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Author Archives: Martindale Admin

Game of — Pawns?

The FBI tells the story of Glenn Shriver, a former college student from Michigan who learned Mandarin and lived in China in 2004. He made some friends who encouraged him to find a job with the US government. He received some $70,000 merely to apply for such a job, but by the time the FBI arrested him, he realized that his friends were actually intelligence agents wanting to place a mole inside US agencies.
National agencies are not the only targets. US companies are also subject to foreign espionage. Just last month, the Justice Department announced indictments of five members of China’s military for stealing US companies’ trade secrets.

DESIGN PATENTS — The IP Solution for Many Small Businesses

By:  Sharon Adams The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently commemorated the issuance of the 700,000th design patent for a “Hand-Held Learning Apparatus” currently assigned to the Emeryville, California-based LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. A design patent often is an excellent intellectual property solution for many small businesses, especially businesses selling a product.  If the […]

Phishing Scam Alert

Our friends at Boyer & Conniff shared this warning about IRS scams: Important reminder The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers to request personal or financial information by email, texting, or any social media. The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a […]

Trade Secrets Done Right

A recent San Mateo County case, Altavion v. Konica Minolta Systems Laboratory, Inc. , shows how a plaintiff can identify trade secrets with reasonable particularity on the way to winning a $4.8 million trade secret misappropriation case.

“Who Gave You Permission to Make That?” The Intellectual Property Implications of 3D Printing.

Although 3D printing has been around since the early 1980s, recent improvements and price decreases of 3D printing technology has made it available to an increasing number of businesses and consumers. Advances in the technology have allowed designers to 3D print designs virtually impossible to make just a few years ago, from an assortment of materials ranging from plastic to living cells. The price barrier to 3D printing has finally lowered to a point where regular consumers have begun entering the marketplace and companies such as Stratasys and 3D Systems have begun making relatively inexpensive lines of 3D “desktop” printers targeted at consumers. 3D printing, much like the PC in the early 1980s, is poised to make the leap from the domain of big businesses, researchers, and hobbyists to everyday consumers and small businesses.

Where Exceptional Becomes Normal

by: Andrew K Jacobson Garrison Keillor’s fictional Lake Wobegon is famous as the place “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Exceptional gets defined down when it applies to everyone. Last month, the US Supreme Court has defined down the term exceptional regarding patent […]

Unclassy Action

By Andrew Jacobson The class action lawsuit that engineers brought against seven of the biggest Silicon Valley companies has been tentatively settled for about $324 million. Divided equally among the 64,000 class members after paying attorneys’ fees, each engineer would get about $3,500 – about one paycheck per engineer, hardly the mother lode some were […]

Forming a Business Entity… Which Entity is Right for Your Small Business or Start-up?

By Daniel Richardson One of the most common questions I am asked by owners of small businesses and start-ups is whether they should form a business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), and, if so, which is best for them. This is a vital question for any business. Limited liability is […]

Copyright Trolls? Or an Innovative Business Model by Getty Images?

By Sharon Adams Certain large companies, including Getty Images, routinely send out demand letters claiming copyright infringement.  However, the actual validity of alleged infringement is rarely, if ever, tested in court.  Getty Images seems to have perfected the “price point” for extracting money based on weak claims of copyright infringement. Getty Images is a private […]

Shallow Pockets

By Andrew Jacobson The first question plaintiff lawyers ask when a new lawsuit comes their way is “where are the deep pockets?” Suing the villain is fine, but winning only gets a piece of paper called a judgment. You need to sue and beat someone with money to pay for a judgment – deep pockets. […]


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