Developing A Strong Trademark And Copyright Strategies Can Be Vital To A Business

A company’s trademarks, whether in the company’s name, or likeness, or in that of its products, are crucial to protecting the goodwill generated through its investment in people and capital. It is significant to its brand, as it helps identify and protect the integrity of a brand, and ensures that the company distinguishes itself from its competitors. The trademark also readily informs the consumer that the goods or services are of a certain quality or standard. The goodwill derived from a strong trademark can improve business by giving the consumer a positive impression about the product and doing business with the company itself.

Trademark rights arise from actual use of a name, logo or symbol in the marketplace. There are several actions that a company can take in order to protect its trademark portfolio, namely its registered trademarks, service marks, unregistered trademarks, domain names and corresponding copyrights.

A first suggestion is to develop a strategy to determine which marks are important, and how, where and when the trademark rights are to be asserted. This action includes determining which legal jurisdictions are important from a business and marketing perspective. Once a trademark attorney has conducted the necessary trademark searches and cleared a proposed mark, it is advisable to rapidly file for a federal trademark registration. The timing of an application for registration is also critical because typically the first to file takes priority over subsequent filings in respect of identical or similar marks. Once the proposed mark is registered, it is important to note the registration date and the renewal date in order to ensure continuous protection of the mark.

Another action relates to trademark usage. In managing a trademark portfolio, it is important to ensure that rights do not lapse due to non-use of the mark. Depending on the relevant jurisdiction, the ownership rights to a mark may lapse if the mark has not been used for a period of three to five years. It is important to implement programs based on a competent attorney’s advice to ensure continued use, or at least a seasonal or rotational use of marks to prevent cancellation or revocation of them. It is also advisable to ensure correct usage of the marks because they can lose their distinctiveness and value if they become eroded.

A recommended strategy to maximize the value of a trademark portfolio is to be vigilant and to take swift action to prevent infringement or deal with it accordingly when it is detected. The owner of a trademark portfolio must be prepared to take action to preserve rights by employing both defensive and offensive strategies. Defensive strategies, including marking the products with TM, SM and ® symbols can help reduce legal fees and establish legal damages through fair warning to would-be infringers. Defensive tactics also include conducting consistent surveillance of the market place and the competitors’ activities, and educating the consumer on how to identify genuine products as well as alerting them of infringing products.

Numerous offensive strategies are advisable as well. For instance, a company can appeal or oppose the registration of marks that are identical or confusingly similar to its own marks. It is also advisable to issue cease and desist letters, or publish warnings when infringement is detected.

In taking these actions, it is advisable to seek the best legal consultation regarding the management of the trademark portfolio, itself, as well as determining the instances and nature of potential infringement. Leading trademark counsel are also effective advocates that can provide advice and counsel on how to deal with infringement, through amicable resolution or an enforcement action if necessary.

Therefore, choosing the best law firm that is qualified to provide sound legal advice on trademark and copyrights related matters is a critical issue for any business venture. Good advice can mean a strong brand in the marketplace that serves to protect capital investment and deter infringement by competitors. The alternative is erosion of goodwill with customers, and easy infringement. The latter may mean loss a fortune in human and financial.

Will Online Apps Prevent Consumer Waste Or Embolden Customers To Buy More Stuff?

If Apps using artificial intelligence help us all use less, share more, recycle things to others – then, will this hurt retailers and retailing due to reduced consumption? Will it prevent all the discarded waste, underutilized stuff we buy and own? Many believe it will. Take the sharing economy companies with popular apps; Lift, AirBnB, NetJet, Uber and other such concepts. Many corporations that build or manufacture vacation homes, hotels, automobiles and corporate jets are worried about their future, they see opportunities but also decreased volume, loss of economies of scale, overall "pie" reduction even if they garner a larger piece of that pie (Market Share) in such a future.

If everyone shares cars, aircraft, extra rooms, then of course; fewer rooms will be rented, and aircraft and cars purchased. This has economic implications of course, manufacturing and hospitality jobs for instance. Still, it provides efficiency to consumers, so, less waste, lower costs (due to sharing) and that is a plus positive for quality of life and higher standard of living – no need to buy an expensive car, share a car with others, or buy a corporate jet, share instead. Makes sense (cents) right, no actually it makes dollars.

Indeed the very same new communication technology to bring buyers and sellers together; Artificially Apps also make it easier for consumers to buy, and since consumers enjoy buying, this creates more purchases, more spending, and more consumerism. More consumerism means more redundancy, more waste, right? Sure, when capitalism speeds up its efficiency of exchange through digital money transfer, instance purchases, immediate delivery – we find more abundance due to increase in the ease of trade.

So, on one hand we have a threat to jobs and big changes to industries and certain sectors of our economy due to our new apps and smartphone mobile technology – and, then on the other hand we have a tool to help sell more stuff, faster and make more revenue and less cost, allowing corporations to enjoy increase shareholder's equity and quarterly profits while passing on some of that savings in lower prices to consumers.

When consumers buy more stuff, their homes fill up with more junk and each year a portion of the cluster gets donated to the local Thrift Stores. So, we should see more items that are bought by way of customer rewards programs, and apps from a certain sellers that have perfected that game. Okay so, we should be watching for lots of cheap Chinese made consumer goods showing up in mass at the second hand stores. While larger items like cars, planes, and time shares will decrease in the next couple of decades "IF" these current trends continue. Please consider all this.

Feature Stories With Heart

Feature stories have heart. Feature stories have warmth. Most of all, feature stories force a writer / reporter to evaluate the human side of a community – beyond the facts, beyond the opinions – to find the spirit of the story.

I have always favored feature stories (or soft news) as a writer because it gives me the chance to get to know people on a higher level than straight news reporting (hard news) does. Beyond that, it also forces me to work as a reporter with feelings – yes, some reporters have actual feelings.

For the past few weeks, I've evaluated a variety of types of college feature stories in preparation for a workshop I'm presenting at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers National College Media Convention. After sifting through stacks and stacks of archives of papers, I've come to the conclusion that college newspapers are much more active to seek out the feature elements than mainstream, professional newspapers.

My students (and former students) from The Montage, have compiled heartwarming stories of life and death, fun and frolics, and service and sacrifice. Here are a few examples:

"A Day in the Life of Mary Davis:" As a regular series, my students write personality profiles, covering students, faculty, staff, locals, etc. This particular story highlights an 86-year old student still eager to learn.

"Turning Lead into Gold:" This profile provides an in-depth look at a faculty member's passions.

"Inauguration Road:" Following a road trip to the White House for Barack Obama's engagement, two of my students compiled a piece about a 1st person account of the journey itself.

"What's Brewing in St. Louis:" Beer is a priority for many college students. Recognizing this, my students compiled an in-depth centerspread on St. Louis. Louis' beer culture, including a list of "things" to do with beer.

"The Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire:" Fun and frolics come in all shapes and sizes as detailed in this feature about the art of tango music.

This list of stories (found at http://www.meramecmontage.com ) includes a variety of subjects, topics, and angles. Primarily, though, these stories offer readers something "different," something soft – a much-needed break from the heart-wrenching news of reductions, murders, and swine flu statistics. Even more so, they offer reporters (whether student or professional) a chance to explore more than just the facts but rather the fun-loving spirit of life.

I could spend all day listing compelling, heart-warming and entertaining features that have been written by both students and professionals, but I'd rather open my eyes and seek the next big story that could possibly touch someone else's life and in return, touch mine.

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pelled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drain. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.

Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor

Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.

Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood wings need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain does not look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.

Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushhes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home's paint and force you to have that side of the house repaired. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.

Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of ​​your yard that collects too much water or does not get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it's not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.