What's in a name? Quite a bit, especially if your company's name has been around for over a decade and you've established a good reputation with your customers. A company's name is very important, but what can you do if another company starts to use your name in a new business opportunity and threatens everything you've worked so hard for?
Many of you are probably familiar with Pandora, the popular Internet radio site. Pandora allows users to listen to a variety of songs and even create lists of different types of music they want to listen to. You may not know that Pandora has to pay licensing fees to play many of these songs because of federal copyright laws. However, federal laws don't protect songs made before 1972.
Apple is one of the most popular technology companies in the United States, and consumers continue to anxiously wait in line for hours to purchase new Apple products as soon as they are available. Since Apple is one of the most well-know tech companies, it isn't too surprising that they are named in many intellectual property lawsuits every year.
Companies often register trademarks for their products to keep other companies from using and selling products with the same name or phrase. When another company uses your trademark on their own products, you may be able to file a lawsuit to stop them from creating and selling products that could harm your business.
A recent patent infringement case in California is an example of the legal action companies can take against other businesses for using their patented products and ideas as their own. Open Text Corp. filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Box Inc. for using their patents without their permission.