A highly skilled worker for a technology company leaves to start a new, competing business. The former employer sues the one-time employee, now competitor, for theft of trade secrets. It is an increasingly common scenario in California and elsewhere, one that requires the plaintiff to prove that the knowledge used in the new endeavor represents secret information, to which the one-time worker would only have had access to through his or her work for the company, rather than prior general know-how.
California-based DC Comics has been publishing comic books and graphic novels featuring the character Wonder Woman for over 70 years. In the interest of protecting its intellectual property, the company has issued a cease-and-desist order against a New York-based bookstore that commissioned comic book cover art that depicts one of the state's congresswomen in the role. The order also applies to the rival comic book company that published comics featuring the controversial cover art.
If you work hard enough on an invention that you secure a patent for it, then you obviously want to protect it at all costs. If you should pass away, you do not want to lose that patent protection. The money earned from the invention could help your heirs, but the income may be lost if the patent is no longer valid. This may make you wonder what happens with your patent when you die.
Californian entrepreneurs and business owners like you have a much wider audience now than anyone who came before. The age of the internet has brought on a lot of great and innovative changes. However, as we at Peterson Watts Law Group will discuss, it has also brought about a lot of new risks and potential issues.
When starting a small business, you may have designed a logo, brand or symbol to represent your company. You may have registered your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to help ensure no one else will duplicate your brand. Registering a trademark gives you extra protection when it comes to pursuing legal action for infringement. Even though your trademark is registered, however, you still run the risk of having someone else get ahold of your design.