John Weaver

IP Ownership: Who Owns Your Code?

IP is usually the most valuable asset a startup owns. But ownership of IP isn’t always as clear as entrepreneurs would prefer. Here’s a hypothetical situation:   A + B start a company named ABCo. They have a great idea for a product, but no cash. So they agree to take stock in  ABCo. instead of salary. Then they hire C, a developer, to help build their product. They pay C with stock, too. One…

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At Will Employment for Employers

So you’re thinking of hiring an employee or two. Before taking this important step toward establishing or expanding your business, it’s important to have a basic understanding of some key employment law concepts. Employment law can be a complicated area, as it is often governed by both state and federal law. Some important issues, such as at-will employment, are governed by state law, while other areas like overtime compensation and employee status (exempt vs. non-exempt)…

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Copyright Basics: Originality & Exclusive Rights

In prior posts, I discussed the basic law of trademarks—an important intellectual-property right for identifying and protecting brands. Copyright is another intellectual-property tool that our Founding Fathers considered so important, they specifically accounted for it in the United States Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power: “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right…

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Trademark Dilution: Not Confusing. Still Unlawful.

In a previous post, I mentioned that there are two common ways in which a trademark holder’s rights can be infringed: direct infringement and dilution. Direct infringement occurs when one person uses another person’s trademark in a way that is likely to confuse the public as to the source of a particular good or service. Dilution, on the other hand, occurs when a trademark loses its distinct reference to one specific brand and starts representing…

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Recognizing Direct Trademark Infringement

stansburylegal.com/…/trademark-basics-what-is-a-trademark In last week’s post, I explained some of the basics of what a trademark is, and how it protects both businesses and consumers. Once a valid trademark has been established, the holder of that mark can enforce its rights against other businesses or individuals who infringe upon them. Remember that the purpose of a trademark is to identify and distinguish the source of particular goods or services. Trademark rights are infringed when a third…

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Trademark Basics: What is a Trademark?

You see trademark and service mark symbols every day. But what do they really mean?

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The Marketer’s Guide to Making Green Claims

The FTC’s long-awaited Green Guides provide guidelines for how marketers should be making environmental claims in advertisements and on product packaging.

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Advertising “Up To” Claims

An FTC study shows that many consumers interpret “up to” claims–like, save up to 50%–to mean that the average user achieves those results. Knowing that consumers may be deceived by this language, advertisers should be cautious to fully disclose truthful averages, rather than simply one-off “up to” figures.

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On Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements

If your company has trade secrets or confidential information, you should fully understand and employ confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements.

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