71 episodes

The Law & Business Podcast hosted by Anthony M. Verna III, Esq. Anthony specializes in Intellectual Property including trademark, copyright, patent, licensing, advertising/promotion and food law and domain name disputes. For more visit vernalaw.com. Attorney advertising

Law & Business - the podcast about legal issues and how they affect your business. Law & Business - the podcast about legal issues and how they affect your business.

    • Business News

The Law & Business Podcast hosted by Anthony M. Verna III, Esq. Anthony specializes in Intellectual Property including trademark, copyright, patent, licensing, advertising/promotion and food law and domain name disputes. For more visit vernalaw.com. Attorney advertising

    • video
    Video Blog 24: Why Were the Chicago Cubs Sued for Copyright Infringement?

    Video Blog 24: Why Were the Chicago Cubs Sued for Copyright Infringement?

    Video Blog 24: Why Were the Chicago Cubs Sued for Copyright Infringement? And what does it mean for the small business going into court?







    Recently, the Chicago Cubs were sued for copyright infringement.







    I kind of find it weird that I’m going to be suing a

    baseball team for copyright infringement. But it happened. Why?







    Because the Cubs retweeted a tweet that was already the

    subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit.







    So, the author and plaintiff of the original copyright

    lawsuit decided to file against the Cubs for the retweet.







    I think it’s ridiculous as well, but it survived a motion to

    dismiss.







    Why?







    The judge in the case said . . .I personally don’t know if

    the retweet creates another copy and if it creates another copy, then there is

    contributory infringement on the copyright.







    For those of us who have bachelor’s in computer science, we already know that that retweet doesn’t create another copy. It points to it. But I think this is the ultimate thought on intellectual property in the court system. Judges aren’t gods, they’re people.







    If a judge isn’t going to understand the situation, then you

    as a lawyer have to make the judge understand the situation. And in this particular

    case, it’s just a pointer to something that’s already infringed. And even

    that’s a question as well, if a tweet itself is enough to infringe a copyright.









    There are multiple levels here where I think copyright

    infringement should fail, but the judge is keeping the case around because the

    judge doesn’t understand them.







    That’s really, I think, our biggest frustration as IP

    practitioners when we’re in court, judges are coming from all sorts of

    different backgrounds. A lot of them especially if they’re, criminal defense

    lawyers or if they’re prosecutors, really don’t understand intellectual

    property. It’s our job to make them understand that.







    So that’s what we’re really looking to do when we’re in

    court is start at the very beginning and make sure that the judge understands

    what the situation is.







    I’m Anthony Verna, managing partner of Verna Law. We focus

    on IP and advertising law and hopefully we can help you through situations such

    as this to make sure that the judges understand why you are in court, either to

    prosecute intellectual property infringement or to defend yourself from complex

    intellectual property infringement claims.

    • video
    Video Blog 23: Algorithm and Business Method Patents: Searches Needed

    Video Blog 23: Algorithm and Business Method Patents: Searches Needed

    Here at Verna Law, one of our goals of 2020 is to keep

    growing our patent practice, especially with our patent agent, Wil Jacques.







    Recently we’ve had a couple phone calls with potential

    clients who have business method or algorithmic patent ideas. In the last four

    or five years, ever since the Supreme Court decided a case called Alice,

    business method and algorithmic patents have been harder to procure.







    The reason for this is as time has gone on, a case has gone

    to the Supreme court and Supreme court said, “We’re not saying that all

    algorithmic patents are void, just this algorithmic patent is void,” and well

    then there’d be another case and then that algorithmic patent was void until

    Alice.







    What happened in Alice a few years ago? The Supreme court said

    that not all algorithmic patents are void, but they need to have an “inventive

    step.”







    And where did the Supreme court decide to get this language?





    Nobody really knows, but it’s an extra speed bump for algorithmic and business

    method patents.







    So, it requires making sure that the algorithm that is being presented in a patent application is really and truly new and novel, which is what the statute already says, but now whatever an “inventive step” still means, while we’re still not 100% sure even three or four years down the down the line after that decision, but we need to make sure that we do our patent search.







    We need to make sure that we’re thorough with that search.

    We need to find what other algorithms have anything to say with the algorithms

    that our potential clients give to us. And that’s really the key is that first

    step, not yet drafting the claims that’s truly important, but that first step

    of finding everything in the prior art that’s out there.







    That’s something that we try to do very well and especially

    with the algorithmic patents and especially with ever since the Supreme court

    decision requiring an extra inventive step in algorithmic patents.







    I’m Anthony Verna, managing partner Verna Law, focusing on IP and advertising law. Visit us at vernalaw.com, click on patents and you’ll see everything that we have to do with patents.







    Thanks very much.

    • video
    Video Blog 22: Patents for Colors? Yes. It’s a Process Patent!

    Video Blog 22: Patents for Colors? Yes. It’s a Process Patent!

    Back in 2014, a company called Surrey Nanosystems received a patent for a color

    that is so black and absorbs 94% of all light. Let me take a step back there.

    You don’t receive a patent on the color. You receive a patent on the process

    for making such a new advancement in technology.







    That’s really the key there. It’s on the process. Now, a lot

    of people were outraged and the reason for that outrageous that Surrey

    Nanosystems allowed one artist to use this brand new color called Vantablack

    and everybody was saying, “How do you get a patent on the lack of light?”







    It’s a color that’s so black that Spinal Tap would have

    loved it. But again, it’s on the process of creating this new technological

    advancement. Color has always been about technology: from indigo dyes that the royal

    families used, to black and white televisions, to the millions of colors that

    your monitors are actually showing that your eyes cannot detect.



    Color is technology. And in that technology, there’s a new way of creating all

    of those particular colors.







    Now, for the smaller business, what does that actually mean?









    It means that every time there’s a new way of creating

    something, there’s a process there that is potentially patentable.







    That’s the lesson for the smaller business: when something

    is new, there is a potential patent in that a business needs to do a patent

    search to make sure that that particular new process is not disclosed.







    And other prior art, the a business has to make sure that

    this particular invention is not disclosed elsewhere, is not disclosed in its

    own particular materials and also must not be in use for a year before filing

    that particular patent as well.







    Here at Verna Law, we have an excellent patent agent named Wil Jacques, who has a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. I have a bachelor’s in Computer Science. Therefore, we cover all sorts of areas of technology. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your particular technology to see if there’s a patent in there. Thank you very much.

    • video
    Video Blog 21: Trademark Infringement: What are Practical Effects?

    Video Blog 21: Trademark Infringement: What are Practical Effects?

    Some statistics for 2019 are coming in in the trademark

    world. And in these particular statistics, one survey from CompuMark, a company

    from Clarivate Analytics and a company that does all of the Verna Law trademark

    searching, we’re finding that for trademark infringement, main consequences were:







    * customer confusion at 45% of respondents * a loss of revenue due to trademark infringement

    for 38% of respondents to the survey and * damage to brand reputation, which was 37% of

    respondents to the survey.







    Three quarters of trademark infringements also led to litigation,

    which doesn’t really surprise me as litigation tends to keep climbing up every

    year. 40% of organizations have stated they spent between $50,000 to $249,000

    on legal proceedings for trademark infringement.







    46% of respondents said that a rebrand was a result of the

    infringement proceeding. Again, that doesn’t really surprise me as defendants

    do tend to need to rebrand because, of course, they’re the ones who are allegedly

    infringing.













    With brands filing infringement matters, what does this tell

    us?







    One, the registration of a trademark is very

    important. Recently we had a settlement where the settlement probably was not

    as good as we would’ve hoped for our client because the trademark registration

    was not in effect at the time of infringement. So that registration really does

    matter.







    Two, planning matters as well. If you’re a smaller

    business, understand that you’re going to be playing the same game as all of

    the big businesses when it comes to trademark infringement. So if you’re going

    to register, you need to plan for what’s going to happen if your mark is

    infringed, how you’re going to budget, and how you’re going to deal with the

    infringement. Sending a cease and desist letter in today’s world generally

    doesn’t get the same results as it used to. You’re generally going to have to

    go to court and you’re generally going to have to deal with high costs because

    right off the bat, most defense defendants today send file a motion to dismiss

    as a de rigeur part of their defense.



    So make sure that you’re clear as a trademark owner what your costs are going

    to be in understanding this. Also if you’re going to be creating any new

    brands, do your due diligence because doing your due diligence means that you

    can understand what brands are out there, what registered trademarks are out

    there, so that you can kind of fit your mark in this big virtual space that we

    have called trademark registrations.







    If your mark could infringe on somebody else’s mark, maybe

    he should nip that in the bud from the very beginning rather than being a

    defendant in a trademark infringement suit.







    Three, when you’re dealing with the budget, make sure

    you understand how your business can rebrand if you need to. That pivot is

    always going to be important. You always have to plan for every single

    situation when you’re dealing with intellectual property.







    I’m Anthony Verna, managing partner of Verna Law, P.C, but

    chances are you already knew that. That’s why you clicked on this video. Thank

    you for watching. See you soon.

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 46: Mini-series with the Nessa Group: Businesses Resistant to Change

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 46: Mini-series with the Nessa Group: Businesses Resistant to Change

    It is Episode 46 of the “Law & Business” Podcast. This is a continuance of our mini-series with the Nessa Group. Here, the group talks about businesses who are resistant to change. One trademark infringement lawsuit comes to Anthony’s mind on the topic, because after the trademark infringement lawsuit, Anthony sent the client to Nessa Group because the client had a loss of one million dollars a year.







    Anthony Verna: Welcome to our fourth episode of our special mini-series of podcasts, a series on the NESSA group. And, once again, we’re here with the same team. My name is Anthony Verna. Jim Huerta, how are you doing? Jim Huerta: I’m doing fine. I’m glad to be here. Anthony Verna: All right, Barry Kolevzon, how are you doing? Barry Kolevzon: Great. Anthony Verna: Wonderful. Wil Jacques, what’s happening? Wil Jacques: Oh, not a whole lot, but I’m glad to be here. Anthony Verna: Glad to have you here as well. Justin Tripodi. Justin, how’s it going? Justin Tripodi: Doing great. Excited for the conversation today. Anthony Verna: Yeah, me too. Me too. So today we’re going to be talking about clients who are resistant to change and businesses who are resistant to change. And hopefully we will find businesses who are not resistant to change because change sometimes, especially when you bring in a group like us is what helps a business grow. Jim, Barry, the three of us worked on a particular business a few years ago and I know it’s more than a few years ago, but let’s talk about that for a second. This was a client, a company that was sued for trademark infringement. This was a case where it wasn’t a full brand, but it was an apparel company that was using a design on its clothing that was similar enough to a registered trademark where the trademark owner filed a lawsuit. It really wasn’t worth defending. We were able to settle. The good news is that we were able to settle for $20,000 over a period of time and the company was able to destroy the offending products, we’ll call it that cause I don’t necessarily think it was infringing and move on with life. That part was I think was a great settlement. The three of us looked at this particular company’s books and the three of us saw a company that was $1 million in the red. They’re selling jeans. A company that is selling jeans, in my opinion, should not be $1 million in the red. One area that I noticed was that they were buying too much product from their factories. They were not selling the product fully. And when they would sell their product, they would sell it over at overstock.com for a loss from what they bought it from the factory. So, Jim, let’s start here. What are some ways to avoid that red number when you know you’re purchasing too much from the factory? Jim Huerta: No, in this case it was tricky. I mean obviously inventory becomes a very important thing. I think a lot of companies don’t realize that if you have an excessive amount of inventory and you’re carrying too much inventory, that you’re not moving, it starts working against your P. and. L. it just has to you releasing prices that you can’t really work with. This company had more unique things going on when it came to this red number. They had a parent company offshore and the parent company was trying to move their inventory back to the local company. So, in order for them, the parent company to look better that they will be moving inventory, they will house it back into the local company who was getting beat up and was going into the red. But there was no communication what was going on. There was no idea where the stages of different inventory levels were at. There were an incredible amount of transportation costs. When we looked at it and we looked at some of it, we didn’t get enough information,

    • 37 min
    Law & Business Podcast Episode 45: Mini-series with the Nessa Group: Helping a Company Fully Rebrand (Case Study)

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 45: Mini-series with the Nessa Group: Helping a Company Fully Rebrand (Case Study)

    Our special mini-series at the “Law & Business” Podcast with the Nessa Group continues.







    In this special episode, we take a case in which a company must rebrand. The company’s actual name is changed, but the situation is based from a real case. Quite often, in trademark infringement lawsuits, companies are facing a difficult choice: Rebrand or Fight. Fighting trademark infringement lawsuits are quite expensive with many procedural moves in federal district court. These procedural moves raise legal fees so that smaller companies have issues in fighting these infringement lawsuits.







    How can a business consulting group help a company rebrand? Or at least begin to see the benefits of rebranding? This podcast episode starts that discussion.







    Anthony Verna: Welcome to episode three of our special podcast mini-series. I’m Anthony Verna and we’re here with the gang from the NESSA group. Jim, pleasure to see you again. Jim Huerta: It’s a pleasure of being here. I find this will be very interesting. Anthony Verna: Barry, thanks for being here. Barry Kolevzon: Well, thank you for having me here and I think that we have exciting discussion to discuss. Anthony Verna: Good. Thank you. Wil, great to see you, sir. Wil Jacques: Yeah, I got a ditto that from Barry. But yeah, this is going to be exciting. I like real live case studies. Anthony Verna: We like dittos. We don’t like mega–dittos. Justin, it’s a pleasure. Justin Tripodi: I’m not going to hold this up. Let’s get into this. Jim Huerta: Good follow up. Anthony Verna: All right, so let’s start doing our case study section of our mini-series. So, let me tell you a little story about a client of mine. And the names here are changed to protect not just the innocent but what is private as well. So, we’re going to call this Bronze and Bourbon. And I wish I’d thought of that in real life. But Bronze and Bourbon is a company that was sued for trademark infringement. They’re an apparel company. They make not revolutionary materials, but they make apparel. So fancy, fun tee shirts, fun sweatshirts, caps, a lot of caps, a lot of accessories. And some of them do have sayings. The aesthetic, the Uber of this apparel is very traditionally manly. Certainly cars, certainly a lot of motoring type of imagery in it. The plaintiff was a Bronze and Coke and so, from that particular standpoint, they’re also an apparel company. Totally different type of apparel though. I would say that they sell a very expensive apparel, very good dress shirts, very good dress, pants, shoes, ties, things that are very much more upscale than the client in this case. So Wil, let’s start with you as to some thoughts here. Wil Jacques: You know, again, I’m a novice and certainly don’t understand trademark law as you would. But the first thought that came to mind was you gotta be kidding me. Anthony Verna: So let’s talk about that for a second. No, and I understand exactly where you’re coming from because a lot of people don’t understand trademark law and a lot of people don’t understand what the what the reasoning is for a trademark infringement lawsuit like this. So let’s talk about that for a little bit. The plaintiff needs to have one) a trademark that is registered with the United States patent and trademark office. So that trademark has the brand in it. That trademark will have the goods and services listed in it. And obviously the owner is listed in it. So, those are keys.

    • 34 min

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