This post is the second in a series of weekly blog posts covering legal issues for consideration during the early stages of development of a health app and providing best practices to help guide you through a successful launch. Consideration of intellectual property (IP) protection early in the development of a health app is important.  Otherwise you could lose the opportunity to do so in the future or be forced to change the name or other details of your app after you have already invested time and money in the app.

Trademark

Does your health app have a name? A logo? A tagline or slogan? Will it be marketed anywhere? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should think about applying for trademark protection.  Words, names, slogans, sounds, symbols, and more can be protected by trademark if used to indicate a source of the goods/services (i.e., the health app) and to identify and distinguish the health app from those offered or sold by others.

To read the rest of the post on our Health Law & Policy Matters blog, please click here.

shutterstock_520740664In June 2016, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced that Las Vegas would be awarded an NHL franchise team, the first major professional sports team in the city and the first new expansion team for the NHL in over fifteen years.  The team announced its name in November—the “Vegas Golden Knights.”  But just a few weeks later, on December 7, the team’s trademark application for the name in connection with “entertainment services, namely, professional ice hockey exhibitions” was refused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark as likely to be confused with a registered trademark for GOLDEN KNIGHTS THE COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE, owned by the College of Saint Rose, a Division II member of the NCAA with no hockey team.

Continue Reading NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights’ Trademark Application Refused Due To Likelihood of Confusion with the College of Saint Rose Golden Knights

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This past Thursday the Brexit vote sent shockwaves around world, including the IP community and in particular with respect to IP rights in the UK and Europe. But concerns at the moment are speculative as nothing yet has changed.

The UK has only voted on whether to leave the EU. The UK has not actually left the EU, nor is any such departure likely for at least two years from the date the UK officially notifies the EU of its plan to withdraw. Modifications to any IP laws will come only through terms of the Brexit negotiated between the UK and the EU in the coming months and years.

In the meantime, we can predict and highlight potential impacts that could result from a UK exit from the European Union.

Continue Reading Keep Calm and IP On: Planning for UK IP Post-Brexit

As the March Madness season kicks into full gear, organizations throughout the country will be seeking to capitalize upon the energy created by college basketball to host events and promotions. In doing so, however, it is important to remember that the phrase “March Madness” is a federally registered trademark owned by the NCAA. For full details on NCAA’s ownership of the trademark and how to avoid getting into a sticky situation regarding this phrase, please see our post on our Copyright & Trademark Matters blog.

The best way for a business to avoid being vulnerable to infringing on a trademark is an understanding of how they operate. This information is essential to every business that uses a name, trade name, brand name, logo, or slogan in order to advertise goods or services, i.e., every business!

For example, a clearance and registration of a name for a corporation or other business entity obtained from a Secretary of State’s office is not the same thing as a registered protective trademark. Additionally, unlike copyright infringement, trademark infringement can occur even without prior knowledge of a preexisting trademark. Nor do marks need to be identical or even used competitively in order to be infringing! Read more about the importance of US Trademark Searches here.

A New Jersey court is taking steps to clarify the issue of a trademark licensee’s protection after the licensor files for bankruptcy. The world of intellectual property has long allowed for licensees to continue using licensed property despite the licensor’s bankruptcy filing. Yet, as the definition of intellectual property in The Bankruptcy Code does not mention trademarks, courts have been widely varied on this issue. To hear what this court has concluded, please continue reading at the Copyright & Trademark Matters blog. For more complete information, including protection allowed under section 363 “free and clear” sale of trademarks to a third-party, check out this Bankruptcy Advisory prepared by member of the Mintz Levin Bankruptcy practice.