Posts Tagged: "Internet"

Internet Trademark Law 101: Don’t Metatag Me, Bro!

People have been arguing about the Internet since Al Gore invented it (sorry, I just couldn’t resist). One would think this issue would have been well settled by now but it’s not. The courts are starting to move toward some sort of congruency but there is still a very decided split in the decisions. And, as with oh-so-many issues in intellectual property, there is a litany of case law on the subject and not one bright line rule. It all boils down to what we consider a “use in commerce” and if we can call that “use” a source of confusion in the consumer. Briefly, in order to make a claim of trademark infringement stick, you have to show the defendant used your mark in commerce and you have to show that that use likely confused the purchasing public as to which company was actually selling that service or those goods. Since a metatag isn’t technically visible on the web page, federal courts haven’t agreed whether a metatag is “used or displayed in the sale or advertising of a service rendered in commerce or “placed in any manner” on a good transported in commerce”. See Lanham Act 15 U.S.C. 1127 .

Internet Copyright Theft: Content Creators Must Stay Vigilant

Changes were made in the copyright laws of the United States in order to ensure that what David LaMacchia did would be criminal in the future. Nevertheless, those changes to the copyright laws did not put an end to piracy on the Internet, nor could they have been realistically expected to do so. Corporations, entrepreneurs, artists and creators have lobbied the United States Congress for changes in the law to help them protect their copyrighted works, but they have also increasingly relied upon technological measures to protect their copyrighted works. While there is no legal requirement that a copyright holder take steps to secure or sequester material in order to avail themselves of the protection offered by U.S. copyright laws, there is no prohibition against copyright owners seeking to use technological means to preserve their rights. Prudence dictates content creators continually monitor to see if there is ongoing infringement, take steps to make such infringement more difficut and do whatever can be done to address infringement when (not if) it is discovered.

Having a Website is Essential for Business

How often do you use a telephone book to search for a business of interest? Phonebook? What’s a phonebook, right? How often do you search in the online yellow pages for a particular business? Probably anytime you want to know how to contact a company of interest. And how often do you find that the business of interest does not have a website? How often do members of the business community hand you a business card with an email address @yahoo.com or the like? In today’s business world it is amazing to see just how many businesses still do not have a web presence.

App Developer Settles FTC Charges It Violated Children’s Privacy

A developer of mobile applications, including children’s games for the iPhone and iPod touch, will pay $50,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC’s COPPA Rule by illegally collecting and disclosing personal information from tens of thousands of children under age 13 without their parents’ prior consent. This is the Commission’s first case involving mobile applications, known as apps.

Selecting a Business Name in a Social Media Crazy World

What’s in a name? Well likely far more than most businesses realize. Your business name is how people will identify with your goods and services, so you want to have one identity that is all your own. Simple enough really, at least in concept, but making a mistake at the selection stage will prove costly. You really need to be picking a business name that gives you the opportunity to create a unified Internet marketing and branding strategy, from the domain name you select to your usernames and identity on popular social media and social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Common Marketing Mistakes Attorneys Make, Part Deux

Can you honestly say that your firm has more business than it can handle? I would venture a guess that no, it does not. Marketing is so often put on the back burner to everything else that needs to be done. This is especially the case for firms that need to cut their budget. If you cut marketing to save funds in your budget, you will likely need to cut more of your budget down the line. Even if the firm’s table is quite full right now, you must always seek to add new clients to make up for yearly attrition.

Common Marketing Mistakes Attorneys Make

In other words, simply making a sale does not mean you are marketing your products and services effectively. Effective marketing is the process by which you promote your firm through the sharing of information with prospective clients about what you have to offer, with the ultimate goal being that a sale is made. Without an effective marketing strategy, you are far less likely to facilitate the sale.

Non Sequitur: We Need to Go Back to the Clinton Tax Rates

For goodness sake, innovation is the key to a better economy, not raising taxes! Simply stated, taxing more at a time when individuals and businesses are doing less well is not the same as taxing more when individuals and businesses are doing better year after year. In one scenario the tide is rising and will remain high, although slightly less so with increased payments to the government. In the second scenario the tide is already lower and becomes even lower still with additional financial burdens owed to the government. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize there is a fundamental difference between taxing a rising economy and taxing a falling, stagnant or sluggish economy.

WIPO 2010 ADR Report: Cybersquatting Hits Record Level

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently announced that the number of cybersquatting cases has reached an all time high. In 2010, trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting cases relating to some 4,370 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This spike in the number of domain name disputes caused by cybersquatting represents an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year, 2008.

Top 10 Mistakes Businesses Make with Social Media

Social Media has quickly become the fastest growing online phenomenon. Originally Social networking was for college students and artists and musicians, but increasingly businesses of all sizes have jumped on the Social Media bus. Small, medium and large sized business, retail storeowners, politicians, journalistic publications, law firms, chain stores, restaurants and businesses from nearly every industry have chimed in. Whether you have a brick and mortar retail location or are solely online, Social Media can help. But as with any business strategy one can partake in, all of your efforts including, time and money are wasted if you do not know what mistakes you should avoid in order to get the most out of your online efforts.

ICANN to Begin Accepting Applications for New Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs) in 2011

In June 2008 ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit technical coordination body for the Internet’s name and numbering systems, made headlines when it announced that it would allow an unlimited number of new gTLDs (generic top level domain names) to populate the web. While the process has been delayed several times, the current belief is that ICANN will begin accepting applications for these new gTLDs by July or August of 2011. However, many in the industry expect the start of the application process to be delayed further, as various trademark organizations have raised concerns about the award and dispute resolution process.

Trademarking a Domain Name? Sure, why not?

A common misconception is that a website that just advertises your goods or services can be a trademark. It can’t. The domain has to be a unique source indicator all on its own, meaning it has to tell people what your goods or services are on its own. Basically, if your domain name is just an Internet address where your customers can find you, it can’t be registered. It just tells people where to find you. It is merely incidental to your primary business purpose.

Twelve Key Components to Building a Successful Website

About ten months ago I wrote, The Importance of Having a Web Presence where I discussed why you should have a website, where you can buy your domain name and how to find webhosting services. No matter what type of business you have, whether it be a brick and mortar retail location, a consulting business, a law firm or any other type of business, large or small, you need to have a company website if you are to have any real chance of keeping up with the competition. But what makes a successful website? How can you get consumers past the home page? What do you feature on your website? How do you set it up? Whether you are starting from scratch or simply trying to improve the website that you already have, there are key components that every website should possess, eleven of which I will share with you today.

Combating Copyright Infringement: DMCA Take Down Notices

We shouldn’t fool ourselves and try and pretend that the lack of respect for intellectual property rights is limited to those who seek to share movies, music or make a buck selling knock-off products. Everyone who produces original content on the Internet is at risk of having that content stolen; simply cut and pasted onto some other website or blog. Even if it is not passed off as original content and you do get “credit” the copyist is using your work for their own benefit. They are stealing eyeballs, diverting traffic and likely costing you money. At the very least, they are free riding, which is a hard pill to swallow.

Blogging for Profit or Notoriety: Observations and Strategies

If you are going to go down the path of blogging for profit or for notoriety you need to have a well developed sense of what your market is interested in when you set out to write. Copying others isn’t likely a winning strategy, but identifying what you like, what you can provide and what you want to do are all essential. Then you need to think about the reader. You know the mantra — know your audience. It is certainly helpful to write what interests you because, in my view, that which you are interested in and passionate about makes for great reading, but it is also important to give readers what they want otherwise you won’t build an audience, or you will lose the audience you do have.


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