Don’t Skate Around Non-Competes

A covenant not to compete is a contract, and as a contract, it needs an offer, acceptance and consideration to be enforceable.  When presented at the offer of employment, as long as employment is conditioned upon signing, that is considered enough.  In Star Direct v. Dal Pra, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that employers may … Read more

Rapunzel, Can I Cut Your Hair?

Let’s pretend that I am the owner of a hair salon.  I want to keep my clients even as different hairdressers come and go.  One problem though:  My clients build a relationship with a hairdresser, and when he leaves to go to another salon, my clients follow.  What to do?  One answer might be a … Read more

Don’t Cross the Red Cross Trademark

Federal law prohibits anyone other than the American National Red Cross and “its duly authorized employees and agents and the sanitary and hospital authorities of the armed forces of the United States from using the Greek red cross on a white ground or the words ‘Red Cross’ or ‘Geneva Cross.’”  The law states that “[w]hoever wears … Read more

It’s Certifiable

Certification marks are special types of marks that shows that the mark owner certified that another’s goods or services met or exceeded specific standards as set by the mark owner.  A certification mark can be a word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination of those.  Some certification marks that you may recognize include: ROQUEFORT … Read more

This Split is Bananas

The right to create derivative works is one of the exclusive rights of the owner of a copyright. A “derivative work,” according to 17 U.S.C. §101, “is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any … Read more

Courting Up The Line

Given this two different sets of laws we talked about last week, we have two separate court systems:  The federal system and the state system.  The federal courts interpret federal law; the state courts interpret their state’s laws.  State courts are not allowed to interpret federal law except as to how it impacts state law.  … Read more

Categories law

Remote Control

We are revisiting your civics courses in elementary and high school in the next few weeks in order to set up a discussion about copyright law.  It is a bit of a meandering walk to get to a point, but I think the views along the way are important and will help make the final … Read more

Chicken in Black (and Orange-Red)

Trademarks can be anything that tells me as a customer that this product or services that I am trying to buy today came from the same source as the last time I bought it.  Or put another way, when my nephew has something on his wish list, what can I use to make sure that … Read more

Happy Valentine’s Day

  We wish you love as steadfast and eternal as Lola’s love for cheese.   Don’t forget to sign up for our Strong Foundations IP Basics presentations here.

Wondering about Fan Fiction

Fan fiction is material created by fans of a piece of work rather than the owners or creators.  Movies, television shows and books all have fans that have spun off their own stories, drawings, movies and more.  The fans take characters created by another on new adventures, some within canonical fictional universe, some decidedly not.  … Read more