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July 2016 Archives

HOW BUSINESSES CAN USE POKÉMON GO TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS WITHOUT VIOLATING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS

Since launching in the United States earlier this month, Pokémon Go has quickly grown to become the biggest mobile game in US history, with total daily users reaching peaks of over 20 million. In an effort to capitalize on the Pokémon Go craze, many businesses are looking to use the game to attract more customers. Although it may seem tempting to incorporate Pokémon or Pokémon Go imagery into promotions and advertisements, business owners must consider the intellectual property rights associated with the game's logo, name and characters in order to avoid potential liability for trademark or copyright infringement. Pokemon-Go-285x190.jpg

ACTUAL NOTICE REQUIRED FOR PRE-ISSUANCE DAMAGES

In general, patent owners must possess a valid patent before they are able to sue for damages from infringers. Under certain circumstances, however, the patent owner may be able to recover damages for the interim period between the publication of a patent application and the issuance of the patent - provided that the patent holder shows that the infringer had actual notice of the published patent application. This issue was raised in the case of Rosebud LMS, Inc. v. Adobe Systems, Inc. (2016), where Rosebud LMS sued Adobe Systems, Inc. claiming that their Collaborative Live feature infringed on one of Rosebud's patents. However, Adobe stopped using the disputed feature by the time Rosebud was issued the patent. Thus, Rosebud had to show that Adobe had actual notice to recover damages for the alleged infringement. Notice.jpg

CHOOSING BETWEEN AN LLC OR CORPORATION

llc-v-corp.jpgMany business owners create separate legal entities for their businesses for taxation and liability purposes. Additionally, creating a separate legal entity for your business helps protect your individual assets from exposure to the company's debts and obligations. In order to make an educated decision on how to structure your business, it is important to understand the differences between business entities such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and a corporation. 

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