How to Use Copyrighted Material for Advertising Free from legal Concerns?

All may not be aware of this, but advertising is as old as commerce and civilization. Nearly 3, 000 years ago, people tended to promulgate their products and services on clay tablets, through town criers, etc.; however, advancements in technology have changed the ways people advertise their business today. Companies nowadays beckon potential customers by using pamphlets, brochures, billboards, radio and TV communications, commercial text messages, email advertisements, and many other advertising tools.

With the availability of so many options to advertise products and make consumers buy them, more and more businesses are moving towards advertising, thus turning the industry comparatively more competitive than ever before. Besides competitive, advertising appears a costly affair for most entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). Ultimately, the limited budget and the human tendency to exaggerate quick benefits in the cut-throat challenging era make people advertise their business by using the copyrighted products of others. It is because creating new items often demands high investments in comparison to accessing copyrighted ones, but advertising in this manner may lead to Copyright Infringement issues. Hence, if you want to use others’ copyrighted materials in your business ads, then make sure to do so while keeping the legal concerns at bay. It is easily possible by getting information about the legal policies on how to use copyrighted items without facing legal concerns.

Copyright law and Advertising

Copyright law facilitates the creator of creative work with exclusive rights that help them in preventing unauthorized users from using their work. The copyright rights limit people from making profits by accessing any material without obtaining the owner’s permission. According to this law, the person who violates the copyrights of others could have to pay a fine as a penalty for infringing someone’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). Since the same policies apply to the advertising industry also, there’s a need to be cautious while using copyrighted materials in your ads. Some copyrighted items that you might desire to use in advertising include:

 

  • Pieces of literature
  • Song recordings
  • Photographs
  • Art

Copyright Basics

As copyright rights are country-specific, they often vary from nation to nation. Therefore, before using any copyrighted work in advertising, you should be familiar with its copyright status as per that nation. For instance, the copyright law of the US states that the tangible items created after 1978 are capable of obtaining Copyright Protection automatically. The owners neither have to display a copyright symbol on them nor need to register them with the U.S. Copyright Office. On the other side, materials manufactured before 1978 should either have a copyright symbol or be registered. Becoming familiar with the copyright status of any item in that particular nation isn’t enough; make sure to know about their use as well.

Commercial Use

Most people desire to use the copyrighted material for commercial purposes but such usage, whether in advertising or any other area, is not permitted without the owners’ permission. Nevertheless, the items published before 1923 are acknowledged under the public domain and therefore, allowed to be used in commercials. Note that the materials published after 1923 get the copyright protection that lasts for 95 years from the time of publication and 120 years from the day of creation and can’t be used (without permission) during these periods.

Fair Use

Fair use is one of the most noticeable exceptions to U.S. copyright laws. It enables people to use copyrighted works, but only if doing so benefits the public, cultural activities, or educational contexts. For instance, an ad that can help people quit smoking can use a quote, sentence, or paragraph from a copyrighted medical textbook. Ads that educate the public about bullying, drug use, etc., also fall under the same category, i.e., fair use. Although this category permits the use of copyrighted materials, you must display a clear purpose of the advertisement associated with public welfare and use the snippets of the items. If you fail to do so, then you may fall into legal issues. Besides, remember that no law provides apparent information about how much use of a copyrighted item is permissible. For example, you may use some lines of others’ textbook but not some pages of the same.

Permission for Use

As per this policy, you can use someone else’s copyrighted work in your advertising, but after obtaining a license that the licensor may provide you in exchange for a set amount. Hence, you have to determine the licensor by finding and viewing the name located next to the copyright symbol. In some cases, when there is no symbol or name on the item, you should search for the name online on the U.S. Copyright Office website. This category emphasizes money but not always, like owners of lesser-recognized work can permit you to use their work only in exchange for publicity by having their name somewhere in your ads. It means you can enjoy profitable advertising for your business that too without paying any money.

Advertisements are one of the common targets for Intellectual Property infringement lawsuits. If you are not cautious, you can lose your brand reputation and face financial losses. Here, we have tried to provide vital data that can help you protect your ads and prevent legal troubles. As prevention is always better than cure, before launching any advertising campaign in the future, be sure that it suffice both a general legal perspective and an IP perspective. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Dindigul Lock and Kandangi Saree from Tamil Nadu Get GI Tag

Geographical Indications Registry has recently granted GI (Geographical Indication) tag to Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul locks and Kandangi sarees, thus providing the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Industrial Co-operative Society Limited and the Amrar Rajiv Gandhi Handloom Weavers Cooperative Production and Sales Society Limited, that applied for the certification, with exclusive rights over these products.

Dindigul Locks

The high quality and durability of these locks are the reasons; why they are famous worldwide, why the manufacturing city is known as Lock City, and why most government institutions such as hospitals, godowns, temples, and even prisons use these locks rather than the machine-made ones.

Started by Sankaralingachari brothers, the lock-making industry in Dindigul is nearly 150 years old, spread over a wide area of 5 villages in the district and consists of more than 3,125 lock manufacturing units located in Kodaiparailpatti, Kamalapatti, Nagelnagar, Nallampatti, and Yagappanpatti.

The artisans working in this industry use the raw materials like MS flat plates and brass plates procured from the nearby towns such as Salem and Madurai to make around 50 varieties of Dindigul locks. Every lock made by them possesses a unique style and an unusual name like Mango Lock, Export Lock, Door Lock, Almirah Lock, Excise Lock, Trick Lock, Drawer Lock, Square lock, Mango Seven Levers Lock, and Mango Nine Levers Lock.

The availability of plenty of iron in this region is the reason behind the growth of this industry.

Kandangi Sarees

Manufactured in Karaikudi taluk in the Sivaganga district, Kandangi sarees are the hand-woven sarees characterized by their large contrast borders. Sometimes, the borders are so large that they cover nearly two-third part of the whole saree, which is 5.10 m-5.60 m long.

These cotton sarees are being made by the adept weavers of Devanga Chettiars for women of Chettiar community, also recognized as Nakarathars or Nattukottai Chettiars for the last 50 years. They take over a week to make a single exquisite Kandangi saree.  As these cotton sarees well suit the summer season, customers often buy them in bulk.

Traditionally, Kandangi sarees were famous for their unique borders of temple checks design and were all brick-red, black, and mustard, a combination that flatters almost every type of complexion.

Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chinnaraja G. Naidu, told that Dindigul lock and Kandangi saree have received the GI tag on August 29, 2019, and GI for these products was filed by GI Advocate Sanjai Gandhi and Chennai-based Intellectual Property Attorney. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Delhi HC Restrains Prasar Bharati from Infringing the ‘Dish TV’ Trademark

Trademark Infringement

The Delhi High Court (HC) has recently restrained Prasar Bharati from infringing the trademark of Dish TV. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw has passed an interim order in which he said that during the suit’s pendency, the public service broadcaster was restrained from continuing Trademark Infringement of the mark “Dish” of Dish TV India Ltd for its DTH (Direct to Home) service. He ordered the defendant to stop using any mark, including the word DISH, whether it is DD FREE DISH or other.

The Judge expressed his disappointment and said he was dismayed that a famous public sector enterprise is infringing another’s trademark and on being objected, refused to act reasonably.

The High Court continued by saying that at least now the officials responsible for conducting the business of Prasar Bharati are expected to pay attention to the matter and take call, whether it is worth opposing the case or not. Prasar Bharati has three months to bring up a new name in front of its subscribers and customers.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi and lawyer Sudeep Singh representing Dish TV have filed the case for a permanent order to restrain the defendant from offering its services by adopting a name, including DISH.

On the other side, Prasar Bharati refuted the case saying that DD Free Dish is quite different from DISH TV, and thus holds no possibility of misleading anyone. Moreover, DISH is a general word that describes equipment, which functions by receiving signals from satellite and no DTH platform can work without Dish Antenna.

The court disagreed with the argument of the defendant and continued that although the mark of Prasar Bharati holds the word ”DD”, which in all senses is associated with Doordarshan, there is no assurance that the same cannot confuse the consumers. Though a bit similar yet the mark can break the connection or fade the identity, which is there in the consumers’ minds. It is possible for the subscribers and consumers to come across a misconception that the complainant, in association with Doordarshan, is offering certain channels for free. Apart from this, such association can result in several opinions that uplift the consumers’ desire for getting the plaintiff’s services for free, thus raising issues for complainant.

At last, the court said, Trademark Law emphasizes preventing such happenings and therefore, on finding the possibilities of such opinions, it has to come to action and stop infringement.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

How Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents Differ?

Intellectual Property Rights

A common question whether Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents are the same or different often hovers over our minds. The main difference between these three common forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is that they protect different assets. In today’s competitive era, clear information about copyright, trademark, and patent, and how these differ from each other is essential for protecting your business from infringement issues.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a type of IP protection that includes the right to secure your original work, including content, images, and everything you put online, on paper, or elsewhere. Copyright encompasses the right to:

  • Reproduce the work,
  • Produce derivative works,
  • Distribute and advertise copies,
  • Represent and perform the work publicly.

Copyright Registration will bestow you with full control over how your assets are made available to others. To ensure complete protection of your copyright, you must register it with the government. Otherwise, you will be unable to sue people or companies for Copyright Infringement.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark refers to a word, symbol, phrase, or logo that recognizes and distinguishes the source of one product or service from others. Trademarks have goodwill associated with the products and services, which further helps the customers in finding their desired products.

Examples of some common trademarks are as follows:

  • Words such as Nike
  • Logos such as the swoosh
  • Slogans such as Just Do It

Apart from giving the ability to sue the unauthorized user, Trademark Protection empowers you to grant permission to others for using your Intellectual Property.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a limited duration IP right that safeguards your inventions by not allowing others to use them.

Patent Law encapsulates:

  • New and useful industrial processes,
  • Machines,
  • Manufactured products,
  • Chemical compositions,
  • Developments in assets.

A patent right gives you the complete authority to prevent others from using or selling your invention. All the responsibilities from implementing the patent law on discovering any infringement to bring the defendant in a lawsuit lie with you.

How Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks are Different?

i) Assets Protected 

  1. Copyrights protect the original material of the owner, for example – books, images, blogs, etc.
  2. Trademarks secure words, symbols, or phrases that distinguish a company’s assets from others.
  3. Patents ensure the protection of inventions, including processes, manufactures, machines, compositions, and improvements.

ii) Requirements

  1. For attaining Copyright Protection, you should provide original and creative work.
  2. To get your Trademark Application registered, you need to ensure that the mark identifies the source of your product.
  3. While applying for a patent, you should make sure that your invention is new, non-obvious, and valuable.

iii) Terms of Protection

Terms of Protection for intellectual property rights are country-specific. For example, in India:

  1. Copyright rights are valid for the duration, including your (owner’s) life followed by sixty additional years.
  2. Trademark Protection extends for 10 years from the date of application.
  3. Patents last for 20 years.

iv) Rights Granted

  1. Copyrights grant the license to use, disseminate, and publicly display your copyrighted material.
  2. Trademark grants the license to prevent businesses or people from creating confusion because of using marks similar to an already existing trademark.
  3. Patents grant the license to prevent others from using, selling, or importing your invention.

Conclusion

Due to rapid technological advancements, not just the businesses are developing but also the issues like infringement and fraud are increasing. Hence, there is a dire need to protect your intellectual property, which is possible with proper knowledge regarding all types of IP. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Offwhite Sues Virgil Abloh Alleging Trademark Infringement

registered trademark

OffWhite Productions LLC sued Virgil Abloh’s OffWhiteTM for infringing its trademark rights. The New York-based marketing and creative agency claimed that the defendant had hijacked its brand name.

The complaint filed on Sunday in Federal Court includes claims:

  • OffWhite Productions has been operating with its registered trademark since the late ’90s, whereas Abloh launched its Milan-based mark in 2012.
  • OffWhite had maintained a website named as “offwhitedesign.com” since July 2001 and operated a Twitter account with @offwhitedesign.

OffWhite Productions also accused the defendant of continuously applying for new trademarks, encompassing a logo that is “unmistakably similar” to one of its marks.

Besides the above claims, OffWhite Productions alleged the fashion agency saying that the defendant is “steamrolling its path for years by misusing its (OffWhite Productions’) present and past senior and superior rights, and putting a legal, branding, and commercial barricade in the expansion of OffWhite Productions’ business.”

OffWhite Productions claimed that the actions of using the same brand name by Virgil Abloh are creating confusion and hampering its competitive advantage. The plaintiff continued that the advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices by OffWhiteTM to promote the infringing use of its trademark, along with its celebrity-outreach campaigns and public relations efforts; have displaced offwhitedesign.com (website) from top search results of Google.

Considering all these facts, OffWhite Productions formulated a set of claims including federal trademark infringement, common trademark dilution, and unfair competition. It is also looking forward to seeking monetary damages and stop OffWhiteTM from using any such logo or mark to prevent confusion in the consumer market. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Role of Copyrights in Social Media

Intellectual Property Rights

In today’s digitally equipped world, social media plays a significant role in the success of businesses. Having many existing users, along with adding more regularly, it provides the companies with remarkable opportunities to get more traffic and customers. Undoubtedly, by sharing images and content on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, businesses can make considerable profits. However, to keep everything going smoothly, the firms need to be cautious while posting on social media; else Copyright Infringement can bother them.

The blog includes many facts regarding social media sites, copyright policies of these platforms, and tips to keep copyright infringement issues away.

Copyrights and Social Media

A few years ago, the copyright process was easy. However, with the advent of the internet, advancements in cyberspace and social media that made stringent laws to settle down at a back seat for controlling businesses’ progress, the process turned difficult.

Are you an entrepreneur and want to stay away from online embarrassment and costly litigation when you use social media sites to promote your business? You need to have a precise and comprehensive idea about Copyright Laws and what you write or post online.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others may let you proceed with the copyrighted material. But, as these platforms don’t own the content or image you post, rights related to copyrights lie with the owner. Agreeing to the terms and policies shows that you are giving license to the sites to use your works. Each site is available with different agreements.

The below examples of Facebook (FB) and Pinterest will help you in getting a clear idea of how copyrights work with social media.

Facebook: FB’s service terms explain that all rights to your post lie with you; no matter whether it holds an image or content or both. Just by enabling the privacy and application settings, you can control how the posted content will be shared. FB offers terms and conditions even for the content protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Pinterest: Policies of this site state that it can use your content if you agree to its terms and conditions. Pinterest copyright statement includes a link that facilitates you to file a complaint or case against people who violate your copyright.

Tips to evade copyright infringement on social media

  1. Receive permission

The safest way to use copyrighted content or image is to get permitted by its owner. Once allowed, you are free to utilize the image or content without any fear.

  1. Prefer public domains

Selecting images from sites that are free from copyright restrictions is also a fruitful way to keep infringement away. On the internet, a plethora of websites are available with images that you can use without facing any legal issue.

  1. Give credit

If you are not able to reach the owner and seek his permission for using the content, it is better to give credits by attaching a link tothe source in your post.

  1. Overview ownership rights

Going through all the ownership rights on social media sites is essential. Apart from these rights, you should also overview the guidelines on safe usage of the copyrighted material.

  1. Believe in purchasing

There is no harm in paying some cents for purchasing copyrighted content as it will keep you far from expensive legal problems. iStock, Shutterstock, and Bigstock are a few websites offering good images at reasonable charges.

Conclusion

Social media posting is one of the trendiest strategies that can make your brand visible worldwide. However, if you want to avail the best possible advantages from this advanced strategic approach, you need to be meticulous about the most common issue – copyright infringement. Moreover, you have to be familiar with all the essentialities for safeguarding your material from its unauthorized use. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

IBM Patents a Smartwatch that Transforms Into a Tablet

Patent Application

The famous tech giant IBM has acquired a patent for its foldable smartwatch that transforms into a smartphone or an eight-panel tablet. The Patent Application includes a concept that appears implausible today but could become real in the upcoming years due to continuous advancements in display technology.

The company filed the patent application with the title “Variable display size for an electronic display device” three years ago in 2016 but obtained the grant in the mid of June 2019.

The patent showcases a rectangular shaped watch having a thick case under the display. The thickness is because the case consists of a slot including seven more display panels. Users will be able to open and use as many display panels as they want, say one, two, or all eight. Since each display panel is of 3-inches by 2-inches size, opening the whole device results in a tablet having a screen measuring 12-inches by 8-inches. By opening four panels, the user can transform his smartwatch into a smartphone with the proper reform in UI (user-interface).

The smartwatch includes many other considerable features. Some of them are as follows:

  • At least one speaker.
  • Minimal seams on display.
  • Ability to work with a physical keyboard and an optional mouse.

According to IBM, the concept is to make the screen more abundant by employing a set of slides that create a storage slot within the case. The case is capable of recognizing the display size when the users open up additional panels. However, the main emphasis of the concept is to expand the watch display to tablet size, but IBM also focuses on helping people to increase watch display to smartphone mode.

At present, IBM is focusing on quantum computing, consulting, and artificial intelligence (AI) rather than the foldable smart gadget. Moreover, the concept seems implausible today but could be possible with display technology advancements. Hence, no one can predict when the giant will pull such a smart device out of its technological hat. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Prime Inc. files a case against Amazon alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Prime Inc. filed a trademark infringement case against Amazon in the US Federal Court situated in Missouri’s Western District. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the trucking troop claimed that the e-commerce giant is creating confusion by using the word prime on its shipping trucks.

In the application, Prime Inc. contends that it suffered a lot due to the past and present unfair competition and trademark infringement by Amazon, thus entitled to get more than three times of its profits or losses.

Prime Inc. further alleged that it informed Amazon regarding the unlawful infringement two years ago, through written notifications and proceedings at Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. It added that Amazon still continued to use one or other accused marks on its shipping trucks and moving trailers in commerce. The plaintiff also asserted that the trademark infringement by Amazon is wilful, malicious, and intentional.

In short, Amazon continued exercising unfair competition and infringing rights of Prime Inc.

Some tried to explain that the two prime words are quite different. Clarifying the facts, they said that the prime in Amazon includes small-case letters, and in the case of Prime Inc., it consists of upper-case letters.  However, Prime Inc. was still not satisfied and responded that when compared with each other; both the words appear identical in looks, commercial impression, and meaning.

Reports by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revealed that prime is the dominant word in the markings of the two companies and thus, holds more weight than other differences. The applicant claimed that since Prime Inc. and Amazon deal in similar transportation channels, customers might confuse and associate transportation, trucking, and shipping services under the logo of the applicant with Amazon. It continued that the misconception that Amazon’s services are associated with Prime Inc., at the point of sale and after, leads to its loss. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Why protecting Intellectual Property is critical for Startups?

Intellectual Property

Are you an entrepreneur and passionate to grow your startup to a remarkably fruitful extent? In today’s highly competitive market, there are many factors, which could lead to a downfall in your business. Don’t be apprehensive as nowadays, even innovators, investors, and the government, are making efforts to facilitate the growth and success of newly established businesses in India.  The chief reason found resulting in failure or ineffective performance of startups is that their owners often overlook the need to safeguard Intellectual Property (IP) while crafting initial strategies that include significant demands and priorities.

Advanced searches concerning several IP assets, including designs, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc., provide entrepreneurs with the idea of probabilities of the triumph of their business. For example, the owner will come to know whether a similar patent or design that is the base of his business corporation, already exists or not. The information obtained in this manner will help the entrepreneurs in making the essential modifications well in advance, thus preventing them from future conflicts.

What are the advantages of Intellectual Property Protection?

IP assets’ protection benefits a business in many ways like it:

  • Gives legal security
  • Avoids future litigations
  • Allows effective management of resources
  • Establishes a secure environment to let entrepreneurs focus on promoting their products without any hassle.

Businessmen often ask IP lawyers to protect their concepts, which is hardly possible. Well, there will be no need to ask anyone for preventing other companies from copying their business ideas if they implement an effectual strategy for IP protection.

IP is not limited to legal aspects, it holds noticeable importance in numerous other aspects such as entrepreneurs can monetize, and custom IP as a safety net for their enterprises during challenging times. Some avenues in regards to which a business can monetize IP are as follows:

  • Selling
  • Licensing
  • Franchising
  • Earning royalties

Well-organized IP protection develops businesspersons’ self-confidence to demand a suitable cost for their products and avail the expected benefits. It also plays a vital role in persuading the investors’decisions associated with raising funds.

With a thought of bestowing the startups with a positive and inspiring ambiance, the Indian government made many efforts. It began with a scheme called Startups’ Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) depicting that the Startup Certification Board certifies any startup when:

  1. It has a unique business model
  2. Its yearly turnover doesn’t exceed ₹250 million in any fiscal year
  3. Its incorporation or registration in the nation is less than 7 years old.

What benefits does a Startup enjoy after getting certification from the Startup Certification Board?

  • Full support from facilitators who hold responsibilities for delivering general advice, filing or completing prosecution of applications for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs.
  • Provisions to quick actions for patent applications
  • Preferential fee for Intellectual Property application
  • Fixed facilitators’ fees with no additional charges involved for engaging IP lawyers.

Conclusion

In today’s highly competitive world, new firms are more susceptible to get hurt due to losses in businesses. Therefore, it is crucial for startups to prioritize protecting Intellectual Property in the initial planning so that their businesses turn safe, right from the time of inception. Considering the IP protection cost as an optional charge, people often underestimate their needs and have to face negative results. Although, the government and many other representatives have taken initiatives relating to the cost concerns, however, the responsibilities for exploiting or maintaining the existing IP assets rest with corporations. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Stringent Laws, Collective Application Vital to Protect IPR: CJI Dipak Misra

Intellectual Property

Former CJI (Chief Justice of India), Dipak Misra said that the business corporations in the current global economy focus on staying competitive by deeply managing Intellectual Property (IP). That is why; stringent laws and their collective enforcements are imperative for the security of Intellectual Property Rights in India.

Misra at a conference held in New Delhi delivered a speech on intellectual property through collective enforcement. In his speech on this topic, the justice emphasized that though the proprietary knowledge and possessions of mind are attaining recognition over centuries, IP gained importance in the present framework due to incessant advancements in trade and technology.

Continued speaking at the conference, Justice Misra added that the significance of intangible goods is increasing at a rapid pace, thus forcing businesses to create and manage IP conceptions as their keys for achieving competitive advantages and improved performances.

Continuing further, he came up with the following information:

In India, the ancient times were facilitated with the ideology that knowledge sharing is better than all other kinds of giving. However, today, IP is what acts as the planned alliances of growth in socio-economic and technology. It is the basic context of sustenance in the existing economically competitive era.

In the view to promote inventions, it is necessary to consider Intellectual Property Rights. Undoubtedly, the legislative system is not just in force but also in accord with a framework of developing countries but that’s not sufficient. Since India is moving ahead in the form of a developing nation, some other stringent laws are required.

Our country is advancing to such level of development that we need to have control, have a safeguard, and provide protection to those who are creating and inventing or actively involved in innovation.

Dipak Misra known as a former CJI was born on October 3rd, 1953. Being the 45th Chief Justice of India, he served the nation from 28th August 2017 to 2nd October 2018. He is also identified as the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who served the nation as the 21st CJI from 1990 – 91. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/