Many considerations need to be made when starting or growing your business. Establishing and safeguarding your intellectual property (IP) is a vital component to any company's business plan, as it can help to avoid future infringement disputes and other conflicts.
What would the music world be like without talented songwriters and composers? In many ways they are the foundation of the industry. But recent actions by the Department of Justice have put songwriters and composer at a disadvantage - particularly when it comes to their copyright and intellectual property rights.
Also known as IP, intellectual property is simply a generic term referring to creations and ideas conceived and owned by a human mind. While intellectual property can be confusing and sometimes difficult to determine, this type of property should be protected. This is so because other people can steal such property and market it or sell it as their own creation. Taking steps to protect property, ideas, concepts and creations means you and only your can own your IP.
Most businesses are not the owners of all of the intellectual property that they use. Some of their IP rights are obtained from people or other entities under license agreements, which gives them the right to use the IP but does not give them ownership. Some California licensees, however, might want to be prepared for what happens if the licensors file for bankruptcy.
Some California residents may have heard about the ongoing copyright dispute between Oculus and ZeniMax Media. Sources are now reporting that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has been ordered to testify in the case.
Many California dreamers may imagine themselves facing a set of five celebrities as they pitch the perfect business concept, but the real-world lessons provided by ABC's Shark Tank are applicable even for those who are not using the publicity of reality television to pursue their dreams. One of the key concerns of many of the celebrity investors is the risk of copying. While many concepts are presented that do not require the protection of intellectual property, some are more likely to be copied.
A lawsuit was filed in a California court on May 14 against the transportation network company Uber Technologies Inc. as well as its two founders by a businessman who claims that he came up with the idea for the mobile app first. Several of Uber's investors were also named in the lawsuit. The entrepreneur claims that he developed a business model in 2002 that he later shared in confidence with two individuals. One of the individuals went on to become Uber's CEO while the other invested in the San Francisco-based company. Uber was founded in 2009 and now operates in 57 countries.
The star of the popular Food Network show 'Barefoot Contessa" is suing a California company that she says is selling unauthorized reproductions of her products. On Feb. 17, television chef Ina Garten filed a lawsuit against OFI Imports Inc. in a Manhattan federal court. According to Garten, OFI has been selling look-alike versions of her Barefoot Contessa frozen meals without permission.
Intellectual property laws help those who have created proprietary works or who possess trade secrets to solely benefit from them. However, there are many parts of intellectual property law that are misunderstood and several myths propagated about how IP law works. For instance, many believe that the holder of a copyright must pursue action against a party that infringes on that copyright.
California residents might be interested to learn about an intellectual property dispute that is going on between two of the largest sportswear manufacturers in the world. In a lawsuit that was filed in Oregon, Nike is alleging that three of its former designers violated non-compete agreements and stole intellectual property by sharing information with Adidas.