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"Guaranteed patent or your money back!" "Renew your trademark for half the government filing fees!" "Make millions with your invention!" Sound familiar? You may be dealing with potential intellectual property scammers that can drain your wallet with promises that are too good to be true.
Bette Midler sued Ford Motor Company for featuring an impersonation of her voice. Jeffrey Sarver sued the creators of The Hurt Locker for allegedly using his experiences as a soldier in Iraq. Are these violations of privacy or are they copyright infringement? The examples actually concern an area of the law known as “rights of publicity,” and it is not for the faint of heart.
With the Internet and globalization making the world smaller, businesses are increasingly expanding overseas—and that means they need to protect their trademarks outside the U.S. Doing business in other countries? See how you can get trademark protection.
If you draw a Dallas Mavericks emblem on your husband's birthday cake or make a Shrek costume for your daughter, is it considered trademark infringement? That depends on if you're merely displaying the trademark or appear to be sponsoring it. But what's the difference?
Within 48 hours of Osama bin Laden's death at the hands “SEAL Team 6,” Walt Disney Corporation filed an application to register the name as a trademark. And Disney is just one of the many companies trying to capitalize on this and other real-life events.
As if NFL players don't have enough publicity surrounding their teams, they're going through great legal lengths to protect what they see as personal and business assets. But how far can they run with this before it becomes “out of bounds?”
While the USPTO is actively encouraging the development of “green” technology, green trademark and patent seekers should be well-informed going into the process in order to increase the probability of success—because it's not enough to just have a catchy “green” name anymore.
Even though your business name or slogan might be unique, obtaining federal registration isn't always a sure thing. In the case of one original dance-rock group, an application for trademark registration was rejected on the grounds that the mark consisted of scandalous, immoral or disparaging matter. Find out just how the USPTO defines this kind of rejection and what you can do if your application for registration is turned down.
We've all heard them—signature sayings such as “You're Fired!” “That's Hot!” or “Three Peat”—made popular by the characters who uttered them. But did you also know they are trademarked? Find out more about signature sayings, the benefits of registering a signature saying as a trademark, the process of applying for a trademark, and more.
Groundhog Day is a tradition dating back over 100 years in Punxsutawney, a town in Western Pennsylvania. The star attraction, a groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil, makes weather predictions based on his shadow. More than a local gathering to predict the weather, Groundhog Day has become big business for the saavy local Groundhog Club that trademarked the name, Punxsutawney Phil. Get some tips on how to recognize a trademark and how to trademark a distinctive sign.