Client Query: How Do I Know If the GDPR Applies to Me?

You’ve noticed it, right? You’ve gotten bombarded with emails from all of the different services that you use. Pinterest, Etsy, GoDaddy, Instagram, Slack…they’re all updating their terms of service to reflect new privacy practices. But why? If you’re any sort of online entrepreneur, you know the answer. It’s the General Data Protection Regulation (or “GDPR”) coming out of the EU, set to go into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is a new set of standards established by the … Continue reading →

Protecting Your Pod Podcast Guest Contract Spear IP Maria Spear Ollis intellectual property detroit nashville lawyer

Protecting Your Pod[cast]: The Podcast Guest Contract

There’s so much anticipation and planning that goes into launching a podcast. The name, the graphics, the episode lineup… all of these things are the “fun part.” A Podcast Guest Contract might be the furthest thing from your mind. But what’s not fun? Getting into a legal tiff with a podcast guest. That’s why you might consider adding “podcast guest contracts” to your pre-launch checklist. Below is a (non-exhaustive!) list of what should be included in a solid Podcast Guest … Continue reading →

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The Difference Between a Work for Hire and an Assignment

What’s the difference between a work for hire and an assignment, and why is it important? It comes up in the context of copyright protection. If something was created as a true work for hire, it matters. Things like the length of copyright protection and — gasp — termination can come into play if you’re using the wrong term.

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My #ShopLocal #SupportSmall Wishlist

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially for independent brands! While the rest of the year might present fewer opportunities to get eyes on your products, the holiday season provides opportunities for more traffic (of both the in-person and online variety). Me? I’ve put together my own little #shoplocal #supportsmall wishlist, just in time for Christmas.

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IP and Thinking About Your Exit Strategy

Whether you’re a brand owner or a future brand owner, you start to do a gut check this time of year. The soon-to-be brand owner? She starts her engines and gears up to launch her business. The existing brand owner? He does a review; thinking through how the previous year went. What to both types of entrepreneurs have in common? They must be thinking about an exit strategy. (Spoiler alert: taking proactive steps to protect your IP now will add … Continue reading →

opening a food truck four crucial legal steps spear ip

Opening a Food Truck? 4 Crucial Legal Steps

Thinking about opening a food truck? Why not. The mobile food scene has been growing, drawing lines of hungry tourists and locals alike to many food truck windows. It’s a great way to test a restaurant concept prior to opening a brick-and-mortar location. Here are some legal steps to think through before opening your own food truck.

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You Can’t Protect a T-shirt Idea (But You Can Start a Lifestyle Brand)

“I have a REALLY great t-shirt idea.” “I’ve got an idea for a funny t-shirt slogan.” Many an IP attorney has heard this phrase at least once. Just like protecting an idea can be difficult, it’s challenging to protect a t-shirt idea. But a lifestyle brand? Now you’re talking. But be proactive: know how to safeguard the protectable elements of a t-shirt or lifestyle brand.

sponsored content and posting the right way

Sponsored Content and Posting the Right Way

Ever watch an old television show and notice the not-so-subtle product placement that was so commonplace back then? “Gee, Mary, these dishes sure are clean. You must be using Palmolive soap again!” Fast forward 65 years and sponsored content is still alive, but the medium and pitchmen have changed. Influencers and celebrities use Instagram and other platforms to make big money. But times are a-changin’ again, thanks to crackdowns — er, gentle reminders — by the FTC.