Filing Provisional Patent Applications for Fun and Profit

Patents are an essential leg in the business plan for people and companies developing new ideas and technology. An issued patent confers significant legal rights on its owner and is typically an essential asset, that can be the basis of financing and an expectation of a stream of revenue.

In many cases, an early step in the patenting process is filing a provisional patent application. This discussion will address the issues and benefits of filing provisional patent applications.

What is a Provisional Patent Application?

First, let’s digress for a minute and talk about regular, non-provisional patent applications. A non-provisional patent application has substantial formal requirements. It has to be formatted in certain ways, the specification should have certain parts, it has to have claims, it has to have an inventor’s declaration, and it requires fees for search and examination. A non-provisional patent application also triggers the patent expiration clock - patents normally expire …

Hashtags as Intellectual Property

If you’ve spent any time on social media platforms, you’ve come across the term “hashtag” (referred to in keyboard signage as “#”). A hashtag is a phrase or word preceded by this “#” sign and is used to categorize accompanying text content. It’s staggering just how many people are using these so-called hashtags today – from TV news anchors to socialites like the Kardashians who boast millions of “followers” via their social media feeds; it seems today, a hashtag reference accompanies everyone's name.

This trend has carried over to the business sector, what with hashtags helping businesses to promote themselves and the products or services they offer, as well as representing a way to rapidly share news about these products or services, all the while interacting with their customers. There are two issues that almost always come to the forefront of conversations: Whether a business can or should “protect” its hashtags, and whether one’s use of another entity's trademark as a has…

Commercially Licensed Business Art

The Risk of Not Using Commercially Licensed Images for Your Business

Companies of all sizes use images on their websites, blogs, and social media marketing efforts. Most of these images are copied and used without commercially licensed authorization from the copyright owner of the art. Businesses are exposing themselves to potential financial risks, and potentially court appearances.

Companies that license art, such as Getty Images and Shutterstock, have computer programs that search the internet for companies stealing and using their art without permission. Fines can be in the thousands of dollars for each occurrence. Individual photographers, songwriters, artists, musicians, and authors all have the same right to protect their intellectual property.

Copyright laws protect all "original works of authorship" across music, art, literature, and drama, including things like movies, poetry, novels, architecture, even computer software. Unlike patents or trademarks, it is not necess…

Terminating Employees for Smoking Marijuana in NYS

When You Can Terminate An Employee for Smoking Marijuana in New York State

Not long ago, firing an employee for testing positive for marijuana was a regular occurrence for employers. With some states legalizing its use under certain conditions, a situation that used to be black and white has developed a lot of gray areas. There have also been a lot of gray areas developing in the mind of employers because it has been proven effective in treating some medical conditions. Marijuana use it is not appropriate in most workplaces, and some of the side effects can pose safety hazards for all the employees in the company.

In states like New York, firing an employee for using marijuana must be carefully weighed, sometimes on a case by case basis. The Compassionate Care Act allows residents to legally purchase and smoke medical marijuana, which means that some people who test positive can fall back on discrimination for medical conditions. It is essential for employers to know when you can term…

Sony Awarded $675,000 for Copyrighted Music Downloads


New York to Overhaul the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law

When a Musician or Artist Should File for Copyright Protection

The world is constantly ringing with the emotion-filled sounds of music. Whether the music is naturally occurring through the voices of birds, amplified by the mechanical bellies of mankind's progressive machines, or created and executed through the genius of the human spirit, every sound, tone, pitch, and rhythm is unique.

While some of these kinds of sounds may make you want to grab your ears and beg for quiet, some melodious music can make even the most cynical person wish that the human ear could experience an even wider spectrum of sound.

However, irrespective of one's subjective feelings regarding a particular sound or song, the creator or creators of all types of music regularly seek to ensure that the law protects the fruits of their labor from commercial and artistic exploitation.

For the artist, what starts as an original idea of musical notes and lyrics eventually flows to a tangible medium of expression such as paper-the "musical composition"-and then bu…