Costello Law Corporation
We Can Help You, Call Us Today
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Roseville Intellectual Property Law Blog

Copyright laws when it comes to music and entertainment

Music is not free -- even when it is used only for background music in an office or a restaurant. Many people are not aware that they are infringing upon California copyright laws any time they play a musician's or author's music in a public place. That is why so many restaurant and bar owners are surprised when they receive a letter or call informing them that they owe fees for copyright infringement.

Anytime music is played for the public, a liability for the music is acquired under United States copyright law. This is how musicians, composers and publishers protect their music rights. The liability is called a royalty.

The advantages of acquiring a patent

Patents are a great way to protect an idea that has never been brought to fruition. They are also a great way to legally protect an item or concept that you have created, developed, manufactured, marketed and sold. Today, we will take a look at the advantages of acquiring a patent for yourself, your business or any other entity that would need one in California.

Quite possibly the biggest advantage of acquiring a patent is the fact that you are now legally protecting your idea or product from being used by others. This includes preventing others from manufacturing, copying, distributing, importing or selling your product or service without your express permission.

Dell EMC claims trade secrets stolen

Dell EMC former employees are being accused of violating their employment contract by stealing trade secrets before beginning new employment with Rubrik. Rubrick and EMC are competing companies, both in the data protection business.

The two employees were in sales; one was a district sales manager and the other an account manager. In addition to allegedly stealing trade secrets, the former employees are also accused of soliciting Dell EMC customers. EMC says the former district sales manager caused the company to lose a sale deal valued at approximately $1.2 million.

Do's and don'ts of handling online copyright disputes

The Internet is the hardest type of media to police. It sometimes appears that Internet users believe all data is free for the taking. But just because something is on the Internet does not mean it is exempt from copyright or plagiarism laws.

If you have registered copyrights and trademarks and find that someone else has used them on the Internet, your first reaction might be anger, shock or surprise. What should you do? You want to handle the situation in the best way possible. Here are some do's and don'ts to resolve the situation:

  • Don't react with your emotions. A knee-jerk reaction can only make the dispute harder to resolve.
  • Do not send demanding or confrontational communication by email or post it on social media sites. Whatever you say may be reposted, cause an online battle or make your claims harder to defend later.
  • Gather evidence of the infringement, such as photographing or saving a screenshot of the Internet page. The copyright infraction may be removed from the Internet as soon as any action is taken, leaving you with no proof that anyone violated your rights.
  • Make sure you are the actual owner of the copyright and that you haven't granted a license to anyone else for use.
  • Consider the possibility of turning the infringement into a profit. The alleged infringing party may consider paying for rights to limited use of your intellectual property. A partnership might even be an option.
  • Most importantly, learn all you can about your legal position before taking any action.

Is someone using your trademark?

If you think someone is using your trademark, you will want to seek a trademark attorney, but before you do, you should make sure a trademark infringement is actually occurring. Remember, infringement of a trademark happens when someone else uses the same trademark for competing goods and services, and customers are likely to confuse their business with yours.

Also, unless your trademark is well-known across the country, location will be important to look at. If someone uses your trademark for a similar business or product two states over, it is unlikely to confuse customers. Also make sure they are using an identical name or mark.

Protecting intellectual property

Have you got good idea for a new product, or have you invented a new marketable gadget? Maybe you have written a song or a book. Whatever your intellectual property is, you need to decide if it is going to need protection. If it is going to be a marketable item, you will more than likely want to protect it from the possibility of someone else using it to make money and leaving you in the cold.

If you are unsure if your idea or property is worth protecting, you should seek legal advice from an attorney who is experienced in intellectual property protection. He or she will be able to assess your intellectual property and advise you whether or not it has marketable value worth protecting. If it does, they will know the best way to protect it.

Patents 101

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)issues an inventor of a product proprietary rights to the design and/or idea of that invention. A patent is intellectual property. It is not a copyright, trademark or a service mark.

U.S. patents are usually good for a 20-year term. The beginning date is based on the application date for the patent. In some cases, the 20-year term can be extended or adjustments made.

Cat wins copyright suit with huge payout

Imagine if your pet could bring in a steady paycheck for you, let alone a $710,000 lump sum payout, just for looking grumpy! Well, that is just what one "grumpy-looking" cat named Tardar Sauce has going for it.

The feline, first posted on Reddit (a social website) in 2012, along with funny captions, soon became famous for its unique expression. The cat has what is known as feline dwarfism along with an underbite giving it a sad and grumpy-looking scowl.

Uniform Trade Secrets Act in a nutshell

Trade secrets have commercial value. Laws regarding trade secrets can be abstruse, often needing clarification. That is why there is a Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which attempts to clarify the rights for those with trade secrets they wish to protect.

Trade secrets may come in many forms. They may be a recipe for a scrumptious marketable sauce, a business method, a chemical process or a technology for a new electronic device. Any knowledge or information that has economic value — and is not generally known or attainable by others — can be considered a trade secret.

Questions about common law trademarks

You have heard the term "common law marriage," but have you heard of a "common law trademark?" In a common law marriage, two people consider themselves married although they haven't gone through the legality of registering their marriage. It is the same with a common law trademark; a trademark is being used that has not yet been registered.

Also, just as the law recognizes common law marriages in some states, a common law trademark is recognized. Unfortunately, though, if it is not registered, someone else may accidentally or intentionally embark upon the use of the same mark. This results in having to prove who first put the trademark into use.

Contact Us Today

To protect your valuable idea, contact our lawyers at Costello Law Corporation to set up an initial consultation. We are ready to assist you in any intellectual property issue.

Get Started

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Map & Directions

Costello Law Corporation

Costello Law Corporation
2267 Lava Ridge Court
Suite 210
Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: 916-520-3360
Fax: 916-441-4254
Map & Directions

Email Us linkedin