Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 12 2014: Seattle Startup Acquired; Microsoft Trade Secret Victim?; Time Warner CEO Makes $42,000 Per Hour

Former Microsoft Employee Arrested for Stealing Trade Secrets

A former Microsoft software architect, Alex A. Kibkalo, was arrested in Bellevue this week on federal charges cased on the allegation that he unlawfully passed proprietary information, including unreleased Windows 8 code, to an anonymous blogger. But Microsoft failed to maintain momentum as the victim in the case when it was criticized for the method by which it uncovered the crime it ultimately turned over to the FBI.  Microsoft was approached by a source who had been asked by the blogger to help interpret the misappropriated proprietary data, and the source disclosed that the blogger used a Microsoft account. Per the Microsoft terms of service, Microsoft decided it had the right to read the...

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Intellectual Property

Social Media Legal Issues: (Post Number 5): Copyright, Trademark, and other Intellectual Property (IP) issues

Intellectual property (“IP”) issues, particularly issues surrounding copyright law, are issues every business is likely to encounter when engaging with customers via social media. Copying and pasting a picture, song, video, document, or webpage onto your business’ profile to share via social media is easy. And many social media users are doing it.

Nevertheless, sharing “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium” (i.e. original content) created by others, unless you have explicit permission to do so, is usually in violation of the copyright laws meant to protect, and by extension promote, the creation of original content.

And intentionally or inadvertently associating your business, your products, or your service with the trademarks of another can open you to liability for infringement.

To...

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Intellectual Property

Social Media Legal Issues: (Post Number 4): Trade Secrets, Confidential Information, and Your Company’s Social Media Strategy

Protecting your business’ confidential information is critical, and social media has undoubtedly made this process more difficult. The inherent nature of social media is to spread information— not to protect it. But if you—and your employees—understand trade secrets (and other confidential information), as well as who owns “your” social media accounts, you can help protect your business from the damage of inadvertent or wrongful disclosure.

So what is a “trade secret”? Generally, a “trade secret” is information that (1) is maintained in confidence, (2) has commercial value from not being generally known, and (3) is not readily ascertainable by proper means. The more detailed and difficult the information is to obtain, the more likely it is a trade secret.

For your information to...

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Intellectual Property

Crash Course on Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is broken down into four main areas: trademark, copyright, trade secret, and patent.

This post provides a basic explanation of each area of intellectual property, and simple steps you can take to protect your intellectual property:

Trademarks

Trademarks and service marks are protected under state and federal law. Logos, company names, product names, and slogans are some of the common marks that are protected under the Lanham Act (the federal statute governing trademarks). There are two primary categories of trademarks: plain-text marks (or word marks) and design marks. An example of a plain-text mark is “Nike”, and an example of a design mark is the Nike Swoosh.

 

What rights do trademark holders have?

A trademark holder has the right to exclude others from...

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