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Recent Blog Posts

Who Is Using Your Trademark? (Google II)

New Legal Developments in Keyword Advertising Go ahead: after you google yourself, google your company name. We’ll wait. Hold on – did you see that? Above your company name is an ad from someone pretending to be a reseller of your product – but you’ve never heard of them. Can they do that? Can companies […]

Tips for Employers About Tips in California

California has a long tradition of being employee-friendly: covenants not to compete by employees are unenforceable, and the minimum wage is usually higher in California than that nationally. The same is true for professions with tips, which may be the next “hot” area of labor law in California. Employers whose employees earn tips had best get […]

Viva La Small Biz!

As the son of a stockbroker, I grew up listening to talk about large, well-established businesses. IBM. Gerber. Proctor & Gamble. All successful companies, in industries that will last a long time. But all, in their way, static. IBM’s headcount of American employees has been falling for years. Most Fortune 500 companies in America that […]

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 […]


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