Category: Intellectual Property

NFL Trademark Registration News

In an unprecedented move, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the trademark registration of the Washington Redskins.

The team name has long been disputed as being disparaging to Native Americans, and now five Native Americans have convinced the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the trademark registration.

While the ruling does not require the Redskins to change their name, it does limit their protection against trademark infringement. Without a federal trademark registration, the Redskins still have common-law trademark protection, but the protection is not as complete, and in some cases, ambiguous at best.

The Redskins said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Regardless of the outcome, the Washington Redskins will need to depend on knowledgeable trademark attorneys to guide them through the appeals process.

Although their trademark rights will remain intact during the appeal process, if the courts ultimately uphold the decision, then Redskins’ trademark attorneys must be ready to thwart the third party vendors that are sure to begin selling their brand, either unaware or unafraid of the common-law trademark protections that will still protect the Redskins to some extent.

The moral of the story here is that action regarding trademark law is often the result of financial or emotional reasons, and often times, as in this case, by both.

Our law firm and trademark attorneys have seen this many times regarding trademark registration and trademark disputes. We are often contracted to protect the financial well being of a client, but usually learn that there also exists emotional feelings such as the need for “security” in the case of trademark registrations, or a feeling of “theft” or “robbery” in the case of trademark infringement.

If you believe that you are in need of an attorney for trademark registration or trademark infringement in the South Florida area, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation and the options that are available to you. Our trademark lawyers represent clients nationwide and locally in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Parkland, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, Miami and all surrounding areas.

Contact the respected trademark attorneys of The Lomnitzer Law Firm to arrange an initial consultation.

Some aspects of this blog post are from the original article in the Chicago Tribune written by By Sam Farmer.

Filing a Civil Litigation Lawsuit

Civil litigation is the process in which non-criminal matters are resolved in a court of law. Civil matters can be described as situations dealing with relationships between people, such as a marriage, or contracts, such as tenant/landlord disputes, or businesses, such as copyright or trademark disputes.

Most civil cases begin with some sort of a breach of contract. This can include a failure to make a payment, failure to acknowledge a right, etc…

While most cases are resolved by out-of-court settlement, mediation or arbitration, some civil cases do go all the way to trial. With proper guidance and representation, those involved in a civil matter can prudently explore all avenues of negotiation before embarking on a path towards a time consuming and costly litigation.

We believe that it is important to find a civil litigation attorney with strong mitigation skills. Mitigation can be any attempt to resolve the issue outside of court such as offering payment plans or other settlement attempts. While mitigation does not always work, it is in your favor to show that attempts were made before taking the case to court.

Your civil litigation attorney should be depended upon to guide you from initial contact through all phases of the legal process up to and including negotiations and a full trial, if necessary.

If you believe that you are in need of a civil litigation attorney in the South Florida area, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation and the options that are available to you. Our civil litigation lawyers represent clients nationwide and locally in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Parkland, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, Miami and all surrounding areas.

Contact the respected civil litigation attorneys of The Lomnitzer Law Firm to arrange an initial consultation.

2013 Broward County Bar Association Bench and Bar Convention

2013 Broward County Bar Association Bench and Bar Convention

For the 2013 Broward County Bar Association Bench and Bar Convention, Ms. Lorri Lomnitzer, has been chosen to speak in the second session for the intellectual property/copyrights panel on October 18, 2013.

The list of speakers and details for this event can be located on, www.browardbenchandbar.org

25th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference – Montego Bay, Jamaica.

25th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference – Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Ms. Lorri Lomnitzer has been chosen to speak at the 25th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Ms. Lomnitzer will be discussing “Music Publishing Developments in an ever Consolidating World”, in the first breakout session of November 8th, 2013 from 9:20 to 10:20.

The list of speakers and details for this event, including location and registration can be found on, www.iclega.org

America Invents Act Bringing Vital Changes for Inventors / Patent Seekers.

When you come up with a brilliant idea, naturally you will want to do everything in your power to protect it. This is especially true if your idea leads to an invention that can make you money or help you gain notoriety in some way. Well, with the passing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act last year, inventors around the country are beginning to pay much more attention to the importance of getting patents as soon as possible.

The act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16th, 2011, is named after it’s lead sponsors Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Lamar Smith and will go into effect on March 16th, 2013. How will this new law bring major changes for inventors? Let’s dive into it quickly.

Historically, the U.S patent system has always given leverage to the person who was first to invent. In essence, this means that if you came up with an amazing and unique invention first, then by law you have ownership. So if someone was to steal your idea days, months or years later, and you could somehow prove that you were the originator, you would still maintain ownership. However, with the America Invents Act, things will be far different.

See, once the America Invents Act comes into effect in a few weeks, being the first to invent will no longer be enough. The new act gives leverage to the inventor who is first to file for a patent of the invention. Many media outlets have labeled the patent reform as a “Race to the Patent Office”.

It is important to note that even with the America Invents Act coming into effect, there are some exceptions to consider. For instance, prior art can impact patentability. In other words, if an invention has been in publications or viewed or used by the public anywhere in the world, it could quality as prior art and bar patentability.

Let’s put this into perspective. Let’s say that you came up with an invention that is used by visitors at an amusement park in Miami, FL, but you have not actually went through the patent process. If someone was to try to file a patent for your invention after March 16th, it doesn’t mean they will have ownership simply because of the America Invents Act. Since your invention has been used by the public, it can quality as prior art and bar patentability.

With this groundbreaking act coming into effect soon, it should also mean a hike in patent infringement litigation and a greater demand for intellectual property lawyers. If you have an invention that you believe in and you have no idea how to file a patent, it may be in your best interest to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer who is accustomed to dealing with U.S patent applications.

In an article posted on IPtoday.com, writer Steven J. Hultquist wrote, “There is a need for the patent attorney to rapidly take an inventive concept and inductively broaden it out, hypothesize extensions, extrapolations, and alternative applications and embodiments, and competitively capture the broad scope of the invention, with fall-back positions against unknown prior art that may surface in the future, in the patent application that is rushed electronically to the Patent Office. There will be more “fire drill” patent filings in the post-March 16, 2013 world, with the unchanging goal of maximizing the patent position in each instance.”

In other words, with so many people rushing to the Patent Office, you better make sure you’re protected and making the right moves with the help of an experienced and proven patent attorney. There’s no point in rishing to the Patent Office, if you don’t have a strong case to present.

Google Takedown Requests Are Soaring! Protect Your Website with These Tips

It is safe to say that Google is a pretty popular website. Okay, that was a slight understatement. In fact, Google is the most-used search engine in the world. While most people may not think about the technical aspect of the mega company, there’s more to Google than a bevvy of information and the cool daily homepage animations. In actuality, the California-based company is known for having some of the strictest Webmaster Guidelines and Quality Guidelines on the World Wide Web. By having these guidelines, Google is able to keep up its standards high and help websites operate in a fair, honest and transparent way.

It was Bloomberg News, a popular website that often has the latest intellectual property and copyright news, who published an article about the recent hike in takedown requests at Google. What is a takedown request? In essence, it is a plea from an individual or a company that believes a particular website is violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or Quality Guidelines in some way. By submitting a takedown request, you would essentially be asking Google to take a closer look at a website that you believe is using unfair practices.

We did our own research and according to Google’s transparency report, there was an alarming 13.7 million takedown/removal requests submitted by copyright owners and reporting organizations from January through February 15th, 2013. Additionally, 42,989 specified domains were targeted during the same time period. If a website is found guilty of violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or Quality Guidelines, it will likely be suspended until the appropriate changes are made.

As a website owner, why should this matter to you? Well, most business owners create websites as a marketing strategy to reach new customers, maintain current ones and basically help their business grow in some way. However, if your website is suspended or blacklisted by Google, it will directly impact your ability to market your business or sell your products effectively. In some cases, when someone searches for your company name on Google, it may not show up at all until you make the necessary changes and submit what is known as a reconsideration request. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your website does not violate Google’s Quality Guidelines.

For starters, it is important to focus on both the technical and content-related aspects of Google’s guidelines. Lets take a look at the technical things that you can do to ensure that your site isn’t penalized for a violation of some sort.

Some General Technical Guidelines to Follow

• Try to use your website on multiple web browsers

• Eliminate pages that dont serve much value for users

• Ensure that your advertisements don’t affect how you rank

• If you use content management system, verify pages and links created

• Make sure search engine spiders can crawl your site without interruption

Let’s face it, we are not all inclined to handle the technical aspects of a website. So if you need help, don’t hesitate to consult a professional. Remember that violating some technical guidelines could land you in a world of trouble. In an era of data ownership, domain name disputes, and cybersquatting, you may even need to hire a cyber lawyer to protect your intellectual property and ensure that you’re not committing trademark infringement.

Quality Guidelines

• Avoid using automatically generated content : In a nutshell, this kind of content usually doesn’t make much sense to the reader at all. It is generated by a program and is usually packed with keywords that may help your site rank. Remember to make your website for real people as opposed to search engines.

• Stay clear of link schemes: When websites link to you, it affects your ranking on Google. However, it is essential that all of the sites that link to you have relevancy. For instance, if you are a music producer or songwriter, you may have a link to an entertainment lawyer who helped you draw up some contracts. There is an honest connection here that makes sense. But if you run a daycare center in West Palm Beach, FL and there are links to your website on an auto dealership website in South Africa, then you may be guilty of link scheming.

• Say no to cloaking: Cloaking is a term used to describe the process of using a set of content and/or URL’s for humans that’s different from the ones you use for search engines. When you do this, people who visit your website will be greeted with information that has little to do with what they are searching for.

• Sneak redirects: We’ve all been to websites that have redirected us to a different website at one point or another. If you recently changed your website and now you have a new address, a redirect is perfectly fine. However, if your redirect is intended to trick website visitors or search engines, then you are violating Google’s Quality Guidelines.

• Irrelevant keywords: When you create content from your website, it is essential that it is clear and easily readable. If you pack your content with an excess of keywords in hopes of ranking higher, Google will penalize you.

• Doorway pages: Doorway pages are pages that are created to rank a certain phrase. These kinds of pages can be annoying for users because it lengthens the search process simply so a website can rank higher.

• Affiliate programs: If you plan to use an affiliate program to market your website, make sure that the program you use has some similarities to your website. For instance, if your moving company sells moving services to families looking to relocate, you may have a link you your site from a company that sells discounted moving boxes and other supplies. Or maybe you are serving as the affiliate program for a company. If that’s the case, try to create fresh and original content about the merchant as opposed to just copy and pasting the information that already exists on the merchant’s website. By having updated, relevant information, you will be able to generate excitement and interest from readers.

As you move forward, remember that this is just a snapshot of the Guidelines that you should follow to remain in good standing with Google. If you follow the guidelines by making your website clear, concise and transparent, your website likely won’t be a part of the next wave of takedown requests.