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Copyrights and Trademarks

I have received a few inquiries about copyrights and trademarks on the web in the last few days. Everything in the world around you that is man made is essentially another’s intellectual property.  Beware and step lightly.

In an effort to pass along some basic information, here are some quick practical tips:

  1. Be aware of intellectual property belong to other people or companies.  Request permission to use it.  In the end, what they claim is copyrightable or trademark-able may not be so, but it will be expensive to litigate the issue.
  2. Search the web to make sure others are not using your intellectual property.  If they are – contact an attorney.  You may have to take some action to protect your IP.
  3. Do not use another company’s name to attract business to your own website (in your website’s code for instance).  Again, your competitor’s name may not be trademark-able, but it can be expensive to find that out.

More on this in future posts.  If you have any questions, e-mail me at, call me at 703-288-2800 x236, or visit us on the web at  Also, follow us on twitter @InternetBizLaw.

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