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As a founding member of a business, are you a true owner of it’s Trade or Service Marks?


  FOUNDERS BEWARE Departing from your organization without an agreement as to ownership of intellectual property could mean leaving your property behind. In a decision by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the court determined that an originator of a service mark may not own the mark upon her departure from the organization she helped found. In Lyons v. Am. College of Veterinary Sports Med. & Rehab., the Federal Circuit heard a dispute over the ownership of a service mark between Lyons, the originator of the mark, and The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation (the “College”), the organization...

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What’s In A Name? The Protectable Expression Of An Idea vs. The Idea Itself

What's in a Name? A recent Stephen Colbert copyright infringement case brings to light the distinction between ideas and the expression of an idea, and whether either is subject to trademark, copyright, or the fair use doctrine. According to Bloomberg BNA, on a July 18 episode of the Late Show, the “real” Stephen Colbert brought back to life a previous version of a character in Stephen Colbert’s repertoire that is, according to Viacom’s attorneys, the protected intellectual property of the network. Problematically, that character is also named “Stephen Colbert.” In what may have been an effort to inject a bit of humor into...

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Criminal Liability of a Pregnant Woman For Acts Committed Against a Fetus

The Court of Appeals recently examined the Criminal Liability of a pregnant woman for acts committed against a fetus that is later born, and subsequently dies, as a result of injuries suffered before death. A Long Island women should not have been convicted of Second Manslaughter for the death of her 6 day old baby from in utero injuries sustained in a car accident she caused, the Court of Appeals Ruled. Jennifer Jorgenson was driving one night when her car crossed the center line of a busy road and smashed heads-on into an oncoming vehicle. The occupants of the other...

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