New York residents may be familiar with shoe designers Nike and Adidas, but they may be surprised to hear about allegations that former designers for Nike may have stolen commercial secrets. The three individuals accused were once senior footwear designers for Nike. The company alleges that the individuals conspired to use its intellectual property in violation of non-compete agreements. In September, Adidas announced its plans to employ these individuals in a Brooklyn studio for shoe design.
Patents are legal protections that give the inventors of intellectual property the right to keep others from misusing their property over a 20-year period from the application file date. Misuse means no one other than the inventors can manufacture, use, offer to sell or sell the invention. Inventors in New York and other U.S. states have the right to apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for patents on new, non-obvious and useful inventions.
Issues involving intellectual property can affect both businesses and employees, making it important for anyone dealing with relevant issues to have reliable counsel related to action concerning a concern. Familiarity with both federal and state laws is important in determining how to proceed in protecting one's brand or ideas. In a digital age, the potential for infringements can be far reaching.
A trademark consists of a symbol, design, word or group of words that establishes a relationship between a business and the products it furnishes. It may contain words only, a logo or a combination of words and a logo. A servicemark is similar to a trademark, but it associates a business with the services it provides. The term "trademark" is often used interchangeably for both trademarks and servicemarks.
A Brooklyn restaurant that had the same name as a famous jewelry company was forced to change its name, change its facade from gold and purple and pay the jewelry company $25,000. The restaurant, which operated in Sheepshead Bay, went by the name Faberge without the use of an accent over the last letter. The jeweler that goes by the same name called it a shameless appropriation of its intellectual property.
When starting a business in New York, it is a good time to make sure that the company's intellectual property is protected. The best way to do that is to make sure that any slogans, logos or other marks related to the brand are trademarked. This makes it impossible for other companies to use that company's name, its slogan or its logo without express written permission.
When you need to blow your nose, do you ask for a tissue or a Kleenex? When you have a headache, do you take an ibuprofen or an Advil? There are some products that are so popular that the brand name seems to have replaced the generic name for similar products. Failure to prevent this type of use in the marketplace or a specific industry could even lead to trademark erosion, but the familiarity of a name alone doesn’t mean that using the company’s trademarked image is okay.
One of the most valuable assets companies have are their brands. It can be difficult to put a dollar value on a brand itself, but when copyright violations or other intellectual property issues crop up, the potential damage to a company can be incalculable. Not only that, but a company that has no right to use a name or trademark might be profiting from it.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival will soon be drawing to a close. However, the effects of the festival will almost certainly be felt for months and even years to come. Whether a film generates a positive or negative response at this particular festival can make or break its chances of being distributed, of being embraced by the public and of making a significant profit. In addition, the buzz that certain performances and creative work receive at this festival can help to make or break careers.
Federal laws protect labels and artists from copyright infringement. The concept is simple enough, but the laws themselves are complex and quite confusing at times. For instance, the law requires that radio services that broadcast under newer technology such as online streaming are required to obtain a license to broadcast the songs that they play.