Magicians often come up with their tricks and magic acts. When someone else starts performing their magic acts, many wonder what they can do to stop others from stealing their tricks. Copyright laws often come to mind when thinking about ways to prevent others from using your ideas or products. However, copyright law does not include magic tricks.
Intellectual property laws can be difficult for business owners in California to understand due to the variety of laws regarding patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright protection. Even though intellectual property laws can be complex, it is important for business owners to become familiar with these laws and how they can protect their businesses. It is also important to understand intellectual property laws to protect your business from costly lawsuits that can be a result of using another company's copyrighted or trademarked materials.
Popular Hollywood director, producer and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker Media after he claims they illegally published a link to his new screenplay online. This copyright infringement case is a bit complicated since Gawker Media did not actually post his screenplay on one of their blogs. Rather, they linked to third-party websites that had copies of the screenplay.
What is the most valuable part of your business? Some people might say it's their inventory; others might say it's their location. However, in many cases -- whether or not California entrepreneurs consider it -- the most valuable part of a business is its ideas. After all, without a vibrant culture of innovation, there's not much to set a business apart from its competitors.
We have written often on our Sacramento intellectual property blog about the disparity in sizes between companies that battle over intellectual property. In some cases, a well-known company goes on the offensive against a smaller rival that it thinks is infringing on its intellectual property by trying to pass itself off as the more-established brand. In other cases, it's the smaller company trying to stick up for itself when it feels that a big player in the industry is acting as a bully and misusing its ideas, trademarks or copyrights.
Many aspects of intellectual property law may seem up-front and transparent at first glance. A copyright application, for example, is relatively easy and straightforward to complete. However, if done improperly, it could leave applicants open to being sued from others who think their copyright is being violated. This is why we refer to the process as a deceptively simple one -- it may seem easy, but the consequences of getting it wrong are severe.
It might seem difficult to believe that a movie that was produced 33 years ago could only now be the subject of a copyright battle. However, that is exactly the case with a lawsuit over the film "Raging Bull," starring Robert De Niro, which hit theaters in 1980.
Over the last year, pop culture has become consumed by Sherlock Holmes. Between major motion pictures, TV shows and Sherlock-inspired novels, there are serious business opportunities surrounding the famed fictional detective.