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In the Intellectual Property supplement for the Legal, find out why trending trademarks always fail, how to stop fake reviews and how to manage IP ownership issues.

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In the heyday of the video-sharing service Vine, Kayla Newman, a Chicago-area teen, birthed a new catchphrase for the millennial generation with two words—“on fleek.” Her original video had 20 million views on Vine, and on Instagram the hashtag “#onfleek” was mentioned over 200,000 times.

Decentralized data structure management technology (DDSM), such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, is grabbing ever-increasing attention as a result of its potential to revolutionize the way we conduct business, run our governments and go about daily life. While cryptographic digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, have garnered significant hype more recently due to intense market volatility, DDSM technology offers much more.

Coast-to-Coast Effects of a ‘Heartland’ Case

May 22, 2017, was a game-changing day for patent litigators across the United States, albeit a day that many experts assumed was coming. That day, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group, 137 S.Ct. 1514 (2017) that upended years of jurisprudence applicable to interpretation of the current patent-specific venue statute, 28 U.S.C. Section 1400(b), when read with the general venue provision, 28 U.S.C. Section 1391(c).


Imagine this scenario: Your client creates the next big thing, 2018’s “it” product. With your assistance, that client takes the traditional steps to protect and promote the product: signs nondisclosure agreements with suppliers; obtains trademarks to protect the brand; applies for patents to safeguard the concept; and receives required agency approvals.

Protection of intellectual property is a key element in any company’s efforts to secure a competitive advantage. For companies in the cannabis space, efforts to secure intellectual property protection play out against a background of conflicting federal and state regulations. Cannabis continues to be a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and possession of cannabis is prohibited by federal law.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with coining the axiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Allegedly, Franklin actually made the statement in connection with fire safety, which was an avocation for him. Today, the axiom applies perfectly to corporate efforts to manage intellectual property (IP) issues.


Intellectual property rights in trademarks, copyrights, domain names and website content are among a company’s most significant assets and account for key elements of a business’ core operations and consumer brand recognition.

Intellectual property law protecting fictional—or literary—characters has evolved to recognize that it is often the protagonist or antagonist within a creative work that leave the longest-lasting impression on the audience.


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