Many business owners in Colorado and around the country are finding it increasingly difficult to protect their intellectual property in the information age. Eight out of ten of the senior executives who were surveyed in a poll said that intellectual property infringement was becoming more common, but many of them also said that they were doing little to keep track of or address the problem.
Colorado residents who are following the development of driverless car technology may be interested in learning about the latest twist in the ongoing litigation between Waymo and Uber over Waymo's driverless car technology. Waymo previously filed a trade secrets and unfair competition lawsuit against Uber. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant and one of Waymo's former employees infringed on Waymo's patented technology and used it in Uber's driverless cars. Uber filed a motion to force Waymo into arbitration and to stay it while related federal patent infringement litigation is proceeding.
Colorado residents may be aware of the ongoing legal dispute between Alphabet and Uber about self-driving car technology. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, previously filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Uber, and the company has now added a patent claim to its complaint.
Some Colorado businesses want to trademark a family of marks that they have been using in their advertising. In order to better understand what is required to do so, business owners might want to be aware of a case involving Little Caesar's.
Many people in Colorado use Apple products for business and personal use. Now, the complex technology that goes into creating many of those devices has become the subject of patent infringement claims. On Dec. 21, Nokia OYJ filed two lawsuits against Apple Inc. over dozens of alleged patent violations. The lawsuits involve technology that is used to create products such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac computers.
When forming a business in Colorado, naming the business represents an important first step. In many cases, the business owner will want to trademark the name or elements of the products or services to create a brand identity separate from competitors. Before making a final decision, the business person must determine if the soon-to-be-trademarked identity is not already in use.
Colorado businesses are usually allowed to register any of their trademarks as long as no other party has already done so. However, the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act states that a request for trademark registration may be refused if the content of the trademark may disparage persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.
Some of the most valuable assets that are owned by Colorado companies fall under the category of intellectual property, or IP. There are four different kinds of IP, and a company may need to take action to protect all of them. Copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets can all be protected with legal licenses and an IP management plan.
Many Colorado companies possess valuable intellectual property assets such as software code, patents, trademarks and copyrights vital for marketplace advantages. Interviewing job candidates or having employees lured away by competitors present two situations when intellectual property could be compromised by outsiders.
Intellectual property is governed by the state laws of Colorado and the federal laws of the United States. In the brand- and information-focused business world, many of a company's most valuable assets may fall into the intellectual property category. There are four types of intellectual property: patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.