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Five Crucial Practices For Protecting Intellectual Property

You have successfully developed intellectual property that sets you and your company apart in a crowded market. However, if you thought creating unique intellectual property, or IP, was the hard part, you are wrong. Now comes the real challenge: Protecting your IP from a horde of global competitors who are eager to use it for themselves.

There are several techniques that you can use to protect your IP. In this post, we will examine five of the most important.

Understanding fair use: When is it ok to use my work?

As an artist or creator, you take great pleasure in seeing the effect your work has on others. Unfortunately, there are numerous people out there who do not understand the difference between inspiration and plagiarism. When someone tries to replicate or sell your work without your permission, you can find them liable for copyright infringement and sue them for any money they have cost you.

However, not all usage of your work without permission is copyright infringement. The defendant can claim that the usage of your work was under fair use. Before you file a copyright infringement lawsuit on the supposed wrongdoer, you should learn about what California classifies as fair usage of your material and what the limitations are.

Preparing an expert witness for trial

Testifying at a trial can be stressful, even if the witness has testified before. If the jury senses the witness is unprepared, it is difficult to gain back confidence in that witness. Thorough preparation before trial may help avoid the damage an unprepared witness can inflict on your case.

The basis of testifying is to tell the truth. This may sound easy, but there are steps to follow before and while an expert witness is on the stand.

How trial attorneys persuade the jury

The main goal of a trial attorney is to persuade the jury or, in a bench trial, the judge. To achieve this, lawyers need more than logical arguments. Persuasion is more than convincing. This strategy uses both emotion and appeal to reason. Persuasion includes getting the audience on your side by maximizing your strong points and minimizing your weaknesses.

Trial persuasion techniques and styles will depend on who the lawyer is presenting the case to. In front of the judge, trial lawyers may refrain from using emotion as a tactic. The persuasion is done using effective legal analysis. Persuasion is different in front of a jury. Jurors are typically unfamiliar with legal terms and concepts, and lawyers may use this to their advantage. The use of appropriate emotions is important so that the jurors can empathize, understanding the case and the client.

Preparing for testimony

When you are about to embark on litigation, one common source of substantial stress is testimony. However, proper preparation and explanation helps you feel confident and at ease, once you know what to expect. Deposition testimony is a little different than trial testimony; but you are required to be truthful when responding during both. Particularly when preparing to testify in front of a judge and jury, be aware of how you present yourself to others, as you will be watched.

Michael Jackson’s estate sues over alleged copyright infringement

Michael Jackson’s estate is suing the Walt Disney Company and ABC TV over federal copyright infringement from the airing of the documentary, The Last Days of Michael Jackson.

According to Rolling Stone, the estate alleges that dozens of copyrighted works, like the songs “Beat It” and “Billie Jean,” were used without the estate’s consent. The copyrighted material also included large portions of Jackson’s music videos, video of live performances, documentary footage, and images from the film, Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Tattoos and IP rights: Whose ink is it anyway?

For tattoo artists whose work appears on people who later become famous, should they be compensated for the use of their art? Or does that opportunity end when the client leaves the studio?

Tattoos are becoming more prevalent, making it more likely that the tattoo someone is creating today could be on a movie poster tomorrow.

What is a copyright?

You may be a painter, songwriter, author, photographer, director or even an architect. No matter what form of art you choose to express yourself, you take great pride in it.

What if someone came along and just took it right from under your nose? What? That would never happen to you, right? Unfortunately, it happens every single day. That is why copyright laws exist: To protect people just like you and your ownership rights. So, what is a copyright exactly? What does it do, and more importantly, how can it protect you?

An experienced attorney can advise you about the copyright laws and your particular rights. However, in general, a copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution. It is granted by law for original works of authorship, fixed in a tangible medium of expression. It covers both published and unpublished works.

A copyright is not the same as a patent or a trademark. The difference is that a trademark protects symbols, designs, words or even phrases, while a patent protects discoveries or ideas.

On copyright, publishing and nom-de-plumes

What do Mary Ann Evans, Eric Blair and Ted Geisel have in common? They are all the real people behind famous pseudonyms (George Eliot, George Orwell and Dr. Seuss respectively.) The pen name is a classic strategy for writers who want to keep their public lives and personal lives separate. However, if you are using a nom-de-plume, what does that mean for copyright?

Although copyright law has grown and changed over the years, writers are always going to be judicious and protective of their privacy. With a pen name to hide behind, a writer can work in anonymity allowing them greater freedom from backlash. It’s a strategy that’s worked for years, and the internet makes anonymity even easier, but there is a huge caveat:

Is graffiti art protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act?

By its very nature, graffiti art is often public, immovable and temporary. And the artists that specialize in this medium frequently believe that these characteristics make graffiti art exempt from copyright protection. However, a recent ruling issued by a U.S. District Court judge could signal a major shift in the way that graffiti art and the artists that create it are protected under federal law.

In the ground-breaking case decided on February 12th, 21 graffiti artists in New York were awarded $6.7 million in statutory damages  when the owner of the building that the graffiti art adorned painted over the artworks. U.S. District Judge Frederic Block held that the 45 pieces of graffiti on Queens' 5Pointz warehouses were subject to the protections offered by the Visual Artists Rights Act thanks to their "recognized stature."

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