Latest Blog Posts  

RSS Feed RSS Feed

 

Should Your Business Seek a Trademark Registration on a Hashtag?

Posted on October 16, 2017. In 2012, McDonald’s launched a Twitter marketing campaign based on the hashtag “#McDStories.” It wanted customers to tweet about good times at McDonald’s. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, negative tweets such as these stole the show: “Dude, I used to work at McDonald’s. The #McDStories I could tell would raise your hair.” Read the full article…

Can Politicians and Businesses Legally Block People on Social Media?

Posted on September 19, 2017. The Tweeter in Chief, President Trump, was sued in July by a group trying to force him to stop blocking critics on Twitter. For that reason, a pair of recent decisions addressing politicians and social media by a federal trial judge in Virginia are getting attention. Those decisions were made Read the full article…

Tales of Woe from Companies That Reposted Pictures on Instagram Without Permission

Posted on July 27, 2017. Does your business use Instagram to promote itself? If so, beware that posting on Instagram photos taken by others could be copyright infringement. First, some technology: Instagram does not provide a way for users to “repost” pictures posted by others on Instagram. There is a workaround. You can screenshot on Read the full article…

Website Owners: The Rules for Protecting Yourself from Copyright Infringement Liability Just Changed

Posted July 18, 2017. In business, your company faces many risks. If you try to manage every risk, you won’t have time or money left to make your product or provide your service. You have to decide which ones to address and how much to pursue them. With that in mind, consider a new legal Read the full article…

The Slants Channel The Producers, and Win One for the Redskins

Posted June 20, 2017. An ethnic-minority rock band just saved the REDSKINS federal trademark registrations from cancellation. Ironic, no? Whenever people hear about the recent Supreme Court case concerning the Asian rock band The Slants, they think about the Washington Redskins, because that case saved the trademark registrations for the REDSKINS name. Not me. I Read the full article…

Things You’ll Wish You Had Done When Your Star Employee Defects

Posted on May 17, 2017. When a key employee defects to a competitor company, it’s Judgment Day for how well you have prepared for such a possibility. If you prepared well, you might be able to crush the defection. You might even prevent it from happening. But if you haven’t, there may be little you Read the full article…

Do Your Legal Research Before Your Kid Picks a College

Posted on April 18, 2017 Yes, this is a law-and-business column. But one of the biggest financial expenditures you’ll ever make is paying to send your kid to college. Because it’s the season for high-school seniors to accept college admission offers, and because high-school juniors are forming their college-application lists, take a moment to research Read the full article…

What Can You Do to Preempt the Nutcase Complainer Who Might Trash Your Business Online?

Posted March 21, 2017. Every small business fears the online review by the nutcase who trashes your business. Because a small business might get only a few reviews, a real stinker could really hurt. Related to this, a new federal law prohibits businesses from using form contracts to prevent consumers from posting reviews about those Read the full article…

How to Deal with Businesses with Similar Names on Social Media

Posted on February 22, 2017. Impersonation on social media can be funny, unless you’re the target. Speaking of Target, that company got humorously spoofed on Facebook. In 2015, Target announced all store signage would omit gender references, such as “boy’s clothes” and “girl’s toys.” Many consumers complained on Facebook about political correctness. Having fun with Read the full article…

Trademark Lessons Learned in Local Adult Beverage Battle

Posted on January 17, 2016. “Start with deeper pockets and get started sooner on trademarks.” Those are the words of Jerome Snyder, owner of Vahseer Meadworks, describing his recent trademark fight with Dogfish Head Brewery. Vahseer, located in AltaVista (just south of Lynchburg), makes mead, which is an alcoholic drink created by fermenting honey with Read the full article…