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Business-Related Torts to Master

185468074If 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 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

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

Does Litigating Make Economic Sense?

465153001One of the most important factors to consider when taking a case is whether the cost of litigating is likely to outweigh the gain. Even if the potential clients are willing to pay your fee, you may better serve them by saying “No.” Continue reading

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