In 2006, Simon Tam founded an Asian-American rock band in Portland, Oregon. He named the band “Slants”. In Mr. Tam’s words, “It actually sounds like a fun, 80s, New Wave-kind of band. And it’s a play on words. We can share our personal experiences about what it’s like being people of color—our own slant on life, if you will.
“Don’t believe me just watch! Don’t believe me just watch!” lyrics to Bruno Mars’ wildly popular hit “Uptown Funk” song could not be any more appropriate for what he is going through right now. Recently, surviving members of an 80’s funk band, Collage, sued Bruno Mars for copyright infringement.
In today’s electronic world of websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., sharing one’s feelings with others is as easy as clicking a mouse or hitting “post” on a smart phone. The author can even remain anonymous if s/he chooses. But, what if the statements that are shared online aren’t true? Defamation – a false statement made to a third party about a public or private person – is no laughing matter.
A patent is a license granted to an inventor by the government, giving the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling his or her invention for a set period. In exchange for sharing the details of your invention with the world, you are allowed to monopolize your invention for up to 20 years. (This, by the way, is one reason prescription medicines are so expensive before generics can be sold.)
Having a strong internet presence is crucial in today’s digital world. But, differentiating yourself or your business from the multitude of social media sites, websites, and blogs can be quite a challenge. One technique is to capture your audience’s attention with visual images or sounds. Using search engines, the possibilities are endless and simply a click away.
Business owners routinely ask questions about the names and phrases they use to sell, advertise, and promote their goods and services. This brings up the issue of what is a trademark and what can be trademarked.