The laidback lifestyle in Hawaii makes it a wonderful place to visit. However, like other unique places on the planet, local residents and business take great care in protecting what makes the place special, especially when they see non-natives using the culture or names for financial gain. Hawaiians have moved to take action against a Hawaiian beer brewed on the mainland, a Chicago-based poke chain with the trademarked name of “Aloha,” and Hawaiian potato chips made on the mainland.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro has been in the news a lot since attempting to copyright his “Carlton” dance. At the beginning of this year, we wrote about how the actor took issue with the video game creators of Fortnite, who used a likeness of the actor’s signature dance from the show done as the character Carlton. The actor and his legal team also had launched a suit against Take-Two Interactive, which created the video game NBA2K16.
Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. has lost its bid to stop what it saw as trademark infringement by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). This suit was brought because BRP has an ATV sports vehicle with side-by-side seats named the Can-Am Defender. Jaguar contended that the ATV was an infringement on its Defender SUV, which the auto manufacturer called "the heart and soul of the Land Rover brand."
Amazon has ruffled the feathers of some of its clients recently. It started with selling private house brands of batteries and phone chargers and then expanded into toys, clothing and furniture. Soon companies complained that their online retail partner was creating cheaper products of its own to compete with theirs. There were also accusations that Amazon was not doing enough to eliminate independent companies selling knockoffs of established brands on Amazon.
The Supreme Court recently announced that it would examine whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can refuse to register immoral or scandalous trademarks. There is currently a 113-year-old statutory provision in place that supports this stance. However, the clothing line Fuct has sought trademark protection of its name since 2012.
An important day for the Kansas City area is almost here. On Monday, Nov. 12, a major weeklong conference begins — dedicated to supporting and celebrating innovative people who launch startup businesses — Global Entrepreneurship Week. As a regional law firm dedicated to protecting the intellectual property — inventions, brands, trade secrets, processes and creative works — of our entrepreneur and inventor clients, we at Hovey Williams LLP in Overland Park, Kansas, embrace this opportunity.
Starting a new company with a great new idea can be exciting, but there needs to be some clear boundaries if the founder is jumping from a job as an employee in the same field. While the idea may be a good one with lots of promise, many employees sign Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreements. This could mean that an idea created or developed while working for someone else is owned by that employer, even if the employee created the idea during off hours at home.
We are proud to announce that Hovey Williams partner Cheryl L. Burbach will present on the topic “Do You Own Your Intellectual Property?” at the 2nd Annual IMA Kansas City Fall Conference on Friday, October 26. Her presentation will include important information on these topics:
There are many reasons Kansas and Missouri residents may need support regarding intellectual property concerns, such as copyrights, patents or trade secrets. Intellectual property litigation is an area of law that has evolved alongside developments in technology and global commerce. Some property assets may even be 'ideas,' and problems can arise if disagreements occur regarding who owns a particular idea or whether someone's use of the idea infringes on another party's rights.
Progress in technology creates entrepreneurial opportunities in the world of commerce. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives may even base their commercial success on innovations brought about by advanced technology. As the world of business has expanded along with technological advancements, so too have disputes about technological intellectual property become more complex, both in and out of the courtroom.