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Aliso Viejo California Intellectual Property Law Blog

Harley-Davidson sues over trademark infringement

If you're familiar with Harley-Davidson, then you probably recognize its logo and materials. The bold orange, black and white logo draws instant attention and is notorious in the biker community.

The company recently was in the news because of a claim that Affliction, a California-based clothing company, had infringed on its intellectual property. The lawsuit claims the company may have copied the company's logo and colors.

When can you legally use images from the internet?

You just wanted to create a cool project for your school. You decided to make a screen-printed T-shirt. You took an image you love off Google, and then you printed it onto a shirt. Everyone loved it, but when you went to sell it online, you got a notice that you needed to stop. If you didn't, you could face legal action. What happened?

If you've taken images from Google or off social media without permission, you may have violated the law without even knowing it. When you use media for any kind of digital project, you need to make sure you have the right to use those images.

What can you get a patent for?

When you have products that you want to protect, you may want to consider getting a patent. Certain items, like electronic devices or some kinds of plants, could be patented if they meet the criteria set by the government.

A patent protects your product. It means that no one else can use it without your permission. If they do, you have a legal right to make them stop and to fight for compensation.

Understanding the types of intellectual property

Some ideas can give way to producing a product or service that amasses great revenue. However, if individuals are not careful to protect their intellectual property, other entities may try to profit off of them.

There are three main types of intellectual property. Understanding these may better equip entrepreneurs to protect their developments.

Trade secrets: Keeping them safe from others

It was a "Eureka!" moment when you finally created a product you wanted to sell to others. You quickly began to create plans for your business, knowing that it would be successful. No one else has anything like you're creating, and that means great things for your future.

One thing you should remember is that you shouldn't share too much about your trade secrets. Giving away too much information before you've protected yourself could end badly for you.

Counterfeiting: Avoid getting scammed with fake products

In the most generalized understanding, counterfeiting can be described as the sale or use of fraudulent imitations of genuine goods. With that far sweeping definition, it can be confusing to know what actually qualifies as counterfeiting.

Protecting your business starts from day 1

Your intellectual property is an important part of your business. It might be a new product, a new idea about how to run your business or promote something important to you or just something that you think might need legal protection. In business, it's important to realize that the only way to protect yourself is to make sure you're taking steps to protect your property, whether that property is an idea or physical asset.

Whenever you start creating a new product, want to open a business or make other plans, it's time to start protecting your business. You want to make sure that others who might take your ideas or business plans don't get the opportunity to do so. You want to know your business name, logo and other important designs only belong to you and won't be stolen by others.

Buzzbox and BuzzBallz to fight it out in court over logo

If you enjoy having a few drinks here and there, you may be familiar with the company Buzzbox Beverages. This company sells premixed cocktails in local stores.

The company uses promotional items that show models lounging on yachts and drinking juice boxes of the product. While the company is doing well, everything is not perfect.

International patents: The right steps protect your property

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is an important international patent law. It allows individuals to file an international application for a patent as long as they are living in a country that was part of the Paris Convention of the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883. While that convention ended in 1970, it was later amended and modified, so it's still used today.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty allows you to file an international patent application. You can file it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) if you're living in the United States, for example. Then, the patent application, when approved, gives you patent protection in several countries immediately without further applications required. If you can't file with the USPTO, you can also file with the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is located in Geneva.

TaylorMade now going after PXG in patent infringement dispute

When someone takes your intellectual property or abuses your patent, it's your right to pursue a claim against that individual. When it's a company that does so obviously and it begins to affect your business, it becomes very important to address the issue quickly.

Take for example this case involving the golfing companies TaylorMade and PXG. TaylorMade is accusing PXG of violating several patents it holds for different woods and irons. The company submitted the counterclaim after being accused of violating patents held by PXG previously. It claims it isn't violating any of PXG's patents and would like to have the court stop PXG from selling many of its products including PXG woods, the 0341 fairway woods and 0811 drivers. It also asks that the company stops selling several of its irons including the 0311, 0311T, 0311X and 0311XF.

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