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Protecting Your Trade Secrets

By definition, a trade secret can be almost anything that has economic value and provides a competitive advantage. A well-known example of a well-kept trade secret is the Coca-Cola formula. Since 1891, founder Asa Candler maintained strict policies to keep and protect the formula from the public. Each state has its own laws for protecting trade secrets, but all... read more

Is CBD Federally Legal?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the primary cannabinoids naturally occurring in plants with the genus Cannabis sativa L. CBD is non-intoxicating and often used in products to combat pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Sales of products containing cannibidiol (CBD) continue to increase as consumers begin to recognize the health benefits CBD affords. While most cannabis products are sold through highly... read more

Summary of Pending California Cannabis Legislation

As the California state legislature is back from summer recess, it is an apt opportunity to provide an overview of the pending legislation relating to cannabis trademarks, advertisement, packaging, and labeling. Unsurprisingly, child protection from cannabis products is one of the major drivers in these proposed bills. Additionally, the legislature’s regulations are designed to promote consumer safety and prevent... read more

Proposed California Bill to Ban Cannabis-Branded Merchandise Under SB 162 (Update)

Updated to reflect the Assembly amendments made on July 20, 2017. (Revisions to this previously posted article are in bold or in red.) On June 27, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 94 into law effectively repealing MCRSA and AUMA, combining regulations governing medical and adult-use cannabis under the Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act (MAUCRSA)—that’s a mouthful.... read more

Famous Trademarks & Cannabis Branding

By definition, trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a mark on goods or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake as to the source of the products. However, all trademarks are not created equal and stronger marks enjoy a broader scope of protection. In fact, trademark owners of U.S. registrations for strong... read more

Copyright v. Trademark Protection for Logos

Copyright protection may provide an alternate path to protecting a logo or design mark. Unlike trademark law, copyright law does not extend to protection to a word or phrase, such as a business name, but rather, it covers original works of art, including logos, infographics, and designs. In order to qualify for copyright protection, a work must meet three... read more

Is an IP Holding Company Right for Your Business?

A “holding company” is a business organizational structure that is set up as a corporation or limited liability company for the sole purpose of owning and maintaining particular assets. It is common to set up holding companies to manage and license intellectual property (IP) assets, i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. IP holding companies may be attractive due... read more

On borrowing a “devilishly close” famous name

Among the “best ofs” for 2013 was Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Valuable Brands. Technology companies dominate, with Apple®, Microsoft®, IBM®, Google®, Intel®, and Samsung® holding 6 of the top 10 positions on the list. The others were Coca-Cola®, McDonald’s®, General Electric® and Louis Vuitton®. These are some examples of famous marks for brands that represent many years... read more

The Distinguished Mark: Stronger in Court

When choosing brand names, because all marks are not created equal, my advice is almost always to choose a strong mark. But there are pros and cons. Legally, a strong mark is more protectable. When considering whether there is an actionable infringement, we consider the marks’ similarity, whether the products are related, channels of trade, sophistication of the relevant... read more

New domain deadlines, updated

New top-level Internet domain names–more than a thousand more specific replacements for .com—are now being delegated to their new owners at a steady pace. For trademark holders registered with the ICANN Trademark Clearing House, “sunrise periods” of typically 60 days are set aside for priority registrations of MYBRAND secondary domain names, such as mybrand.technology.  Those marks not registered at... read more

On the new-name Internet, trademark deadlines loom

A new year is an especially good time to take a look at whole new territories opening up on the World Wide Web, and how that affects trademark holders whose names can become domain names in the new, expanded Internet. Where .com has reigned supreme, now comes .computer, .graphics, and .onl (short for online) – new generic top level... read more

Sunrise approaches: reserve your mark in the new domains NOW

Throughout 2013, I have obsessively focused on the new Top Level Domains (TLDs). And here is more recent news on the TLD front: sunrise periods for new TLDs—when trademark holders can reserve their protected marks before others can buy them up–are imminent. Sunrise periods will last at least two months. Based on currently available information, on October 31, 2013,... read more

New TLDs debut; Refresh Web addresses NOW

Many of my communications during 2013 focused on the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) that are just starting to appear publicly. While I understand that you may be skeptical and taking a wait-and and-see approach, please consider: 1. An interesting article, Call to Action: Prepare for New gTLDs 2. I saw the first television commercial for the new TLDs.... read more

Recommended Browsing: Evoke Law Essential Links

Not long ago, a business was judged by the strength of one’s Rolodex® entries. Twenty-first century business thrives on having the right online connections at LinkedIn®, Facebook® and other key sites. A critical aspect of practicing trademark and copyright law is reviewing the facts in the context of the law.  The Internet provides access to select facts in an... read more

Bye-bye Dotcom?

The Internet is getting a facelift. By the end of 2013, the first of more than 1400 new applied-for Internet addresses will pop up in place of that old friend “.com” as the Internet authority ICANN awards new top-level domains. If you’re one of many who didn’t get the dotcom address you wanted, here comes half a ton of... read more

No way to treat a fan

World Nutella Day originated in 2007 when Sara Rosso, an American blogger living in Italy, recognizing that even with 365 days on the calendar, not one lionized the Nutella® hazelnut-chocolate treat. Sara enlisted Michelle Fabio, an American lawyer-turned-freelance writer and editor, living in her family’s ancestral village in Calabria, Italy World Nutella Day was born: www.nutelladay.com. Trademark holder Ferrero:... read more

The Time Is Now: Trademark ClearingHouse Opens March 26, 2013

At long last, the new Internet generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) scheme is launching as early as April 2013. In addition to the ubiquitous .com, .net, .org, and .edu domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened the word after the dot (that’s the top-level domain) to generic words and brand names. [The application window... read more

Small-claims copyright court for US?

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries…” —United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. Owning a copyright can be a great fortune. The United States constitution provides for exclusive rights in writings, as expressed in copyright law... read more
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