Lawrence G. Townsend Intellectual Property Lawyer
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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.

7 steps to protect your trade secrets

It could be a scene from almost any of the Mission Impossible movies. The man—wearing all black, of course—plummets down the air shaft until his harness stops him mere inches from the floor. In a flash, he’s typing away on a nearby computer terminal. After a tense moment, the man announces into his headset, “I’m in.”

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.

Dollars and scents: Trademark disputes over smells


Dollars and scents: Trademark disputes over smells 

Traditionally, trademarks have consisted of logos or brand names that are uniquely associated with a particular company. However, trademarks aren't necessarily limited to logos or names. In rare cases, they can be a nonconventional part of the product -- such as its scent.

4 ways startup founders can prevent trade secret lawsuits


4 ways startup founders can prevent trade secret lawsuits

Lawsuits from an old employer can add up to expensive legal problems for a new business owner. Many startup founders face accusations from their old employers, claiming that they stole trade secrets. Startup owners may fear that they do not have the resources to fight back against these lawsuits. A trade secret claim is at the heart of a $2.6 billion lawsuit Google filed against Uber for trade secret theft. The problems started when Uber bought Otto, a self-driving car startup founded by a former Google employee. Following are four steps startup founders can take to help prevent trade secret lawsuits brought by former employers.

Someone used my work online without my permission. Now what?


Someone used my work online without my permission. Now what?

In this age of the internet, when even grade school children have instant access to the world online, it seems quite normal for people to share images and words from screen to screen at the touch of a button. It only takes a tap or two to copy articles, download photos and otherwise make use of the vast abundance of material on the Web.

What California employees need to know about non-compete agreements

If a business’s profits depend on trade secrets, it is not unreasonable for the business to want to keep those secrets. Some businesses try to prevent their secrets from being spread by legally preventing their employees from telling those secrets, even after the employees have left their company. This type of legal arrangement is known as a non-compete agreement.

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