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Why You Can’t Google on Google (and Other Trademark Lessons)

by / ⠀Startup Advice / June 20, 2012

As I’ve discussed previously, one way for trademark owners to protect the rights in their brands is to file UDRP domain name enforcement actions to acquire third-party domains that incorporate their trademarks. Big companies do this against cybersquatters all the time, and it’s really just basic good business and legal policy to take an active approach to protecting your brands online. Google, Inc., of course, is no different.…

Getting Started with Your Trademark Registration Application

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 28, 2012

You know you need to do it. In fact, you know you should have done it a long time ago. But, you put it off for another day, and according to your calendar, that day is today. Instead of clicking that “Snooze – 2 weeks” option, take the following steps to get started with your trademark registration application today. Determine What Your Trademark(s) Is/Are The first step to…

How to Address Domain Name and USPTO Registrations that Interfere with Your Trademark

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 7, 2012

If one person attempts to register a trademark or domain name that is too similar to another person’s pre-existing registered trademark, there are two relatively efficient and inexpensive courses of action that can be used to either (i) compel a transfer of rights, or (ii) prevent the registration from being issued. As a refresher, improper use of a domain name or trademark that is too similar to a…

Lessons in Trademark Use from The Hangover: Part II

by / ⠀Startup Advice / April 18, 2012

When luxury handbag maker Louis Vuitton sued Warner Bros. in late 2011 seeking possession of each and every copy of The Hangover: Part II, there no doubt were several commentators who dismissed the lawsuit out of hand, and probably accused Louis Vuitton of going too far in trying to police use of its famous “LV” logo. However, when you dig a little deeper, and really understand the reasoning…

What Happens When You Don’t Do Due Diligence on Your Trademark

by / ⠀Startup Advice / April 3, 2012

Many – too many – entrepreneurs and business owners I encounter have the following mindset when it comes to adopting a new trademark: “There were no exact matches on the USPTO database and the .com domain name was available, and that’s good enough for me.” While that may all be true, it may or may not be good enough for the USPTO, and it’s certainly not good enough…

How to Protect Your Brands and Content on the Web

by / ⠀Startup Advice / March 9, 2012

When (not if) someone does something online that violates your intellectual property rights, there are three useful tools that can help you regain exclusivity and maintain control of your image on the web. These won’t work in all cases, but when they do, they are good, cheap alternatives to traditional litigation. Domain Names that Infringe on Trademark Rights If someone else registers a domain name that is confusingly…

5 Tips to Be Smart About Trademark Selection

by / ⠀Startup Advice / February 28, 2012

With new startups starting up on a daily (if not hourly) basis, it is becoming more important now than ever to adopt a trademark that works to immediately distinguish your business from its competitors in the marketplace. Not only that, but you also must be careful to avoid adopting a trademark that infringes on someone else’s pre-existing trademark rights. Here are five tips for being smart about selecting…

Lessons in Trademark Protection from Beyoncé and Jay-Z

by / ⠀Personal Branding Startup Advice / February 14, 2012

Celebrity babies are big business, there’s no question about that. This, coupled with Jay-Z’s demonstrated business acumen, makes it no surprise that Hova and Beyoncé filed just a few weeks ago to register “Blue Ivy Carter” as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This would be enough to make headlines in itself this day in age. However, there are several important underlying facts…

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