Allegations of Copyright Infringement and Defenses

Allegations of Copyright Infringement and Defenses

Copyright Symbols by Mike Seyfang When someone copies a copyrighted work, the holder of the copyright accuses the copier of copyright infringement. Sometimes the holder of the copyright will make a demand that the other stop copying the material. Sometimes this demand to cease copying will include a demand for the payment of damages. “Damages”…

What Happens If I Violate the Rights of Someone Who Has a Copyright?

What Happens If I Violate the Rights of Someone Who Has a Copyright?

A person with a copyright who prevails in a copyright infringement lawsuit is entitled to damages. Damages may either be the plaintiff’s actual damages in addition to the defendant’s profits from infringing, or if the plaintiff prefers, damages allowed by statute. Actual Damages Actual damages could include profits the plaintiff lost due to the defendant’s…

Consequences of Trademark Infringement in MN

Consequences of Trademark Infringement in MN

Before understanding the consequences of trademark infringement, it is helpful to understand the purpose of trademarks. The benefit of obtaining a trademark is that it grants an exclusive right to the owner of the trademark to use that mark in the marketplace. Having an exclusive right also grants a person the right to prevent others…

Copyrights FAQ

Copyrights FAQ

What does a copyright protect? Ideas may not be copyrighted, even if original. However, the expression of original ideas may be copyrighted. There are a number of consequences for infringing on another person’s copyright. Table of Contents Reason for CopyrightsProtection in Part of a WorkUnprotected and Protected WorksMerging Protected and Unprotected Matter Reason for Copyrights…

Minnesota Trademark Infringement Defenses

Minnesota Trademark Infringement Defenses

Defenses to trademark infringement allegations include: the trademark is invalid, the trademark has been abandoned, or the mark is not distinctive. A registered trademark is invalid if the registration of the trademark or the incontestable right to use the trademark was obtained fraudulently. A trademark, whether registered or unregistered, is invalid if the mark has…

The Harm Caused by Trademark Infringement & Available Remedies

The Harm Caused by Trademark Infringement & Available Remedies

Trademarks are a valuable part of business today. Trademarks inform the world of the source of a product or service. We consider trademarks daily in our consumer needs. Scandals arise in the news about companies and then those companies expend great efforts to reestablish their reputations. This is because once their reputations are damaged, fewer…

Trademark Basics: Use of Trademarks and Violations

Trademark Basics: Use of Trademarks and Violations

A trademark is a mark used to indicate the source of a good or service. Table of Contents The Benefits of TrademarksFirst Use of a MarkInfringing on an Existing TrademarkProving Infringement on an Existing TrademarkOther Ways to Infringe on an Existing Trademark The Benefits of Trademarks Most companies use similar marks on all their products…

Is My Trademark Too Similar to an Existing Trademark?

Is My Trademark Too Similar to an Existing Trademark?

Trademarks protect the originator of a particular mark from its use by others. Goods and services may be trademarked. Once something is trademarked, only the person with the trademarks may use that mark. Others may not. Additionally, others may not use a mark so similar to an existing trademark that the new mark could be…

Maintaining Trademark Registration: How to Maintain Trademark Registration

Maintaining Trademark Registration: How to Maintain Trademark Registration

Table of Contents Begin with RegistrationMaintain RegistrationFiling Proof of Continued UseFiling an Affidavit of Incontestability Begin with Registration There are benefits to registering a trademark. Those benefits are largely obtaining a presumption that you own exclusive rights to that mark. In a lawsuit for trademark infringement, the holder of a registered trademark does not need…

Trademark Law Basics | Protect Intellectual Property Using Trademarks

Trademark Law Basics | Protect Intellectual Property Using Trademarks

Table of Contents What is a Trademark?What kind of things can be Trademarked and What Does a Trademark Prevent?Arbitrary or Fanciful MarksSuggestive MarksDescriptive MarksGeneric Marks What is a Trademark? Trademarks are used to gain recognition by the public, or a subsection of the public, of a particular good or service when a person comes into…

Your Legal Duties Serving on a Nonprofit Board of Directors

Your Legal Duties Serving on a Nonprofit Board of Directors

This article explains the legal responsibilities of those serving on the board of directors of a Minnesota nonprofit organization. Table of Contents IntroductionResponsibilities of a Nonprofit Board of DirectorsEach Director Owes a Duty of CareActive ParticipationCommitteesBoard ActionsMinutes of MeetingsBooks and RecordsAccurate Record KeepingTrust PropertyResourcesCharitable TrustsInvestigationsEach Director Owes a Duty of LoyaltyConflicts of InterestWritten PolicyLoansCharitable TrustCorporate…

Minnesota Business Lawyer: Self-Dealing Officers and Directors

Minnesota Business Lawyer: Self-Dealing Officers and Directors

Officers and Directors of closely-held corporations are held to a higher standard than many other people. Shareholders in a closely-held corporation are held to a higher standard sometimes also. Shareholders in a publicly-traded corporation are not held to the same standard as those in closely-held corporations. Fiduciary Duties Officers and Directors owe duties that we…

What Are the Basic Elements of a Contract?

What Are the Basic Elements of a Contract?

All contracts contain three basic elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration. Consideration is what each side gives up in exchange for the benefit that he or she is receiving. Sometimes this is money, doing something for someone, or refraining from doing something. Table of Contents Forming a Contract May Take Time and NegotiationThe End of an…

Explanation of Fiduciary Relationionships in Businesses

Explanation of Fiduciary Relationionships in Businesses

Fiduciary duties are owed by fiduciaries. A person is a fiduciary if the law imposes on that person a duty of good faith, trust, confidence, candor, loyalty, or care upon the person for the benefit of another person. A fiduciary only owes those duties to the other person within the fiduciary relationship. Examples of fiduciaries…

Fiduciary Obligations of Shareholders and Owners | MN Business Attorney

Fiduciary Obligations of Shareholders and Owners | MN Business Attorney

Owners of closely-held corporations are obligated to act in certain ways with respect to the other owners. These obligations are often called “fiduciary duties.” Owners may be sued and liable for damages if they do not abide by these obligations. Table of Contents Closely-Held Business Owners Must Act with Integrity and Honesty toward Other OwnersClosely-Held…

Minnesota Business Lawyer: Forming an LLC – Who, Where, and What?

Minnesota Business Lawyer: Forming an LLC – Who, Where, and What?

Frequently, many of the same basic questions arise when forming one’s own business in Minnesota. Answers to the three most common questions are below. Table of Contents Location of the business – Can I Use My Home Office?Must your business have a physical address?Naming the business – What Can It Be?Joint Versus Single Ownership of…

You've Been Wronged, but Were You also Wrong? Analysis of Dual Faults

You've Been Wronged, but Were You also Wrong? Analysis of Dual Faults

Negligence is acting, or failing to act, in the manner a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. Someone who acts negligently is liable for damages if someone is harmed by the negligent act, or failure to act. What if the person harmed also did something wrong? There are different types of dual, or joint faults…

Fiduciary Duties Officers and Directors Owe a Minnesota Corporation

Fiduciary Duties Officers and Directors Owe a Minnesota Corporation

In addition to the fiduciary duties owed by shareholders, fiduciary duties arise by holding a position of director or officer. A director is required, by statute in Minnesota, to discharge the duties of the position of director in good faith, in a manner the director reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the…

Minnesota Contracts: How to Negotiate a Minnesota Contract

Minnesota Contracts: How to Negotiate a Minnesota Contract

All Minnesota contracts contain three basic concepts: offer, acceptance, and consideration. Offer and acceptance mean exactly what you think they mean. Consideration is what each side gives up in exchange for the benefit that he or she is receiving. Sometimes this is payment of money, sometimes it is doing something the person is not obligated…

Fiduciary Duties Breach by Shareholders, Officers, Directors, or Partners

Fiduciary Duties Breach by Shareholders, Officers, Directors, or Partners

A fiduciary is a person required to act for the benefit of another within the scope of their relationship. A fiduciary owes a certain standard of loyalty or care toward another. Table of Contents What are the Consequences of a Fiduciary Breaching a Duty to Another?Breaches by Officers and Directors of CorporationsBreaches by Majority ShareholdersBreaches…

Minnesota Shareholder Dispute: What Are My Rights & Options?

Minnesota Shareholder Dispute: What Are My Rights & Options?

Owners in a closely-held corporation owe duties to each other. An owner, or shareholder is subject to legal liability if he or she violates a duty owed to another owner, or shareholder. The duties owed can be complex. Fiduciary Duties Owed by Business Owners in Minnesota In Minnesota, the shareholders in a closely-held corporation owe…