The Traklight Blog

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

Modern Lawyers Making Quality Content | Legal Link Love

Traklight has always tried to demysify the legal space for consumers' benefit, especially when it comes intangible assets and intellectual property. It's even better when lawyers do the same and truly understand their clients' needs.

Yesterday may have been Mother's Day, but today we applaud you modern lawyers making make quality content! 

Here are our 3 current favorites who are making high quality content:

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Proper Citation Needed

The rules surrounding what material you can and can't use online can seem a bit confusing at times. Many people don't make much of an effort to hide their misappropriation, taking images and videos from other sources with no acknowledgment as to where it came from. Others make an effort to try and cite the source, but fall short of the accepted standards despite their best effort. You could argue that individuals from the latter camp are making a good faith effort, and that those from the former simply aren't aware of the rules and think that anything online is fair game. But ill intent or not, using work that doesn't belong to you can land you in hot water if you're caught.

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How Do Measures Against Online Piracy Actually Measure Up?

For the average internet user, the seemingly endless content found on the web is quite easily taken for granted. Most give no thought as to where the images, videos, or words that turn up in a simple search come from. But whether it's considered or not, all of this material has an owner somewhere. Fewer still are the number of internet denizens who would know how to properly cite someone else's material, or even think to. And recent data from Google show that more than ever, these owners are taking steps to protect their rights.

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A True Crowdfunder's Nightmare: The Importance of Safe Crowdfunding

To say that entrepreneurs work hard on their business is an understatement. They pour untold hours into their work, whether it's getting their venture off the ground or reaching for that next rung on the ladder of success. It would be fair to say that for most, it is their life's passion. Given that level of commitment, there are likely no more frightening, wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat scenarios about the theft of your idea. Unfortunately for one entrepreneur, she was forced to live that nightmare.

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Sony's Copyrighted Material Leaked, Possibly by North Koreans

In today's increasingly interconnected world, data security is as great of a concern as it has ever been. Even since an enterprising Ferris Bueller altered his attendance records to afford himself a day off, hacking has become far less farcical and far more malicious. From personal information to financial data, seemingly nothing is safe from the reaches of digital piracy. And one of Hollywood's largest studios has fallen prey to this scourge.

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9 Free Creative Resources for Businesses

*tears up*

I'm proud of the internet. I'm proud of what great software developers and user experience designers have accomplished together. A round of applause for everyone who has hunched over their computers for weeks to make resources available for the small businesses out there! Thank you.

And now it's time to showcase the fruit of their labor. Here are 9 Free Creative Resources for Businesses.

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Intellectual Property for Musicians: Types of Royalties in Music

So you have successfully created your first music album and you want to start generating some money from it with music royalties. Royalties come in different forms. As the owner of the intellectual property in the music you have created, you can create different streams of income by licensing different rights to your licensees. Here is an intellectual property summary on the difference between the three main types of music royalties:

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Why It's Important to Own the IP Rights to Your Work: Marvel vs. Kirby

Comic books have become the source material for most of our summer blockbusters, their inventive worlds consumed by the film industry Galactus to slake its hunger for profitable material. Their expansion to the big screen, along with forays into the worlds of television, video games, and other media, have turned superhero franchises into financial juggernauts. If the proliferation of comic book conventions is any indication, there are countless nerds breathlessly waiting to hand over their money to the Marvels and DCs of the world for a glimpse at Batman v. Superman, the Avengers v. Ultron, or the X-Men v. diminishing returns. And after years of dispute over a copyright lawsuit, an industry legend’s estate may be getting its due.

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TwitPic Learns a Trademark Lesson the Hard Way

For social media fans, Twitter is a great tool for staying informed on the latest news, sharing your personal adventures with your followers, or getting in fights with strangers (maybe that last part isn’t so great). And because Twitter has become a huge platform, with 271 million active monthly users, third parties are quick to integrate themselves with the site to try and take advantage of the huge market it offers. Just about every blog and news site you’ll read offers you the ability to post a story to your Twitter feed. Sites like Bit.ly offer link-shortening services so that you can share without running into the 140-character limit, and platforms like Instagram and Vine allow you to share what you’ve uploaded with them to your Twitter account. Unfortunately, due to a trademark scuffle, that list of apps will drop by one by the end of this month.

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Yes, Movie Piracy Is a Form of Intellectual Property Theft

We all like to keep up on the latest movies, whether they are action, drama, comedy, or the binary work of Nicolas Cage. And chances are, you’ve come across someone who may get these movies in a less-than-legal fashion, whether it be pirated DVDs or torrent file sharing. Undoubtedly, these people and many others like them would think that their actions are an innocuous, victimless crime against a large, faceless corporation that already makes enormous sums of money. But these movies are still the intellectual properties of their respective studios, and movie piracy is a matter these studios take very seriously, as one British man found out.

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Trademark Infringement on the Big Screen?

The world of comic books is a fanciful place, featuring heroes and villains that can seem wholly unrealistic but nevertheless fun. Indeed, if recent box office returns are any indication, our appetite for movies based on those characters have never been higher. Our summers for years to come would appear to be stocked with films that will take us to realms of men of iron, women of wonder, and delightful dancing trees. But one software company tried to claim there’s a bit too much reality in one of our most iconic hero’s films, to no avail.

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Trademark Infringement Battle of the Comic-Cons

Every July, thousands of pop culture enthusiasts descent on San Diego to take part in what has become the preeminent event in geek culture: San Diego Comic-Con. Fans come looking for merchandise, panel discussions, and the latest news on all their favorite franchises, and entertainment studios are more than willing to oblige in an effort to build excitement for upcoming projects. The name Comic-Con has become synonymous with big stars, bigger films, and internet-melting news. But alleged misuse of the name on the part of another convention has prompted legal action that might determine the course of similarly named events across the country with a trademark infringement battle.

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Snapchat Files Trademarks as Part of IP Protection Strategy

For those not keeping up with the technological trends of America’s youths, Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to send photos and videos to contacts that are supposed to delete themselves after a few seconds. It gives young people a fun, fast, and free means to communicate with one another that won’t regrettably wind up in the ether of the internet (although that claim has been brought into question). But if recent trademark filings are any indication, the company might be looking to monetize their app in the future.

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LOT Network to Protect Intellectual Property Against Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have long been a scourge to innovators and entrepreneurs, using their claim on overly vague patents to pursue legal action against businesses with the intent of winning a settlement, while never actually attempting to use the patent to develop their own product. But now a cadre of tech companies has joined together in an effort to curb patent litigation and protect themselves from future trolling, save the type found in internet comment sections.

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Trademarks in Media: Tyler Perry Wins Mark For "What Would Jesus Do"

If you are a fan of the performing arts, it would be hard not to possess at least a tangential knowledge of Tyler Perry. He’s written or had a hand in numerous plays, movies, books, and television series, almost all with his name prominently featured in the title to draw fans in. Unfortunately, his endeavor into realm of  trademarks in media has landed him into a bit of legal drama that he might rather his name not be attached to.

Perry was awarded the trademark to the phrase “What Would Jesus Do” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in his battle with Kimberly Kearney, a former contestant on the VH1 reality series I Want to Work for Diddy. When Perry originally filed for the trademark in May 2008, Kearney had already made a filing on the phrase five months earlier with the intent to create a reality television show. When Kearney’s filing was published for opposition in 2010, Perry and his aptly-named Tyler Perry Studios challenged, claiming no use on the part of Kearney. Kearney and her lawyers argued that she had shared the program and title with Tyler Perry Studios and had solicited funding in the early stages of production and that Perry and his studio subsequently filed their trademark claim after learning of the show.

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Company Files Trademark Related To Internet Meme

If you don’t know what an internet meme is, let me first congratulate you on living what is most likely an emotionally healthy and self-actualized life. For the rest of us who plumb the depths of the internet daily, we know that a meme is a type of shorthand to express a certain reaction, ranging from socially awkward penguins to grumpy cats to Captain Picard expressing his incredulity with salty language, and anything in between. One of the most popular of all internet memes is that of Doge, a picture of a Shiba Inu dog expressing its amazement in a series of somewhat nonsensical phrases. But as one company looks to capitalize on the popularity of the meme, it might find itself in for many legal challenges and much aggravation.

Ultra Star Entertainment LLC has filed to trademark the use of the word “doge” for use on clothing, specifically “men’s women’s and children’s wearing apparel, namely, shirts, pants, jeans, sweaters, sweatpants, sweatshirts, shorts, T-shirts, and pajamas.” While this certainly isn’t the first attempt to monetize an internet meme, the Ultra Star filing may have further reaching consequences than a property such as Grumpy Cat (who would undoubtedly be in favor of consequences of any kind). The doge meme served as the inspiration for the creators of the cryprocurrency Dogecoin (not to be confused with Bitcoin.) When news of the Ultra Pro filing began to circulate the Internet, the digital currency platform Moolah announced its intentions to file in opposition to the trademark application on Twitter:

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Blogging + IKEA = Intellectual Property Infringement

Chances are you or someone you know has purchased and assembled furniture from IKEA. It’s a Herculean task to attempt solo, and if you undertake it with a friend or loved one, your relationship may not survive the strain. Those of us who have come out the other end of the building process sweaty and filled with impotent rage may wonder how anyone might have anything beyond a grudging respect for IKEA, to say nothing of love. But the company has more than its share of passionate fans in online communities, spreading their love of pre-packaged furniture across the internet. Unfortunately, one blogger who runs a site devoted to the Swedish furniture giants and their products may find herself in an intellectual property infringement legal bind that will take more than an allen wrench to solve.

IKEA sent a cease-and-desist letter to the founder of IKEAhackers.net, demanding she transfer the domain over to the company. The site shows users how to transform and repurpose furniture and other goods from the store into new and innovative products. IKEAhackers.net was started eight years ago by a Malaysian blogger using the pseudonym Jules Yap, and has cultivated a considerable following amongst fans looking to share their IKEA hacks with fellow enthusiasts. Traffic on the site grew to the point that Yap was able to sell advertising, allowing her to keep maintaining the site as a full time occupation. It was this commercialization of the site that seems to have finally placed the site in IKEA’s legal crosshairs, prompting the company to take action.

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