VRP Law Group, P.C.

A Boutique Business, Employment and Intellectual Property Law Firm

Archive for the ‘Copyright Updates’ Category

Information Technology and Intellectual Property Audits: What are they? Why do we need them? What do we need lawyers for?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Information Technology (IT) and Intellectual Property (IP) Audits are more and more common place and necessary for today’s trusted advisers and professionals. The more effort you take to make sure that you protect your client’s confidentiality, intellectual property, personal information, banking information, tax information, business strategy and marketing plans, is protected the better of you will be. VRP Law Group’s IT Audits consist of the following: 1) Review of your Technology Service Agreements; 2) Reviewing and Identifying Gaps if any, in any ISP or network security settings; 3) Making sure that there is an immediate and prompt investigation that identifies vulnerabilities, breaches in data security, documents and preserves the investigation and the evidence gathered during the investigation; 4) providing good terms of use and privacy policies for use of your client’s websites or your own website; 5) Creating good internal controls to protect extremely sensitive information, intellectual property and vital trade secrets; and 6) having effective IT communication policies, password protection means, and effective training and communication of such policies to your employees and IT vendors.

Moreover, making sure that you use trusted IT vendors and manage any change in network and internet service providers to ensure that proper security protocols and change management procedures are followed by your employees, your current and future trusted vendors. Without having someone like VRP Law Group that can oversee the process and/or identify the gaps, vulnerabilities, and coordinate an effective investigation and response the change management procedures may be ineffective in addressing data security issues. These data security issues can lead to liabilities for identity fraud or theft, breach of client’s confidentiality, misappropriation of your trade secrets, vital research and development memos, confidential consulting opinions, freedom to operate opinions, willful infringement opinions, patentability analysis, prior art search analysis, fraud upon the USPTO, US Copyright or Trademark Office, or many sometimes unforeseeable problems, until a lawsuit is filed.

Empowering yourself, your employees to deal with these problems without the worry of irrational fears and implementing the necessary change management procedures is a challenging endeavor. VRP Law Group is here to help you see and identify the foreseeable and legitimate risks without heading down the wrong path or becoming an individual that is unable to see anything, but impending doom in terms of managing its assets, confidential information, intellectual property and other vital competitive advantages that may be a lure for any hacker. Using our IT and IP audits will enable you to make sure that you work closely with experienced technology counsel, cyber Law, data privacy law, and intellectual property counsel. This is always a team endeavor to make sure that you focus your clients, entrepreneurs, small or large companies’ resources on the right breach or vulnerabilities to document and preserve the corrective measures and ensure that future or repeated incidents are minimized.

Your clients and you will sleep a bit easier at night with having VRP Law Group’s IT and IP Audit professionals looking after you, your clients, your intellectual property, your change management procedures, and related information technology matters. For more go to: www.vrplawgroup.com, www.bipeblawg.com, www.eebrunchclub.com

Increasing Value of Copyrights in a Increasingly CyberWorld!

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Copyrights are great method of developing an Intellectual Property acquisition strategy that allows for a significant amount of flexibility and ensures that the Copyright Holder still has a method of creating a barrier to entry. One of the biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs or startups make is ignoring or failing to understand the true value of Copyrights, which can be acquired for any type of content, including the following:

a) their websites and derivatives thereof;

b) their blogs and derivatives thereof;

c) commercials or advertising videos;

d) links to downloadable content of any type that is original and fixed in a tangible medium of expression;

e) advertising and marketing brochures that are final, polished, published or about to be published;

f) comparative advertising content based on the larger players in the market to help establish fair use, nominal use or a potential parody defense;

g) their operations manuals and employment handbooks that are substantially completed and required to be distributed to a larger number of employees;

h) the use of photographs or images of individuals that are employees after acquiring the proper consent and assignment of copyrights;

i) creating a corporate strategy that allows incorporation of copyrights to permit the use of licenses, assignments, royalties, and potential tax savings for the Copyright Holder, the Licensor, and the Licensees.

If you would like to learn more, then go to: www.bipeblawg.com, www.iptrialattorney.com, www.chicagoentrepreneursattorney.com

Defense of infringement claims, preliminary or permanent injunction proceedings and keeping your clients in business!

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Unclean hands is often, overlooked and not asserted by any Defendant that is sued for a preliminary or permanent injunction. If you can get the Court to find that the Plaintiff has acted with Unclean Hands, then the Defendant may be able to tip the balance of equities interests in its favor. But, this doctrine can also be combined with unfair competition or deceptive trade practices to ensure that the Defendant has some counterclaims for negotiating leverage.

The Defendant must establish that the Plaintiff has acted to prevent the Defendant from engaging in competition for a product or service that it offers or is related to the Plaintiff or its affiliated companies. An overly aggressive intellectual property enforcement or policing policy can lead to IP misuse or anti-tying violations. However, these doctrines and claims can be made whether you are subject to a copyright, patent or trademark infringement suit.

Both of these defenses and the facts and circumstances that support them may also support unfair competition and deceptive trade practices claims. In addition, the consumer protection act of each state and the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations should be reviewed and incorporated into your discovery, evidence preservation, litigation, negotiation and settlement strategy, early, on in the Lawsuit.

So, why is this important? It will allow the Defendant to avoid an early temporary or preliminary injunction being entered against it. This can be the difference between the Defendant being able to generate revenues that can be used to fund its defense of the Lawsuit. Moreover, often this can be the difference between getting a settlement on your terms and continuing to operate the business, or being driven out of the market.

Making sure your litigation attorney understands the implications of the Unclean Hands, the unfair competition, IP misuse and anti-tying doctines can be the difference between staying in business and having to close your doors.

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions, then please contact us at: www.vrplawgroup.com

Litigation of Copyrights and Seventh Circuit Rules regarding validity of Copyrights, declarations from the Register of Copyrights, need for financial experts for damages!

Friday, November 8th, 2013

In a recent Seventh Circuit Opinion, the Court, found that a partners use of a copyrighted logo was not infringing due to an invalidity of the copyright registration. The District Court’s finding of invalidity based on what it found to be a misrepresentation in its application to the Copyright Office. Although the Plaintiff may have inadvertently or intentionally misled the Copyright Office, the district court should not declare the Copyright Registration for the Logo to be invalid.

Prior to declaring the registration for the copyright to be invalid, the District Court should first contact the Register of Copyrights that the information relating to the authorship and ownership that was misleading would render the actual registration invalid. The District Court could make the factual determination that the Plaintiff purposely misled the Copyright Office, but it cannot make a determination of its impact on the application to register itself. Once, consulting the Register of Copyrights and allowing the Register to determine the materiality of the misleading information, then the Court could procedurally make some type of ultimate conclusion.

With respect to the breach of contract claim against the partner of the Copyright Owner, the Seventh Circuit stated that it could not award the royalties or percentage of the profits it awarded based on the speculative and inaccurate evidence presented by the Copyright Owner. Moreover, the Plaintiff and the Copyright Owner could not establish damages using inaccurate and incomplete financial information to establish an entitlement to a percentage of the profits of the partnerships. Thus, the Seventh Circuit remanded part of the Ruling to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with the aforementioned Ruling.

As such Copyright Litigants and Owners have to be aware of the impact on their trial and litigation proceedings based on the quality of the evidence and the need to ensure that the evidence is going to meet evidentiary requirements. Otherwise, the hard work and effort put into the lawsuit and even winning a trial may be ruined by the failure to ensure compliance with evidentiary requirements. If you have any concerns or questions, then please contact us.

How to grow your business and manage business and legal risks? How to make your business more attractive to Investors?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

One of the most practical ways that a business owner can grow his or her business and make it more attractive to investors is by creating an operations and/or process manual. This provides a method of creating knowledge transfer between the owner, employees, and anyone else that may be working for you. It is also a ready source of trade secrets and training materials for new employees. If you can write down what you know, then you have to spend less time revising it to improve on your processes, training replacement employees, identify potential areas of further research and development to develop additional products or services.

After you have taken the time to create an operations plan you can use it to tweak your business plan and corporate strategy. For example, are there processes that are prone to increase risk of liability, if so, then you can think about creating a subsidiary or another company to use to shield the less risky aspects of your business. Maybe, a general commercial liability or products liability insurance policy will effectively help you manage the risk of liability. The operations manual can be used to train new employees and protect against the risk of losing your employees to your competitors. Maybe, you are growing at a rate that exposes you to federal and state employment statutes, and it makes sense in investing in a good employment manual and human resource training program.

Moreover, once you have written down your operations manual not only can you identify areas of innovation, but also potential areas for developing your intellectual property portfolio. The Operations Manual can be the start of an IP development strategy to help create barriers to entry and increase the value of your business. You can develop not only trade secrets, but patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. In addition, you can identify customers that are generating a large portion of your revenues and try to cater to their need for your products or services. You can identify the traits of these customers that will allow you to find other similar customers to whom you can pitch your product or services.

These customers may also be good sources for strategic alliances and partnerships or some form long term supply or services agreements. Once, you identify who they are you can also develop product or service bundles and/or add on products or services. However, if you have not created a method of tracking who your customers are, then you cannot scale your business. If you have any concerns or questions about your business or corporate planning, then feel free to contact us.