By: H.W. Pfabe | September 20, 2017

 

One of my clients was just granted her first federal trademark. As I prepared a letter to congratulate her and give her the registration number, I did a quick search to confirm that the information in the USPTO registration was correct (it isn’t always). Coincidence of coincidences, I found that on the same day her trademark was granted, someone else attempted to register their own trademark… for the exact same word.

 

So, I let my client know that she had been granted her trademark, and needed to continue protecting it. I also let her know that there was another mark pending which MIGHT be concerning.

 

My client asked one question in response to both statements: Now what?

 

 

A QUICK SUMMARY OF TRADEMARKS

 

...

By: H.W. Pfabe | August 01, 2017

via www.Forbes.com

 

Sometimes, you Patent something because your goals are to do or make exactly what is in that Patent. Other times, however, you Patent something that you DON’T want to do.

 

A recent Patent awarded to Amazon is a perfect example of this.

 

 

THE PATENT

 

On May 30, 2017, Amazon was awarded U.S. Patent #9,665881, titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control.” The claims at the end of the Patent, which tell you what the Patent actually protects, describe a method of intercepting a customer when that customer is in a brick-and-mortar store and decides to go online to shop for a better deal.

 

Checking out products in stores while comparing prices online is a common practice. It has its own name: “Showrooming.” ...

By: H.W. Pfabe | June 20, 2017

 

When starting a business, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. One question that many small businesses tend to overlook is that of where they should incorporate. Some just incorporate right in their home state. Others say “I hear a lot of companies are based in Delaware. I’ll do that.” However, as of May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court has given businesses some more to think about.

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

 

The members of the US Supreme Court rarely all agree. In fact, that’s part of the point. They come from different backgrounds, with different political beliefs, and decisions are made by a majority. Sometimes those who are more liberal end up happier with the decisions, and sometimes those who are more conservative do....

By: H.W. Pfabe | May 25, 2017

I was going to take a break from the “MARVEL at the Law!” series of blog posts, but Marvel is in the news again, providing a great lesson (and dispelling a common misconception) about Trademarks.

 

Oh, and no, as usual, this is NOT about politics.

 

On May 12, Marvel applied for three new Trademarks, all to the phrase “Hail Hydra” (as originally reported by Comicbook.com at http://comicbook.com/marvel/2017/05/21/marvel-just-trademarked-the-phrase-hail-hydra/). So, why is this significant?

 

First, let’s start with a little history (stay awake, I’ll keep it short).

 

  

“HAIL HYDRA”?

 

“Hail Hydra” is a phrase which first appeared in Strange Tales #135 (published in August of 1965), which was also the first...

By: H.W. Pfabe | May 05, 2017

I was recently having a conversation with one of my clients, who is a very nice and talented comic book artist and writer. We were discussing different elements that can be protected by Copyright, and I mentioned “scènes à faire.”

 

Coincidentally, just a week later, Marvel brings us our newest installment of “MARVEL at the Law!” with a new court ruling, and another lesson in Intellectual Property Protection.

 

  

WHAT IS A SCÈNE À FAIRE?

 

A scène à faire is a scene or story element which is extremely common to the genre of the story.

 

It may be so common that it is almost obligatory to include it, but it is at least so common that one cannot look at it and identify a single source that it has been copied...