10 Business-Related Torts to Master

10steps_121366302If you handle business litigation matters, you need to be fluent in the most common business-related torts and their elements so you can spot the issues immediately—to either allege them or defend against them. Don’t feel quite fluent yet? Don’t worry, here’s a checklist of the elements of ten common business-related torts to keep handy until you master them. Continue reading

Pizza and the Edge of the Trademark Universe

160512136The following is a guest blog post by Michael J. Thomas, a solo practitioner and founder of Creative Vision Legal, a Bay Area law firm offering legal services tailored to artists, musicians, and small business owners. 

Can you trademark a pizza flavor? A recent decision says no and offers a glimpse at the edge of the known trademark universe. The doctrines of functionality and inherent distinctiveness, like the force of gravity or tendrils of dark matter holding the galaxies together, will keep the trademark universe from expanding or hurtling waywardly outward (depending on your view). Continue reading

Make These 4 Assumptions about Cybersecurity

158695294It has been clear for some time that cybercrime isn’t an outlier in the spectrum of corporate risk. Yet many organizations have been slow to wake up to that reality, or having awoken, are unsure of what steps to take to manage that risk. Law firms are in the thick of it with nearly half of all firms infected with viruses, spyware, or malware last year. Continue reading

Idea-Expression Dichotomy Remains Key to Copyright Protection of New Technology

464285047Can you state the difference between an idea and the expression of that idea? Don’t worry if it doesn’t slip off your tongue. This distinction is one of the most difficult areas of copyright law but far from academic because copyright law doesn’t protect ideas, but it does protect expressions of ideas. And this distinction remains key to technology copyright cases. Continue reading

Should You Take on a Client Who’s Forming a Nonprofit?

147899188You get a call from a potential client who wants to set up a new nonprofit organization. Here are some questions to ask before you commit to the task. Continue reading

Free, Open-Source, and Possibly Risky

177229229Once an exception, the use of free and open-source software (FOSS) in commercial software products has become the rule. FOSS is particularly attractive to resource-strapped companies looking to avoid high software development costs or licensing fees, but even the biggies in the tech industry use FOSS. Despite its common use, FOSS carries risks and you need to do your due diligence.

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