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Author Archives: Thomas Bonte

Has “Google” Become Generic? (Google III)

My fellow Business of Media instructor, Eric Sinrod of Duane Morris, has a good article today about a lawsuit an Arizona entrepreneur has brought against Google, claiming that the trademark “Google” has become generic. One of the perils of a popular trademark is that when it becomes the term for the product or service itself, anyone […]

Bad News for Artists: California’s Resale Royalty Act Ruled Unconstituional

California’s Art Resale Royalty Act has been declared unconstitutional  by now former Central District of California Judge Jacqueline Nguyen. Judge Nguyen issued her ruling on May 12, two days before she received her commission to become a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She found the Resale Royalty Act to be unconstitutional because it […]

Insurance for IP Infringement Plaintiffs

Thanks to Annette Freeman, one of the world’s leading intellectual property authorities, I read an interesting article about insurance for intellectual property plaintiffs. Small companies worried about the cost of protecting their IP can buy this insurance, which will subsidize the cost of enforcing IP rights in court. The devil is in the details, of […]

California Supreme Court: Employers Do Not Have to Ensure Employees Take Breaks

The state Supreme Court has finally clarified California employer obligations regarding employee meal periods and rest breaks. As we predicted after the oral arguments in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (“Brinker”), the Court determined employers have no duty to ensure that employees perform no work during meal breaks. The Court also ruled on the number […]

From Consumer to Producer

The Economist reports that China is getting more serious about protecting intellectual property: “[T]he changes are also the result of China’s legal system getting better. Two decades ago, many judges were political or military appointees and ill-equipped to try technical cases. Thanks to better training, particularly in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, that is now much less […]

Wisdom of the Supremes

“For protection against abuses by legislatures the people must resort to the polls, not to the courts.” Munn v. Illinois, 94 US 113, 134 (1877). Courts are good at procedural issues, and rights protection. They are ill-equipped to decide the best way to do things.

ADA – Be Proactive

The volume of “snail mail” is down tremendously compared to a few years ago, so when a business owner gets a letter in the mail claiming that the business has a disability access problem, it should stand out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, even when it should. A letter about “ADA” is not something about your great-grandmother’s […]

A Few (Not Fifty!) Shades of Grey

The Supreme Court will be taking another crack at solving the grey market conundrum in a copyright infringement case that started here in California. In 2010, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Costco v. Omega, a Ninth Circuit case in which the maker of Omega watches sued Costco for legally buying Omega watches overseas at […]

Berne, Baby, Berne: International Copyright and You

© Bay Oak Law, 2012 Maybe its your company’s simple yet addictive game. Or perhaps it’s the new song your band wrote that is flooding the airwaves. Maybe its just your smartphone video of your pet yapping in time to a song. You immediately register your American copyright, yet within a few hours the Internet […]

Copyright Concerto for Campaigning

Way back in the paleolithic era, also known as September 1984, I was driving cross-country to a Congressional internship. I was listening to a local radio station that was broadcasting live from a campaign event for then-President Reagan. To warm up the crowd, the campaign played Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” and in the […]


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