Almost every state has passed some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which sets forth what a trade secret is and when it is actionable because of a misappropriation of that trade secret. Generally, it’s information which can be a formula, a method, a practice, a technique, a business compilation, or business data that is not generally known, or not readily accessible, and from which the company derives independent economic value. As long as that trade secret is kept secret, then that company has a right to protect it.
For as long as I can recall, I always wanted to be an attorney. I’m a third generation attorney, and I guess partially being an attorney is in my blood. I began as a litigation attorney, and over the years I have also done transactional work, especially in the business and intellectual property area. And I find that having been and still am a litigation attorney gives me a particular insight when doing transactional work, because when doing transactional work, if at the end of the day there’s a dispute, it’s going to wind up in court. So I feel that I have a good perspective in that respect. And I enjoy litigation and trial work. So that’s why I’m still an attorney.
Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another without just cause. So in this case, the suit would lie for invasion of privacy, not for defamation. Defamation requires that the statement be false. Invasion of privacy does not require the statement be false, and the plaintiff can sue for damages.
A breach of contract requires a material breach by one party. That means that an obligation has not been performed in a material way, giving the right to the other party to sue for damages. Those damages can be actual damages, and depending on what they contract provides, possibly could be consequential and incidental damages that flow from the breach.
Also, it’s possible under certain circumstances that injunctive relief can be obtained as well, but really, you have to look at the agreement to find out what the parties themselves said about what happens when there’s a breach.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides for a safe harbor for online service providers from copyright infringement if they put on their website a Digital Millennium Copyright Act agent, a DMC agent that can be notified by copyright owners if they are claiming infringement of a copyrighted work on the website.
The copyright owner then provides notice to this agent. If the website operator, the online service provider expeditiously removes or disables access to the copyrighted material, then that will give the copyright owner an opportunity to take legal action. If this is followed, then the online service provider will be protected from liability for that infringement.
Fair use is the limited copying of a copyrighted work done for transformative purposes. It can be done to comment, criticize, or parody the original work. Permission of the copyright owner is not needed, and in doing so, would not be infringement.
The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) was an amendment to the Lanham Act to fill a gap. The problem was the trademark and service mark owners didn’t have a way to sue under the Lanham Act for improper use of their trademarks and service marks incorporated in domain names because the Lanham Act is limited to trademarks and service marks. With this amendment it allows trademark and service mark owners to sue claiming that the registration of the domain name was done so in bad faith because the domain name registrant does not a have a good faith, or legitimate, purpose in using the domain name that incorporates the plaintiff’s trademark or service mark. See 15 U.S.C. 1125(d)
Section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that there is an automatic stay that commences at the beginning of the case against recovering for any claims by a creditor for any pre-petitioned debt. This means that once the bankruptcy case is filed, a creditor cannot take any action against the debtor to recover debts that arose prior to the filing of the bankruptcy, and this would include property that is owned by the debtor.
The difference between mediation and arbitration is that mediation is not binding, whereas arbitration is. Mediation is usually held before one mediator, oftentimes a former judge, who acts as a neutral party to help the parties begin to come together to try and settle the matter, and that mediator is not really interested in deciding who’s right or wrong.
In arbitration, it’s binding. The parties agree ahead of time that whatever the decision of the arbitrator will be, that will be final and not appealable, and there can be discovery process, there’s a lot of discretion left to the arbitrator as to how to proceed.
Ordinarily, a domain name is not a trademark and cannot be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A domain name serves to identify a particular IP address, and is similar in that way that a building address or a street address operates in the physical world. In contrast, a trademark or service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, or a smell, or a design that is used to identify and distinguish goods and services provided by one person or company or manufacturer from another. Trademarks and service marks can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well as state registration offices and international registration offices.