Creators in Colorado depend on registration at the U.S. Copyright Office to protect their ownership of intellectual property. A case that hinges upon when copyright registration actually takes place is now before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Justices must reconcile the differing views about registration that emerged from lower courts to determine an infringement case's ability to go forward.
Intellectual property infringement may refer to violation of a copyright, a trademark, a patent or a trade secret. However, each of these is different. A person who has written something that is published or unpublished, including a novel, a television show or website, generally owns the copyright. If someone else takes the work and claims it as their own without permission, this is copyright infringement.
Colorado startups and existing companies in a wide range of industries are trying to take advantage of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Many of these companies are creating new coins, software and infrastructure to support their ventures. As part of the process, experts say they should strongly consider protecting their intellectual property. There are several different types of IP protection available depending on the type of information involved.
Business owners in Colorado may file a lawsuit in federal court alleging infringement of intellectual property rights when they believe that another company has unlawfully stolen or used intellectual property such newly developed technology. One such lawsuit between Facebook and ZeniMax Media has settled out of court.
An objection over the racial makeup of the pool of potential arbitrators in the intellectual property lawsuit between Jay-Z and Iconix Brand Group appears to be resolved, according to recent court filings. This change could have an impact on Colorado entrepreneurs involved in the arbitration process going forward.
There are several well-known laws protecting Colorado entrepreneurs from intellectual property infringements. Common protections include copyright and trademark laws. However, two recent cases have highlighted a more obscure intellectual property protection: the design patent.
Companies in Denver, Colorado, are understandably concerned about protecting their trade secrets. Although not all trade secrets are as renowned as the formula for Coca-Cola or the recipe for Colonel Sanders chicken, most businesses have proprietary information that they do not want released to the public. This could include things like the methods they use to carry out their business and manufacturing techniques.
People and businesses in Colorado may be concerned about an alert issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Oct. 19. The agency sent a message warning about a scam that aims to hijack trademark files for their use in third-party brand registries. This scheme was discovered after multiple trademark holders found that there had been changes to their files at the USPTO that they did not authorize. The changes affected both applications and completed registrations.
The company producing a new brand of whiskey inspired by Bob Dylan's 1973 hit song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" could soon be knocking on the courthouse door. Heaven Hill, a whiskey brand established since 1937, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the new brand name and logo for Heaven's Door whiskey is substantially similar to Heaven Hill's products and could confuse alcohol consumers in Colorado and elsewhere.
Colorado entrepreneurs who are starting new ventures must take steps to identify and protect their intellectual property. They should keep in mind that IP is more than just the product they are developing. It may also include logos, website copy, taglines and other assets. The best way to make sure that all intellectual property is identified is to list all creative assets and then consider whether each one needs protection.