A forgotten right the government can’t take away

If you have followed the news lately, you’ve probably have heard about the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) board decision to cancel the Washington Redskin’s federal trademark registrations covering their name and graphical logo. The USPTO had determined that the term, “Redskin” and the graphical logo associated with the NFL team, violated trademark […]

The K-cup story

Many years ago, John Sylvan had an idea: provide a hermetically-sealed, compact cartridge containing a filter and enough ground coffee to brew a single serving in a specially designed brewer. After the freshly brewed coffee was delivered, the remaining carcass would simply be discarded without fuss or muss. Sylvan’s brilliant idea came to him in […]

A fool’s bargain: Part 2 – Think before you sue

(Editor’s note: This is the second of two parts. Read Part 1.) In the first part of this article, I discussed what trademarks are, what they protect and what factors courts generally use to determine if a trademark has been infringed.  In this installment I will be discussing how courts have dealt with the rise of keyword […]

A fool’s bargain: Part 1 – Should you sue over keyword advertising?

  One thing is guaranteed; the law will always lag technology. That’s just the way it is. However, eventually the law catches up and usually comes up with the right result.   Such is the case with paid search advertising such as Google Ad-words. In case you have been living under a rock for the […]

The perils of public-generated content

There is a well-known phrase known to businesses relying on the internet to help drive marketing and sales: “Content is king.” That phrase has expanded, in the wake of businesses turning to Facebook and YouTube and in the development and use of better consumer digital cameras and video. That new and improved phrase is this: […]

Avoidance: Understandable, but Often Painful

This is about pain — the avoidable kind. Lawyers can get a bad rap for shark-ism and sometimes, that’s fair. In this case, however, the pain is shared across the board, by both the lawyers and the clients. No one, including a hard-working and ethical attorney, likes seeing people have to spend blood, time and […]

Caution: You’ve been hacked—and sued

The newest legal challenge on the horizon for businesses may be the rise of what is known as “The Copyright Troll.”  Copyright Trolls are generally companies formed by attorneys whose sole purpose is to secure the enforcement rights from content providers (usually movies) and then find infringers (using a special software) — wherein those same […]

Moving on up – and out

Some of you may have noticed that our firm has not published a new column in a few weeks now. The reason for this is that we were engaged in a Major Office Move.  You know the kind: anguished over for months, thought about repeatedly at 3 a.m. and again at 6 a.m. and over […]

Clash of the tax and retail titans

Since I counsel a lot of online businesses, including online retailers, I am often asked about the sales tax implications of online sales. Generally speaking, the answer is pretty easy: If you are a Colorado business and sell goods to individuals residing in Colorado, then you have to collect Colorado sales tax and the appropriate […]

A grape by any other name is still a grape…

  When launching a new company or adding a new product or service, a name must be determined to brand the company, product or service. In the legal field, we refer to brand names and logos identifying a good as a trademark; and brand names and logos referring to services as service marks. However, the […]