is a project-based corporate content marketer and freelance journalist who has contributed to TechCrunch, B2B News Network, Talkin Cloud, Intelligent Utility, Economy Lead and InfotechLead. You can also find him on Medium expressing independent views on technology trends and issues of the day. He started his career in the consumer publishing sector working for automotive publications associated with Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazine.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the United States Solicitor General to file a brief expressing its views in the long-running case of Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc. The case highlights the complexities of protecting software via IP rights. As with patents, the courts often struggle to apply copyright concepts to software, leaving companies bleeding time and resources. Determining what can be protected and what can’t be is complex—even for appellate courts.“ These software piracy cases are convoluted because there can be both literal and nonliteral copying, as shown by the Google v. Oracle case,” said Brian Darville, chair of the trademark and copyright practice group at Oblon. “It’s critical for companies to legally safeguard their software and ensure they’re not infringing on their competitors.”
In traditional music recording, artists have had to choose to license their music through major music industry organizations like ASCAP and BMI. In the age of streaming music through Spotify, Pandora and other services what is the purpose of these organizations? The licensing groups have served as clearinghouses for smaller players in the music industry who cannot feasibly deal with multitudes of licensees on their own. But with Taylor Swift and other “major” artists choosing to deal—or not deal—with the streaming services that opens the question about blanket music performance licenses.
In the annals of U.S. innovators, there are many infamous disputes between technology companies from Shockley and Fairchild in semiconductors to Microsoft and Apple in operating systems to today’s high-profile lawsuit of Waymo vs. Uber in driverless car technology. What initially started as a trade secrets litigation has mushroomed into a high stakes game involving patent infringement, unfair competition, private arbitration, unlawful termination and the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. It’s a virtual Gordian Knot of legal entanglements.
An unfounded belief persists that entrepreneurs are the primary innovators. However, in a study of the top 30 innovations of the last 30 years up through 2009, as judged by Wharton professors, shows innovations that most affected society were conceived by company workers, not entrepreneurs, according to Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff, a Wharton alum and self-described study author… So in order to encourage innovation, these characteristics of employee-innovators should be developed early on, according to Krippendorff. Logically, not only would that increase the level of innovation but also ease the task of innovation management.
How should intellectual property law firms firms market their legal services to potential clients? In the golden age of attorneys before the 1977 Bates v State Bar of Arizona Supreme Court decision made lawyer advertising legal, practice marketing comprised word of mouth, actual social networking and other first person methods. But since then ads and a host of other mainstream marketing methods became available to the legal profession. So which ones should an IP firm employ in the search for new clients? Which might be advisable to avoid? How much of this should happen in house or get outsourced? Let’s take a look.
Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS), managed to get elected based at least in part on his real or perceived success as a businessman. In the last dozen years or so, he achieved this reputation in part by licensing his “Trump” brand name—a kind of intellectual property (IP)—to third parties… “It may come as a surprise to most people that many of Trump’s buildings, resorts and golf clubs aren’t even owned by him,” says Sonia Lakhany, trademark attorney and owner, Lakhany Law, PC, a national award-winning trademark law firm. “They just bear his name for branding purposes. In return, Trump collects fees for the use of his brand, without ever investing a dime into the actual projects.”
In the intellectual property (IP) space, knowledge workers come from both Eastern and Western cultural backgrounds. In Silicon Valley and other hubs of innovation, the melding of societal variations most often goes smoothly. However, sometimes not-fully-assimilated Eastern managers get named to groups heavily involved with patents and trade secrets by well-meaning CEOs or founders. What have they missed? That these Eastern managers do not always sync with Western wage earners put in their charge—especially when it comes to workstyles and idea formation.
One of the most egregious reasons that states make non-compete agreements (NCAs) unenforceable remains the broadness of the agreements that for all practical purposes bans an individual from pursuing her profession of choice. For example, enforceable NCAs cannot have language that calls for a separated employee to have to sit out her chosen industry for an excessive time, according to legal professionals. And NCAs must remain rational and have a rationale. “Most states will enforce restrictive covenants like NCAs so long as such agreements are reasonable in time, area and line of business,” says Micah J. Longo, employment lawyer, The Longo Firm, P.A.