Lawrence G. Townsend Intellectual Property Lawyer
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December 2017 Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

A primer on Creative Commons licenses

The concept of copyright is generally straightforward. When you create something original, the law says the control over use and distribution is exclusively in your hands. As we noted in a previous post, however, the evolution of the internet has created new opportunities for plagiarism to occur - even if it happens to be unintentional.

Hey, that's my photo on your website


Hey, that's my photo on your website 

You've just written the best blog post of your life and now all you need is a photo to make it perfect. Since the post is about you taking a short break from accepting new clients, you decide the best photo is of a movie star famous for saying he'll be back. A quick Google image search and you have your photo.

What does dilution mean and how is it stopped?

Dilution can be a good thing and a bad thing. It all depends on the situation. For example, you wouldn't want to open a packet of powdered drink and chug it down. Rather, you want to dilute it with the appropriate amount of water. For an owner of a famous trademark, dilution is always a bad thing.

Tis the season to be wary

If you're doing any holiday shopping this season, chances are at least a portion of that activity will be happening online. Google and all the other search engines out there do an amazing job of delivering opportunities for getting just the right item at the best price. Sometimes the product comes direct from a manufacturer or brick and mortar retailer. Just as often, the same images and product descriptions appear on sites like YouTube, Amazon, eBay or Craig's List from third-party sellers.

How can I best protect my brand in the Chinese market?

San Francisco creatives, whether they are artists or forward-thinking business people, know globalization is not a passing fancy. Money-making opportunities abound in markets other than the United States, but taking advantage of them requires extreme due diligence to protect your interests. Without proper care, something could get lost in translation, literally, with harsh financial consequences.

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