In intellectual property circles, the high-tech sector gets a lot of attention because of the number of new patents that industry generates. Technology is also prime ground for patent trolls and IP disputes, but any company in any industry can run into snags with patents, trademarks and copyrights, as evidenced by these disputes that made the news in 2015:
Craft beer and breweries
A BevNet article covers just a few of the IP disputes that happened in the craft beer and brewing industry this past year. From whether the term “IPA” in a particular font could be trademarked to what qualifies as a true “craft” beer, several legal experts weighed in on intellectual property questions that have hit the industry in recent months.
In a lawsuit that has since been dropped, Hershey asked an importer to cease importing and selling British-made Cadbury chocolates, claiming the products violated trademark laws that protect the company’s own candies that carry the Cadbury name.
Trademark controversy carried over into the public sector in a case that called into question who owns the names of national parks, and iconic landmarks within the parks, and who can use those names on apparel and souvenirs.
The case between the San Diego Comic-Con and the Salt Lake City Comic Con came down to the use of a hyphen, which highlights the importance of choosing your name carefully and filing your trademarks accordingly.
Late in the year, Gillette filed suit against Dollar Shave Club for selling a razor that contains an alleged patented blade.
These disputes are just a few of the thousands of IP lawsuits filed each year (not to mention the many more that are settled out of court). As a small business owner, an emerging business or as an inventor, it pays to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to intellectual property.
To learn more about how to protect your intellectual property, contact EmergeCounsel today.