necessary

When it comes to write or send a DMCA notice, it is not mandatory to register your work. Any unique content becomes its owner’s IP as soon as he/she creates it. And, as the original owner holds the copyright to it from the moment of its creation, he/she can send a DMCA notice in regards to it without bothering about Copyright Registration. DMCA takedown request is one of the politest ways to prevent infringement of any unregistered material, but don’t forget that if you want to go for a copyright infringement lawsuit, then it is essential to register your content with the copyright office.

Procedure to Create DMCA Notice

As per the law, there is no official DMCA takedown notice form or template that copyright owners are needed to use. However, to make the requests valid, each plaintiff (sender of the notice) must consider including certain specifications. Besides providing info that showcases the copyright infringement, the notice should include:

  • All the details related to the content that’s being infringed
  • A statement that the sender has a good faith that the party on the receiving end has infringed his/her content
  • A statement that under penalty of perjury, every detail provided in the takedown notice is precise
  • Sender’s contact information
  • Sender’s physical or electronic signature

Don’t Worry If You Receive a DMCA Takedown Notice

Considering the legal standing, receiving a DMCA takedown notice undoubtedly sounds a bit scary, but being worried or scared is not at all a solution. What you should do in such cases is first of all calm down and be honest to yourself. After that, think whether or not you infringed the copyrighted material intentionally. Usually, there are high possibilities that you didn’t steal or post the content intentionally. Nevertheless, if you find yourself guilty of infringing the material, then rectifying your mistake will be the best solution. Be quick to locate and take down the violated content as soon as you could. In some cases where you host multiple websites with various people posting and sharing content, there are probabilities that you receive the notice as the next logical person to contact while the infringement was committed by any of those people. Other likelihoods could be that you are using the copyrighted content cautiously within the boundaries of Fair Use. If that’s so, then contact the sender of the notice and share the details of how you used his/her content. It will help you in sorting the issue with ease.

Conclusion

Nowadays, when powerful tools like DMCA are here to help you fight back the infringers, there is no need to stand like helpless in situations when they steal or use your copyrighted content. When these tools have been designed to serve you, then why not utilize them and extract the benefits that you deserve. From today onwards, be active and understand the rights you hold over your copyrighted content and ways to utilize them in the best possible manner. In the case of any query, feel free to contact an experienced IP Attorney. You can also contact an Intellectual Property Law Firm with good experience in rendering services related to the IP industry. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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How to Protect Mobile Apps against Intellectual Property Theft?

The speed with which enterprises across different sectors and industries are undergoing digital transformations has left the majority struggling for the protection of their data and Intellectual Property (IP). The reports showing tremendous losses due to theft and duplication of mobile apps worldwide each year clarifies that only firewalls are no longer sufficient to protect these assets. As more and more companies adopt the use of mobile devices and applications, the threats extend far beyond the traditional concepts. With the estimation that 80% of tasks would be going to take place through mobile apps by 2020, securing them must be the top priority for their developers. Businesses should realize that if a mobile app can make them; it can also break them in case the innovative and valuable source code gets stolen. It is because mobile apps are inherently vulnerable to hacking, copying, and more. To understand this phenomenon and learn how to protect your mobile applications against the growing threat of IP theft, read further.

What is IP Theft in Regards to Mobile Apps?

Intellectual property refers to a category of valuable assets that includes intangible creations of human intellect. In general, types of IP vary from country to country; however, some most common ones are copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents. Digital IP encompasses algorithms and source codes, while mobile IP theft involves piracy and cloning of whole or parts of mobile apps.

Why and How Should You Protect your Mobile Apps?

Designed to bring a multitude of services at the users’ fingertips, mobile apps’ flexibilities and portabilities make them attractive to not just users but infringers as well. Hence, it is as imperative to fully preserve your app’s functionality as it is to protect the app itself. Well, mobile application protection software is an excellent tool to safeguard your app. By mutually reinforcing multiple layers of non-stop protection integrated into your app’s code, it can defend your app’s integrity and buzz off security threats while optimizing app performance. Nonetheless, relying on application protection software alone may not be sufficient in many cases, especially when the theft of unique code or app can result in reputational losses. Therefore, in addition to mobile application protection software, you must emphasize protecting your apps with patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other relevant Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). For instance, copyright registration can prevent copycats from copying your app codes or user interface (UI) elements. Besides, if you want to safeguard your apps’ artistic aspects like images, sound, videos, etc., then also Copyright Protection is the best tool.

Filing a Patent Application is another significant way to reinforce the protection of your mobile app. Although, in general, the technological arrangement of mobile apps and the way how they communicate with other mobile apps/devices and servers are patentable, the patentability criteria still vary from country to country. Hence, to avoid any delay or monetary loss due to the rejection of your patent application, you must always proceed after ensuring if your app is eligible to obtain Patent Protection. A knowledgeable Patent Attorney can assist you in checking whether your app suffices the patentability criteria or not, learning How to Apply for a Patent without committing any mistake, and more.

The name and logo that make the viewer identify and distinguish your mobile app from others are crucial assets, and no one except you should make profits from these. Trademarks are the IPRs that have been intended to safeguard one’s identity by preventing others from using the same or similar name or mark, which may create confusion. A Registered Trademark will also increase your mobile apps’ credibility, and thus serve you with more users. Hence, you should never miss out on the opportunity of securing your app’s name and logo under Trademark Protection.  

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, ensuring comprehensive protection of your mobile application against IP theft is not only arduous but appears impossible in some cases. However, if used together, the above-mentioned mobile application protection software and Intellectual Property Protection tools will never let you down due to the theft or misuse of your app. So, whether you are coming up with a new app or revamping an already existing one, it is always advisable to devise an appropriate strategy by combining these two protection shields. Don’t forget that it is the aptest way to make benefits from your mobile app without any concern in today’s era, where such applications are a part of continuously changing and fast-moving technology. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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4 Simple Steps to Secure Website’s Content with Copyright

Your website content that represents your business online is one of the most considerable aspects distinguishing you and your competitors. It is what makes customers find you and buy from you. As a content creator, you put hours into creating unique and eye-catchy content that helps you in attracting your potential consumers and search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Google and many other search engines frown on duplicate content and thus, push the related site to lower rankings. The lower your website ranks within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the less traffic you get. Therefore, to list your website amongst high rankers on SERPs and make expected earnings as well as brand equity, it is crucial to prevent your content from being stolen or used by unauthorized users. In today’s continuously turning digital world, Copyright Registration is an excellent approach to prohibit others from violating your original content, which is your Intellectual Property (IP). 

Here, you will discover four simple steps to register a copyright for your website content according to the U.S. Copyright Law. The law states that your content is copyrighted as soon as it gets published and you need not necessarily register a copyright for the same. However, several IP Lawyers believe that doing so will help the original owner to prove his ownership if he/she comes across lawsuits like Copyright Infringement. The below step-wise process will aid you in obtaining the copyright protection that not just legally safeguard your website’s content but also enhance your business’s integrity.

The Process to Register Copyright for Website’s Content

  1. Make Use of Copyright Symbol

However, adding a copyright symbol to your content doesn’t fall under the registration process, but it is beneficial as doing so will result in the fast processing of your application. Besides, having a copyright symbol will help you in preventing unauthorized users from stealing your content by making them comprehend that the specific content is your IP, and they need to seek your permission for using it.

  1. Gather and List Materials To be Copyrighted

Undoubtedly, all of us want to protect our websites completely, but for full protection, we have to register copyrights for individual blogs, images, and any other media. It is because the U.S. Copyright Office considers all these to be separate entities, and therefore, single copyright for a site may not fully protect all posts, media files, etc. Luckily, it is possible to register collections of content, which means we won’t need to apply for individual copyright for every post and image. In other words, we can prevent the content on our websites by categorizing it under separate lists and then, filing a copyright application for each list. Hence, going through the website carefully to compile lists of content to be registered is a vital step while registering copyright.

  1. Submit Copyright Registration Application

If you are done with the task of compiling lists of content to be registered, then the next step is to file a copyright registration application. Nonetheless, before filling any form, it is imperative to produce hard copies of your content and understand that registration of the copyright is possible in two ways: online or via mail. To register online, you have to access an online application by creating an account with the copyright office. After that, you need to find a form that suits your content followed by filling it with the required details and ultimately submitting it. On the other side, if you want to carry out the submission through the mail, then there is a need to find out the suitable form, fill it, and finally mail it along with the set amount of filing fee. Your work doesn’t limit to just submission of the copyright application; instead, you have to keep an eye on its status until it gets processed.

  1. Create Schedule to Copyright New Material On Regular Basis 

Once your application gets approved, you will never have to renew the registration. However, note that the new content added to your website in the future will not automatically get protected by the registered copyright. Submitting a new registration application whenever you come up with additional content will be advantageous in maintaining robust and up-to-date protection. It will also appear efficient in preventing payment of complete filing fee for every new content and assuring that all your posts, images, or other content are safe. Therefore, you are always suggested to set reminders or add dates for registration updates to your calendar.

Importance of Copyrighting Your Website’s Content

A copyright is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that empowers you to control how your creative works, including books, movies, content, etc., can be accessed or used by others. Registered copyright provides rights that prohibit others from infringing on your IP assets. In short, registering a copyright is the most efficient approach to obtain Intellectual Property Protection that not only keeps you away from infringement losses, encompassing low website rankings on SERPs, less traffic, or more, but also creates integrity, which will result in noteworthy profits. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Trump Urges SC Stay Out of Copyright Dispute between Google & Oracle

The Trump administration recently urged the Supreme Court (SC) to stay out of a long-running Copyright Infringement dispute between Google and Oracle Corporation, dealing a remarkable blow to Google’s efforts to evade an $8 billion damages award.

The dispute billed as the copyright battle of the decade is related to software interfaces known as API declarations, which are shorthand commands facilitating prewritten complex computer functions. As per the plaint, Google used a trove of Oracle-owned Java API declarations while building its Android smartphone operating system (OS).

The Trump administration brief stated that Google copied over 11,500 lines of computer code verbatim as well as the complex structure inherent in that code to develop its competing commercial product. The record also demonstrates that Google’s unauthorized copying has harmed the market for Oracle’s Java platform.

In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, which originally developed the API declarations. Soon after, Oracle sued Google in federal court for patent and copyright infringement claiming that Google impermissibly copied its API declarations. The litigation continued for years, but then Google questions the SC ‘whether or not APIs are copyrightable in the first place.’ In Google’s view, APIs are a method of operation as they help developers to access prewritten complex functions and according to the Federal Copyright Act, Copyright Protection doesn’t extend to ‘methods of operation.’

Google firstly explained that the API declarations make developers learn how to access the prewritten functions to perform tasks by implementing codes. It then added that in this respect, the APIs are analogous to rules developers are trained to follow while writing programs in Java language, and if these rules were changed, the prewritten methods would not work. That’s why the declarations are a necessary part of operating the libraries of prewritten codes.

The Trump administration disagreed by saying that the APIs cannot count as a method of operation just because they perform functions.

The government said that although there are conditions in which all computer codes appear as a method of operating a computing device, and the Copyright Act makes it clear that the computer codes can obtain copyright protection.

Giving the federal government’s views remarkable credence, the justices at the SC ask for its guidance about whether or not to take the case. Nevertheless, Google contends the federal pleas courts are split as to if copyright protections reach software interfaces such as APIs. The justices are more likely to take case emphasizing questions of law over which several courts disagree.

Google prevailed at the first trial of the case in 2012, where a jury deadlocked over Oracle’s claims, prompting the judges therein to sign with Google. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a court for patent appeals, changed that decision and ordered another new trial in 2014. Google petitioned the Federal Circuit’s ruling to the SC, but they turned its request down in 2015.

In the second trial followed in 2016, a jury sided with Google on finding its use of API declarations as fair use. Nonetheless, the Federal Circuit reversed that verdict, stating Google had not involved in fair use, and forwarded the case to a lower court for a trial on damages. As that decision is still pending before the SC, the judges asked the Trump administration to weigh in on the supplication on April 29. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Uganda Government Bans Red Beret, the Opposition’s Trademark

Uganda government on 30th September 2019 designated the red beret and tunic as official military clothing that could put the civilians who wear them behind bars, thus permanently preventing the public from wearing the uniform of the leading opposition leader Bobi Wine and his supporters.

Bobi Wine, the pop star who upturned as a leading opposition figure has announced that he is running for the president position against longtime leader Yoweri Museveni in 2021 and has made the red beret his signature, calling it a “symbol of resistance.”

The beret, which is also worn by some soldiers, was incorporated in Uganda’s first ever gazette of all military clothing, stating that members of the public who found in possession of the items are liable to punishment involving imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Richard Karemire, the army spokesman of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in a statement said that the dress code for the UPDF is gazetted. The action was supported by the army’s top authorities, which also endorsed the dress committee for concluding the task allotted to it years back.

He added that it demonstrates the commitment to define the identity and outlook of a trained army as well as adhering to a single East African Community (EAC) protocol.

‘People Power’ Reacts

However, Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, did not comment on the new rules as he is out of the nation, but a leader in his “People Power” movement, which is yet to register as a political party, announced that they would not end wearing the specific clothing.

The “People Power” is not limited to just a red beret; instead, it is more influential than their symbol. They are a part of the booming political movement fighting for the future of Uganda, and they will continue their struggle for democracy.

Bobi Wine has disturbed the Ugandan government and authorities who see him as an overwhelming threat to put an end to Yoweri Museveni’s more than three decades in power.

Ivan Boowe, the youth leader, said that they would continue to wear the revolutionary red berets and tunic.

He added that no intimation could make them afraid and prevent exercising their rights. By designating their trademark/dress code as official military wear, the government is making attempts to ban the People Power Movement, but they are ready to face and respond to any action the government takes. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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5 Things Startups Must Know About Intellectual Property Law

The driving force behind almost every startup is the novel idea or product with which it enters into the market. Putting this idea or product into practice correctly and securely is what transforms small startups into million-dollar corporations. For this reason, startups should have a well-protected Intellectual Property (IP) strategy, which acts as a significant aspect of their competitive advantage and attractiveness to consumers as well as investors. In this way, IP is an asset that can enhance the commercial value of your businesses, and Intellectual Property Protection is what secures the IP intended to grow your startup. Besides attracting investors, suppliers, consumers, and more, IP protection can put legal checks on your competition by preventing others from infringing on and profiting from your unique assets. So if you want to achieve success in today’s competitive market, it is crucial to obtain robust IP protection for your assets. The first thing that you should do in this regard is to be aware of the five vital components of Intellectual Property Law.

Five Significant Things about Intellectual Property Law

  1. Types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

In general, startups seek protection for their inventions, logos, software, and business names. Based on this, intellectual property for startups includes a wide range of IPRs like trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and copyrights. Each of these different types of rights applies to a specific class of assets. For instance, patents protect inventions and ideas, copyrights safeguard software and creative works, trademarks secure brand names, logos, and symbols that are capable of distinguishing one’s business from others. Trade secrets work when your company comes up with a ‘secret’ manufacturing approach that provides you a competitive advantage over your competitors.

  1. How to Sell Intellectual Property

Do you want to sell your startup? It is advisable to consult an experienced IP attorney as, nowadays, when many companies purchase startups based on their IP portfolios, it is common to face issues regarding the proper ownership of IP. Hence, to avoid glitches that may leave you with a comparatively lower valuation than what you deserve, emphasize signing any dotted line under the supervision of a skilled lawyer.

  1. How to Address Intellectual Property Agreements

If your startup’s intellectual property has been stolen, copied, modified, or used in any other manner without your permission, you can get monetary compensation depending on the severity of the infringement. In the present times, federal courts of every country have specific jurisdictions related to Copyright Infringement, Patent Protection, etc. That’s why if someone has stolen your IP and uses it for his benefits, be ready to deal with him legally. First of all, contact the offender through a cease and desist letter, which should address the following:

  • What got infringed,
  • The protections in place,
  • The severity of the infringement,
  • The remedial actions that unauthorized user should take,
  • The legal actions that you expect if the infringer fails to comply.
  1. International Intellectual Property Protections

Nearly every country possesses different IP laws associated with How to Patent an Invention, Brand Name Registration, etc. For example, In China, the government emphasizes ‘first-to-file’ rule, i.e., it doesn’t care about who is the first creator of a product; instead, it focuses on who is the first to File a Trademark Application. Hence, before proceeding towards international markets, you should familiarize yourself with the unique trade secret, trademark, and Patent Laws in such countries. Having insight into the country-specific laws at the beginning of the process will help you in preventing the hike in expenses and complexity at the time of applying for an International Trademark, Patent, Copyright, and more.

  1. Legal Counsel

In today’s challenging era where businesses never hesitate to put obstacles in the path of one another’s success, there is an enormous need to enter into the marketplace with robust IP protection. Hiring a legal counsel having years of experience in this industry is one of the best ways to safeguard your IP. Apart from providing the beneficial guidelines regarding Application Processes, Patent Search, and more, a proficient IP attorney can help you in identifying ‘gray areas’ that may attract lawsuits, government investigations, etc. Assuredly, many startups find it expensive to hire legal representatives. If you are also not having sufficient money, then don’t worry as the advent of some programs to alleviate these expenses has made it easier to secure your IP with a limited budget.

Stay Ahed

Whether you are having an idea for a startup or already running one, getting your intellectual property protections in place is the foremost thing you should consider to lay the foundation of your future success. Nonetheless, as nearly every startup and even established businesses are running in the same race, it is imperative to stay ahead of others by being quick in regards to expanding nationally and internationally earlier rather than later. Don’t forget that the delay on your part can enable your competitors to push you behind them.

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How to Select a Mark that Keeps Infringement at Bay?

Has your company just come up with an exciting new product that appears to interest the people to purchase it? Well, congratulations as this could be the product that can serve the potential buyers with what they have been looking for years, and ultimately, you with more customers and better sales. However, your competitors, including companies, entrepreneurs, etc., may not like this and make attempts to pull you down by infringing on your newly launched well-doing product or service. Hence, it is essential to commence extracting the profits with the help of that product or service after securing it as your Intellectual Property (IP). In terms of securing your unique and useful asset under Intellectual Property Protection, trademarks prove to be the best source that can prevent unauthorized users from making profits by using your IP. In general, trademarks refer to the recognizable words, logos, symbols, etc., that identify and distinguish the product and services of one source from those of others. In the present IP industry, there are five types of trademarks that you can obtain and use to safeguard your valuable assets from the infringers. Let’s proceed further to have deep insight into all these vital marks and thus, make a fair decision on which will best suit your needs.

Strong Marks to Discourage Trademark Infringement

  1. Fanciful Marks

 Fanciful marks refer to the trademarks that reveal nothing about the product yet are significant as they enable the customers to remember your mark/ product, irrespective of how many competitors are attempting to pull you down. Famous as made-up words, these marks have no significance except being a trademark for the proprietor’s specific products or services. Fanciful marks are enforceable against the use of the same or a similar mark leading to the trademark infringement. Some common examples of such trademarks include VERIZON telecommunication services, GOOGLE computer search engines, and ROLEX watches.

  1. Arbitrary Marks

 Arbitrary marks also don’t tell anything regarding the products or services but appear more significant than fanciful ones if we talk about the same type of items. These marks can be a real word, image, or logo used to recognize unrelated and different products or services. Though arbitrary marks don’t have much scope of enforceability like fanciful marks, yet they provide outstanding trademark protection, and this is why brands often prefer protecting their assets under this category of marks. For example, the term APPLE might not be enforceable against someone using the mark APPLE CAFÉ, but if he uses the Apple Logo to display the term APPLE, then the mark would be enforceable against him. Some examples of arbitrary marks include APPLE computers, HARD ROCK restaurants, and QUAKER cereal.

  1. Suggestive Marks

 These marks give details about the services and products. They make the world familiar with what the specific product is, how it works, etc., but without describing it thoroughly. As per the Trademark Law, suggestive marks often exist as words, group of words, or graphic logos and are enforceable only in case of the same or similar marks on the same or similar products. FRESH ‘N CLEAN pet shampoo, CITIBANK financial services, and TOTAL cereal are some well-known examples of suggestive marks.

  1. Descriptive Marks

 As the name indicates, descriptive marks describe a particular product or service. They explain many things about the product or service, including what the product is, what it does, its quality, features, function, and more. Note that these marks don’t have proprietary rights and are neither enforceable nor protectable. Are you planning to File a Trademark Application to secure your asset with a descriptive mark? It is better to understand that people can use your mark in whole or part, either as a descriptive term in their text or the name of their products or services. Some Registered Trademarks that fall under this category covers PARK ‘N FLY airport parking service, COMPUTERLAND computer stores, and RAISIN BRAN cereal.

  1. Generic Marks

Generic marks, also known as genericized trademarks signify a name or mark that because of its popularity and importance has become a common name for a general class of service or product, usually against the trademark holder’s intentions. Generic marks are not the trademarks. They are nouns that are modified by the registered trademarks. Famous terms like APPLE computers, GEICO insurance services, and STARBUCKS coffee are examples of generic marks. Having strong marks is the best way to secure your valuable assets under the shield of powerful Intellectual Property Right (IPR), like a trademark. Stronger is the mark, more are the probabilities that it can be enforced against unauthorized use. Strong marks are comparatively less susceptible than weak marks to legal issues, whether you are filing a Trademark Application or carrying out a Trademark Registration Process. Hence, it is recommended even by the IP attorneys that whenever you come up with a new product, don’t forget to secure it with a strong trademark. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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