difference between a work for hire and an assignment spear IP maria ollis attorney

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.

Spear IP fashion law #shoplocal christmas list

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.

proactive ip protection and exit strategy spear ip

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.

protect a t-shirt idea lifestyle brands spear ip

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.

Put A ® On It: Color Trademarks and Cheerios

Color trademarks are unique beasts. Either color is an essential part of your packaging, logo, or overall branding (looking at you, Lyft), or color is kind of a non-issue. (Think about the rainbow of Nike swooshes you’ve seen in your lifetime.) It’s possible to register or “trademark” a color, but, as General Mills just learned, it’s not easy. Below, a little more on color trademarks and the registration process.

People are Suing Amazon for Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses

People Are “Total-ly” Suing Amazon for Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses

Those of you in the Nashville, Tennessee area remember the total eclipse that occurred last week. For two blissful minutes (or eerie minutes, depending on your perspective), the sun disappeared, the birds stopped chirping while the cicadas started, and there was a sunset on every horizon. After a flurry of “eye-popping” prices for eclipse glasses, some unscrupulous vendors began peddling counterfeit glasses — glasses that would not protect your eyeballs from the wonders of science. … Continue reading →

spear ip year three

Year Three: What to Expect from Spear IP

The book has closed on Year Two. Year Two meant increased community involvement, a podcast appearance, and the release of two basic legal checklists. Here is a look at what to look forward to in Year Three.