The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Avoid Failure to Launch: Part III

The third in our series based on attending David Durick of Paychex’s workshop at the Small Business Expo 2016 examines the third and fourth of the ten critical steps to building and protecting your business. If you are not sure which steps apply to you, please join Traklight here and take the free Business Risk Assessment with our compliments.

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Patent Infringement Case Between Cisco and Arista Presses Forward

Technology has brought about a new slate of intellectual property issues that see corporations facing off in court. Google and Oracle were engaged in a lengthy court battle over the use of Java APIs in Google's development of Android software, and numerous other companies have taken legal action against their rivals for similarly unseen elements used in the development of software applications. And as more and more companies enter the same space, there is the potential for a proliferation of copyright infringement cases.

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Internet Provider Penalized In Copyright Violation Cases

When it comes to piracy and copyright violation, one would reasonably assume that the entirety of culpability lies with the offender. After all, there isn't much in the way of excuse for doing something that most know to be wrong in misappropriating copyrighted material (and ignorance is a poor defense.) You might see characters on television or in the movies forced to hack computer systems and steal sensitive information under duress, but likely no one is at your house making you torrent "Vice Principals." However, a recent court ruling could bring cable providers into the mix in cases of customers' copyright infringement.

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Run Your Small Business Effectively

As a small business, you have to approach things differently than larger companies in your field. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a disadvantage. While big businesses have considerable resources to draw from for projects, they can also be the victim of an entrenched mindset that can prevent new and innovative thinking. Here are some ways that small businesses can succeed at winning an unfair game.

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Avoid Failure to Launch: Part 1

I recently had the pleasure of attending David Durick of Paychex’s workshop at the Small Business Expo 2016 in San Diego. David, a 32-year business veteran, has worked mainly in business to business throughout his career but almost exclusively with small business, five to ten employees.  David spearheads BuildMyBiz.com for Paychex and presented 10 critical steps to building and protecting a business.

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What Issues Do Startups Face?

When you’re starting your business, it’s natural to want to focus on the things that you want to do and accomplish and put some of the more tedious chores to the back-burner. You are the innovator, the dreamer, and what creative wants to be bogged down with the nitty-gritty of paperwork and forms and contracts? But in ignoring these details at the outset of your business, you could be placing your company’s long term future in jeopardy. Frequently, it isn’t the obvious threat that seems to be staring us in the face that does a business in, but a seemingly inconsequential oversight that can spell doom for a company. Here are some areas to pay attention to early, before they grow into larger problems.

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Stephen Colbert in Intellectual Property Dispute with Viacom

For several years, Stephen Colbert occupied a unique and arguably necessary spot in our popular culture. While his fellow Comedy Central late night host Jon Stewart mixed his comedy with earnest, solemn rebukes of perceived shortcomings and failures of our political system, Colbert's critiques came from satire as he played his over-the-top, blowhard newsman character to the hilt. His persona was immediately recognizable to anyone who has seen cable news over the past fifteen years, and the audience was in on the joke; no one truly believed that the real Stephen Colbert bore any resemblance to the "Stephen Colbert" who turned up on our televisions. 

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Social Media Offers  Limited Remedies for Trademark Infringement

Registering your trademarks provides creators with a number of different benefits, chief among those being the ability to take legal action against potential infringement.  And given the amount of theft that is seen surrounding trademarked material, that's nothing to be taken lightly. But one unconsidered benefit to having your trademarks on the books with the federal government is the ability to stop your content from spreading around social media without your consent. 

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Intellectual Property and the Challenges of Technology, Part 2

Even when you’ve taken the necessary precautions to try and prevent theft, there are still going to be those who try and use your work, thinking that they won’t get caught given the sheer size of the internet. Having your website’s artwork or copy copied at a computer somewhere in the world isn’t quite as simple as seeing someone on your stolen bike at the local 7-11. That’s why part of intellectual property protection is vigilance. Unfortunately, there isn’t an internet equivalent of police cars roaming to deter theft. It may seem like a chore, but taking time to dome some internet searches can help catch thieves that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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Intellectual Property and the Challenges of Technology

Technology has given us more access to available information and an incredible ability to disseminate our own messages. The internet allows us to see stories and pictures and videos from all over the world from the comfort of our devices, and the phone in our pocket can capture our experiences with high quality pictures and videos. And while the ability to find and share content on a global level is definitely a net positive, it can present its own challenges for creators and entrepreneurs.

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Olympics Add Trademark Gripes to List of Problems

Most who have been following the buildup to this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are aware of the growing number of issues facing this year's Games. By various reports, the housing is sub-standard, the water polluted, and the venues possibly not finished being built. Add to that the number of athletes pulling out over concerns about the Zika virus, and one would suspect organizers are struggling to put a positive spin on this year's proceedings, and would welcome as much positive attention as they can get. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee would not share that sort of generosity.

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Electronic Freedom Foundation Goes to Court Over Digital Millenium Copyright Act

When we purchase something, we assume that the item becomes ours, to do with it as we so choose. That is the understanding and agreement that exists between buyer and seller in most transactions that take place. If you go to your local department store and buy a toaster and decide to run over it with your car in the driveway, that's your prerogative; the store certainly doesn't care, as they've achieved their goal of moving merchandise and collecting your money. But the digital age has ushered in a new type of product that now comes with rights and safeguards that go beyond the point of sale.  

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Expansion Franchise Runs Into Trademark Issues in Las Vegas

There's a lot that goes into starting a business. Aside from obvious considerations as to what you're going to do or make or sell, you have to think about the branding of your business. What are you going to call yourself? What kind of logo will you have? It isn't enough to settle on the first name that you think of, because unless you are absolutely certain as to its originality and uniqueness, there's a good chance you run the risk of infringing upon someone else's already established trademark.

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Italian Festival In Trouble for Improper Attribution

The internet can seem at times a terrible, negative place, but it can also be a tremendous resource for collaboration and sharing. People the world over are willing to take the time and effort to create fantastic works of art, photography and video, and many are willing to share them with everyone with no desire for compensation. Others ask simply that users attribute the material they use and follow a licensing agreement. While that may not seem a particularly onerous requirement for the free use of others' works, many companies and individuals still manage to get themselves in trouble by not reading those agreements. 

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