The Traklight Blog

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

Tesla Contends With Potential Trade Secret Theft and Sabotage

For companies considered to be on the leading edge of innovation, intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets can be the separation between themselves and the rest of the industry. Obviously IP is incredibly important to every company, but for those that have cultivated a certain aura of innovative mystique, that privileged information serves as the curtain that hides the fact that the great and powerful wizard is pulling levers as any entrepreneur would.

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Google Attempts to Patent Public Domain Algorithm

Beyond just individual genius, innovation and advancement requires the ability to build upon existing technologies to improve them. It can at times be a fine distinction when thinking about respecting patents, but it is not incompatible to believe that both patents and the freedom of innovation should have equal footing in the intellectual property space.

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How The EU's Proposed Copyright Law Could Alter the Internet

The internet has changed so much about how we live so quickly, and now the organizations and bodies that govern our lives are scrambling to reckon with and control those changes. Privacy and ownership rights have faced perhaps some of the biggest challenges in an era where both so much content and personal information is spread widely and quickly. And the policies that governments put in place to try and combat those issues could change how millions experience the internet.

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The Value of Patents

Patents are an important part of any company's portfolio, but for startups, there can be hesitance to take the necessary steps to obtain a patent for their creation. From cost concerns to the length of the process to the seeming urgency of other requirements, startup founders can cite any number of reasons to put off getting patents. But having patents provides real value to any venture at its earliest stages and beyond.

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Increase in Copyright Fees Could Have Creators Feeling the Pinch

The strength of our existing intellectual property system is the ability of any creator to protect their work through filings with the government. Not every artist or inventor has the resources of a large corporation to protect their work, so the accessibility and affordability of protection helps to level the playing field and allows independent creators to profit from their work without having to expend limited resources. But some proposed changes to the U.S. Copyright Office might make things more challenging for creators, and freelance photographers in particular.

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Freelance Writers Win Copyright Suit Against Publishers

The business of freelance work can be fraught with complications not otherwise experienced with employees, especially when intellectual property is involved. Contracts have to be specific about ownership of the work created once it is transferred from the creator to the contracting party. And use beyond what was originally agreed can complicate matters, as a recent long-running class-action lawsuit proved.

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Using Creative Works to Grow Your Business

We devote a lot of writing in this space to the issues and concerns of small businesses and startups, but there is an entire subset of professionals that are part of the business ecosystem that is often forgotten, and that is the independent artists and creators that can produce the work that are often needed to fill in the gaps for growing companies.

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Copyright Lawsuit Against HBO Dismissed

Television can be fertile ground for copyright lawsuits, given the amount of creative work that goes into producing a single episode of original programming, to say nothing of the hundreds of scripted programs that now exist across the largest number of channels and streaming platforms that have ever existed in the history of the medium. But not all lawsuits are the same, and not every case is an example of an entertainment company taking advantage of a creator (though those undoubtedly exist in substantial numbers.)

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Romance Novelist Turns Trademark Troll

We may look at the romance novels we see at supermarkets or airport shops as something of a joke, with overwrought titles and lascivious covers. But romance novels are a big business; according to the Romance Writers of America website, romance novels account for over $1 billion in sales and make up 34% of the fiction market. For successful authors, there's a good living to be made in writing romance fiction, or, in the case of one writer, potential money to be made in aggressively pursuing trademark lawsuits.

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Intellectual Property and the Challenges of Technology, Part One

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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Major League Baseball Faces Patent Infringement, Trade Secret Theft Lawsuit

Technology is an increasingly important part of sports, not only in the playing of the games themselves, but in how people are consuming them. Fans have an appetite for more and more information about the action in the games they're watching, especially in the statistics-heavy world of baseball. Major League Baseball has invested heavily in tools that allow teams and fans alike to measure every action on the field, but a recent lawsuit is claiming that some of the developments might be ill-gotten.

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Use Signed Contracts and Agreements to Protect Your Company, Part 1

The early days of a business are a hectic time for any entrepreneur. Almost all of your time and energy is spent trying to get your business off the ground, often by yourself. Your worries tend towards the basics of keeping the lights on as well as figuring out how to grow. But as your business starts to develop and move beyond these early stages, you will start to run into new challenges and new areas of concern. As new opportunities present themselves, so will new risks that need to be mitigated. Taking the proper precautions to address that risk can help you feel secure in the future of your company while you continue to grow.

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Protecting Your Ideas on a Budget

The birth of a company and the idea that fuels it can come at any time. If entrepreneurs waited until the conditions were ideal to start a business, many of the brands that we've come to know and rely on may never have gotten off the ground. Often early-stage businesses are run on shoestring budgets, trying to stretch every dollar as far as it can go.

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Is Copyright Automatic?

So many people have unique creative ideas, but a lot of those ideas never come to fruition. Part of that is due to the fleeting nature of inspiration, and people simply throwing out ideas without any serious thought to trying to make more of them. But a number of people are held up from capitalizing on their ideas because they don't know how to and don't understand what rights they may or may not hold to any idea or work. Too many people fail to bring these terrific ideas to fruition, and those who do are often at a loss as to how to combat having their work misappropriated by others. Understanding the basics of intellectual property protection is the foundation for artists and creators to receive the credit and compensation they are owed.

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Students Lose IP Rights in Art and Writing Contest

Young artists are always looking for opportunities, and are often willing to make sacrifices and compromises in their search for a break. And for many, a lack of expertise can lead to mistakes that deprive them of a full share of any profits derived from their work. While some businesses are dealing in good faith with artists, there are others that are seemingly willing to take advantage of young, inexperienced creators without the power to demand a better, more equitable deal.

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Maximize Your Clients' IP Value, Part Two

Intellectual property serves as the backbone of any business, and as such, it needs to be protected and managed to increase your company’s valuation and keep your business’ future secure. Here is the second part in our series of tips on maximizing IP value for your business.

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