The High Cost of Ignoring IP

Intellectual property has never been more important. Its value has never been greater and the consequences of infringing another’s intellectual property more dire. And yet, most businesses treat intellectual property as an afterthought, only thinking about it when there is an immediate problem. Someone invents a new product and someone might think about getting patent […]

Winning a fight
Nestle Ordered to Stop Using Incredible Trademark

Posted June 8, 2020 Updated September 8, 2022 Impossible Food wins Impossible trademark battle! The District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands ruled that Nestlé’s use of Incredible infringes upon the Impossible Foods trademark Impossible. The court said Nestlé was trying to deliberately confuse consumers.           Consumers would be confused […]

Intellectual Property
What Is Intellectual Property?

A Journey Through Intellectual Property Law by Intellectual Property Attorney Bill Honaker, the IP Guy Intellectual property is more valuable than ever. Every business has Intellectual Property, but most businesses don’t recognize it, protect it, or exploit it. It’s usually an afterthought. An inventor develops something new, so management thinks about patents; a new brand is […]

Cautionary Words about Words in Agreements
Cautionary Words about Words in Agreements

What seems clear can be mistaken! Two recent decisions highlight the importance of carefully writing and understanding agreements. One case involves non-disclosure agreements. The other involves the assignment of future inventions, a common provision in many employment agreements. Non-Disclosure Agreements Businesses use non-disclosure agreements in many situations: mergers and acquisitions; to obtain the expertise of […]

OG Slick's mural in Worcester, Massachusetts
Beware of Graffiti Copyright Infringement

Graffiti artist Richard Wyrgatsch aka OG Slick is in the middle of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Top Trumps USA Inc. sued Slick on May 4, 2022 because he accused them of infringing his copyright. Top is asking the court to find that they didn’t do anything wrong when they used Slick’s graffiti on a Monopoly […]

Beware of Russian Doll Copyright Infringement
Beware of Russian Doll Copyright Infringement

Russian Doll copyright infringement is when you infringe a copyright that is within another copyright, like a Russian doll, with one nested inside another, and another, and another. These can sneak up on you, and can have serious consequences.  The US Postal Service learned this the hard way, twice. In 2003, the Postal Service released […]

Trademark Registration Can Be Tricky
Trademark Registration – The Rest of the Story

A quick summary of where we left off. A doctor creates a new product with a distinctive trademark. He registers it with the United States Trademark Office. He approaches a big box store that is interested. But a few weeks later, they launch their own product with his trademark. We talked about option’s including filing […]

Trademark Registration Can Be Tricky

You don’t know what you don’t know; and it can be costly. Recently, I got a call from Bob Smith. Bob’s a doctor and a budding entrepreneur. He was upset. He said one of the big box stores had stolen his trademark. He explained that he had developed a hand sanitizer that was easier on […]

THE TM now owned by The University of Ohio
“THE” Trademark is Now Owned by Ohio State

Ohio State University recently registered the word “THE” as its trademark.  Ohio State has registered the word “the” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Everyone I have talked to about this has the same reaction. Can you register a common word? Of course, you can, the best example is Apple for computers. A […]

Copyright Ransomware
Copyright Infringement Notices Unleash Ransomware

Don’t fall victim to this scheme by opening e-mail attachments! Ransomware is being distributed through copyright infringement notices. An e-mail accuses you of infringing copyrights and threatens litigation unless you immediately respond. The proof of your bad act is in the attachment. Obviously, alarmed recipients open the attachment, and the virus infects their computer. Copyright […]