Starting a business can be scary. Legal help doesn't have to be.
Every decision and every idea has created the brand that defines your business, and it’s worth protecting. But in a competitive marketplace, that’s no easy feat.
Counterfeiters, copyright pirates, and infringers are always on the lookout for companies without the legal safeguards in place to fight for their name. Brand protection not only protects the loss of revenue, but also protects a company's image, reputation, and overall value.
Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.
Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.
Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.
Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
Brand protection is a complicated area of law, potentially involving many different types of IP and the latest in internet technology. If you need help protecting your brand, we've got you covered.
We know you have enough to do as the head of your own business, but policing your brand for potential infringement issues is another task to add to the list.
We advise our creators and influencers to police their brand in two big ways.
1. Keep your brand and brand messages internally consistent throughout your marketing so that your potential customers come to know, recognize and trust your company's logo, fonts, typography, corporate colors, trademarks, themes, and even your tone of voice and use of language, and
2. Identify potential infringers of your intellectual property, particularly your trademarked brand messages, and removing them.
The Boutique Lawyer can help with the monitoring of your brand, especially in the online marketplace. We can take advantage of algorithms that allow us to see similarities and quickly identify any potential issues.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown is a process for copyright holders to get infringing user-uploaded material taken down off of websites. The process requires the copyright owner agent to send a takedown notice to a service provider requesting the provider to remove material that is infringing their copyright(s).
A service provider can be an internet service provider, website operator, search engine, web host, or another type of online site operator. The takedown notice must include several elements specified by copyright law. If at least most of these elements are not included, the service provider may refuse the takedown.
Even if a takedown notice meets all the legal requirements, the service provider still may refuse the takedown, opening itself up for potential secondary liability for assisting with copyright infringement. A DMCA takedown is a well-established and accepted internet standard generally followed by website owners and internet service providers.
Any content owner has the right to process a DMCA takedown against a website owner, an ISP, hosting company, etc. if the content owner's property is found online without their permission.
An IP cease and desist letter, also known as a Demand Letter, is generally the first step you take to try and stop the theft of any of your IP; in fact, a cease and desist letter is commonly the first step you take in any type of plaintiff litigation. It's essentially a notice sent to the infringing persons or business entities, stating that you are aware of their infringing activities, and if they stop immediately, they may be able to avoid litigation.
One of the key strategies when sending a cease and desist letter is the amount of detail that should be included. On one hand, it's important to give enough details relating to your IP rights, the work in which such rights exist, and the alleged infringement so the infringing party knows you're on to them. On the other hand, you don't want to give away all of your strategies, which allows them to prepare their defense if they have no intention of complying.
Using a cease and desist letter may help both parties avoid unnecessary costs and delays associated with bringing an infringement lawsuit. Cease and desist letters can be used for nearly every type of IP infringement, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, disclosure of confidential information, etc.
Do not be surprised to see a certain amount of bluster and posturing when you receive an initial response; remember that a cease and desist letter's primary purpose is to open the door for meaningful negotiations. In any event, a cease and desist letter is the most common, courteous, and widely accepted way to open communications with any person or entity that you believe is infringing. They may not even be aware that they are infringing, and these types of communications often lead to licensing agreements that are mutually beneficial.