Protecting Your Startup Innovations – Patent v. Trade Secret

By Matthew R. Burkett Your startup has hit the ground running. The gang of millennials under your employ is trailblazing and innovation is flourishing. It’s time to consider how to protect your advancements from the competitors you didn’t know you were about to have. It is also important to consider how to protect certain innovations […]

Have you sought an opinion recently?

By Theresa A. Rakocy In today’s business world, with increased competition and businesses facing unpredictability because of non-practicing entities, it is important for a business to minimize risk to itself and address uncertain outcomes by seeking a legal opinion. After investing time and money on new products, businesses seek to potentially leverage the marketability of […]

Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven No Longer Shadowed by Spirit

By Theresa A. Rakocy & Rachel A. Smoot For the past four decades, Led Zeppelin has proven itself a pioneer of rock and roll, cementing its place in history with such hits as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Black Dog,” “Kashmir,” and – arguably rock and roll’s greatest hit – “Stairway to Heaven.” Released in 1971, “Stairway […]

Repair vs. reconstruction of unpatented components of a patented article

By Mark Einsiedel, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP While they may have similar meanings to a layperson, the terms “repair” and “reconstruction” have been used by the courts to distinguish between those activities that are permissible and those that are prohibited with regard to a patented article once it has been placed into commerce by the […]

Lanham Act gets facelift

By Rachel A. Smoot, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP In a sharply divided opinion issued on Dec. 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit redefined the Lanham Act. Enacted in 1946, the Lanham Act provides a national system for registering and protecting trademarks used in commerce. However, 70 years later, the Federal […]

Using noncompete agreements to protect intellectual property

In professional baseball, when a player is traded, his former team often changes the hand signals it uses to call pitches and direct base runners, assuming the player will share everything he knows with his new employer. In corporate America, however, simply exchanging old data for new isn’t an effective means to protect intellectual property. […]

Acquiring the rights to employees’ inventions

By William J. Samore, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP How does a company obtain the patent rights to something invented by an employee? The current rule, decided in Filmtec Corp., v. Allied-signal Inc., 939 F.2d 1568 (Fed. Cir. 1991), is that when an employment contract creates a present grant of rights in future inventions and related […]

Copyright Audits

By Alan C. Brandt, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP Copyright audits determine if the copyright assets of a party (e.g., an author or a copyright claimant) are suitably protected in a manner that is consistent with their value to the party. A more comprehensive audit could also determine whether the copyrights are being infringed and, if […]

Protecting Your Product From Offshore Counterfeiters

  By Rachel Smoot, attorney, and Diane Jacquinot, legal and research services manager, Fay Sharpe LLP There was a time when you only found counterfeit goods at flea markets and on the sidewalks of metropolitan cities. However, the Internet has allowed counterfeit products to easily make their way into our homes and businesses. For consumers, […]