In cases of copyright infringement, it may be necessary for a business to send a cease and desist letter. In the vast majority of cases, this correspondence is straight to the point, often contains hints of anger and usually threatens legal action. While this approach can be effective, it's not always well-received. And as one well-known company demonstrated recently, it's not the only way to get a favorable response.
A company's trademark is part of its lifeblood. Tremendous amounts of money are poured into coining a word, phrase or design that resonates with consumers and draw them to buy the company's products. If a retailer can get customers to identify that slogan or image and form a positive association with the company, the trademark is considered a success.
Among the many important decisions new business owners must make is what to call their company. Although there are entire college courses devoted to branding, many business owners rely on their own creativity when choosing a name. It may include the name of the city where the business is based, the owner's surname or the type of product. Whatever their inspiration, most business owners want a name that stands out from the competition -- most, but apparently not all.
A Canadian design and marketing company is going after two stars of the reality show "Real Housewives of New Jersey," claiming they and others stole its idea for "blackwater," a new health drink that sounds about as appetizing as, well, a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Miles Davis was a legendary jazz trumpeter and band leader and the current owners of his trademarks do not want to see his legacy diluted. His trademark owners, which include two of his children and a nephew, sued a jazz club recently, saying that Miles' Cafe is infringing on Miles Davis's trademarks.
Two Toyota franchise owners are battling it out in court over the rights to various domain names allegedly purchased by one franchise owner to mislead internet users looking for the other franchise into landing on his own franchise's site.