The Traklight Blog

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

Does 'Terminator' Copyright Case Portend the Future of Film Rights?

For all of the machinery and marketing behind the big franchise movies we see on weekends, it's easy to forget how much of this is owed to writers who come up with these ideas in the first place, and who often don't get due credit and compensation for what they're ultimately making possible. There's a new case and a newly-resurfacing law that might chance our estimation and the power of writers in Hollywood, however.

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Supreme Court Rules in Trademark Licensing Case

While most of the country only looks to the Supreme Court when matters of broad national importance are on the docket, it's worth observing the court on more under-the-radar issues that could still have a significant impact on businesses or individuals around the country. One recent case could have massive repercussions in bankruptcy cases for years to come.

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Supreme Court Copyright Ruling a Setback for Creators

Fighting piracy has proven to be one of the greatest challenges facing content creators in this century, and has proven troublesome ever since there existed the means to replicate the work of others. Creators lose billions collectively to piracy and theft, as too many others are all too willing to perpetrate a seemingly victimless crime. For many of the victims, legal action is the only means of redress against the injury done to them; given how hard it is to stamp out piracy once a work is disseminated online, even that can seem like an ineffectual tool against an overwhelming problem.

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Potential Legal Issues Facing Startups

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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Campbell's Wins Trademark for "Chunky" Soup

Strong branding is the backbone of any successful company, particularly those looking to appeal and sell to consumers. Businesses want potential customers to know what they can provide and loyal patrons to know what they can expect and count on from the products and services they provide. As such, it behooves any company to take steps to protect their particular intellectual property and brand, and to be vigilant in protecting that brand against potential infringement or degradation at the hands of imitators or competitors. And occasionally, those measures can seem a bit ridiculous to the general public.

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Mitigating Business Risk

Most of us don't like to consider it, but risk is a fact of life. We take chances every day, some greater than others. None of us know what the future holds, and that can be a frightening thought. But consciously or not, we all find ways to try and mitigate that risk. We lock our cars and homes. We drive within a reasonable range of the speed limit. We exercise and visit the doctor to try to stave off illness. And yet none of these things can completely prevent us from falling victim to unfortunate circumstances Part of life is learning how to live with risk, and the same can be applied to the business world.

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Spotify's Expansion Into India Slowed Over Licensing Problems

Intellectual property concerns and copyright law are big, important matters; we've preached that message in this space for years. Despite our messaging, that importance is often up to the interpretation of the reader; is it on par with getting insurance, or securing funding for your company? (Both important, by the way.) In many cases, it seems as though concerns over IP don't often rise to the level that they should, as potential issues to grind any company to a halt.

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Protecting Your Innovation, Part 1

For entrepreneurs and others involved with small businesses and startups, there is a lot of hard work that goes into trying to make the business a success. You spend long hours and untold effort into building a strong foundation for your company. Along the way, you undoubtedly make personal sacrifices to try and achieve your goals, missing out on time with friends and family to put the extra time in that will hopefully pay off in the long run. For founders and others who care deeply about the fortunes of the company, there is almost nothing within reason you wouldn’t do to make sure that your company’s future is secure.

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Fortnite Enters Legal Battle Royale Over Alleged Dance Theft

In the long tradition of youthful cultural crazes, Fortnite is the latest entry in a pantheon of things that, like sounds at a particularly high frequency, are lost on those over a certain age. For those as yet unaware, Fortnite is an online mulitplayer battle-royale game that is currently consuming the free hours of young people he world over. In addition to being all-consuming for kids, it's highly profitable for its creator, Epic Games, who reportedly brought in $3 billion in profit last year.

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Disney's "Hakuna Matata" Trademark Faces New Scrutiny

Few things can become as iconic as a catchphrase in a popular movie, and few things are as certain as movie studios looking to cash in on the popularity of their films in any way possible, especially when that studio is the commercial and cultural behemoth that is Disney. One doesn't need to look far to see how they've established themselves at the forefront of our cultural consciousness and, crucially, quite near our wallets as well. And for the tremendous benefits that the company has accrued itself through its aggressive branding, it has made missteps in its quest towards cultural domination.

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Tackling Your Biggest Business IP Risks

There's never a bad time to address and mitigate any of the potential risks that your business faces, but the new year is a particularly apt time for most people to reassess where their attentions and efforts have gone and where they should go in the coming months. It's a chance for all of us to do better and correct the mistakes of the past, and for businesses, it should provide an opportunity to gain a handle on that most vital part of any company's past, present and future: intellectual property.

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Protect Your IP in 2019

The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start in our personal and professional lives. But many still fail to tackle the intellectual property issues that their business could potentially have to deal with, resolutions or not. While you should be managing your IP from its inception, it's better to start late than never; here are some tips on identifying and protecting your IP for 2019.

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EU Cheese Copyright Case Probes the Idea of Taste

Dig hard enough, and you can find curious cases of copyright dispute around the world pertaining to things that you might never have guessed would be subject to a copyright claim. It seems that if there's a product or creation or invention worth protecting, people will take whatever steps necessary to try and protect it, even as it launches us into new and unexplored avenues of intellectual property that would seem more at place on the Food Network than in a courtroom.

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Trademark Lawsuit Sees Scouts at Odds

For those who follow the news, the rise in dissent and argument in public discourse is inexorably linked to the growing split between two bodies, once united in a common goal but now more divided than they've ever been. Heated rhetoric flies back and forth between the two parties and their designated representatives, with lines drawn in the sand and allegiances publicly declared. Neutral onlookers and the nation as a whole are left to wonder if there is any way to save the union and the higher ideals it is meant to represent.

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Bumble, Tinder Battle Over Trade Secrets

In what can be a cutthroat competitive landscape, small margins can have a big impact. It's small differences that can help to set one company ahead of another in the marketplace, and every business is striving to establish its own competitive edge. While most play within the rules (or at least keep their malfeasance from public view), we occasionally see the legal battling that happens when one business believes itself to be wronged by a competitor whom they accuse of stealing their work or ideas or knowledge to get ahead.

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