Monthly Archives: August 2013

Asked & Answered – Music in theatre

Asked & Answered – Music in theatre

In this video, I answer a question about using music in the theatre.


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This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter. We will not be responsible for viewers'’ detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.

 

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Get my book! – The Podcast, Blog & New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide

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Not too long ago, I wrote an ebook for creators and distributors of online media content. Today, I had sever

al inquiries from folks who'd have avoided some rather big problems, if they'd had the knowledge contained in the book.

So, I thought it time to mention it again.  If you're producing content on the internet, whether it's YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, or social-media haiku, you're distributing content.  That can be fraught with legal pitfalls.  You need the information in this book.  Or, someday, you  may need a lawyer.

Get the book at http://podcastlawbook.com

(available for kindle, ibooks, or as a .pdf.)

 

Registering a trademark? Why you might want an attorney to help.

Registering a trademark? Why you might want an attorney to help.

Registering a trademark or servicemark to protect your brand is one of the most important things you can do for your business, but too often, in an effort to save a little money, a business owner decides to file his or her trademark registration without the help of a lawyer. Sometimes, they use one of those online document preparation services with slick websites and nationwide advertising. Other times, they just try to do it themselves. Unfortunately, it’s rare that things work out as the business owner hoped they would. Clients frequently come to me to “fix” things, after they’ve taken missteps and received unfavorable treatment from the government.

Doing it yourself isn't necessarily doing it right.

It’s true that there’s no Requirement that you use an attorney to register your trademark. But, unlike copyright registration (which is quite easy and within most laypeople’s skill level), trademark registration is a complex process with quite a few hidden traps for the unwary.

Even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) , while acknowledging that this CAN be done without a lawyer, has posted a page on its Web site entitled What a Private Attorney Could Do to Help Avoid Potential Pitfalls.

How a Lawyer Helps

That page describes many of the ways an experienced trademark attorney can help, such as:

  1. Conducting preliminary and comprehensive trademark searches
  2. Analyzing potential conflicting marks
  3. Preparing the Application to maximize the scope of protection without jeopardizing the registration by over-describing the mark, and by refining the description of your goods and services in such a way as to minimize the likelihood that registration will be refused
  4. Responding to refusals that do issue
  5. Policing and enforcement of trademark rights

The USPTO staff, while among the most helpful of government agents, are legally prohibited from offering you legal advice or assistance. So, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re on your own if you don’t have a lawyer.

But lawyers are expensive!

Now, it’s true that attorneys charge for our services. But you might be surprised at how affordable our assitance can be. It’s certainly more cost-effective to hire a lawyer at the beginning of the trademark registration process than it is to engage one to help once the application has been filed and the Examining Attorney has issued a refusal to register.

So, if you’re building a brand, isn’t it worth a few bucks to protect it with an attorney-prepared trademark registration? Why not call me for a consultation?

 

Seminar -The Law Of Performing Arts:   Business, Legal and Practical Deals for the Stage

Seminar -The Law Of Performing Arts: Business, Legal and Practical Deals for the Stage

I’m pleased to announce that the good folks at California Lawyers for the Arts have asked me to present a workshop.  On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, I’ll be presenting   The Law Of Performing Arts: Business, Legal and Practical Deals for the Stage.   The talk will cover: performer agreements, booking agreements, and engagement agreements financing… Continue Reading

Asked & Answered – Do I need permission to use a translation of a public domain play?

Asked & Answered – Do I need permission to use a translation of a public domain play?

In this video, I answer a question about adapting public domain works that have been translated from foreign languages. I also highlight a recent case that answers the case definitively. Society of Holy Transfiguration v. Gregory, 689 F. 3d 29 – Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 201 AUDIO: This is intended as general information only… Continue Reading

Entertainment Industry Insights Podcast #004: Nat Mundel

Entertainment Industry Insights Podcast #004: Nat Mundel

 Entertainment Industry Insights Podcast Episode 4:  Nat Mundel In this episode of Entertainment Industry Insights, I speak with Nat Mundel, Founder of Voyage Media, and Co-Founder of TODpix.Mr. Mundel’s vision is to streamline and democratize the entertainment industry by creating new business models, services and tools that help filmmakers more effectively develop, produce and distribute their… Continue Reading

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