Data Protection Compliance

Data Protection Compliance

As reported a couple of days ago by Outlaw.com, HMRC have in recent years been criticised like many other bodies for their failures in complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The data breaches and the publicity generated has obvious implications for public confidence in the ability of public…Read more »

By Our Team | April 25, 2008
Facebook Dispute

Facebook Dispute

Aaron Greenspan’s continuing dispute with Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg has taken the form of a petition to cancel Facebook’s trademark registration in the USA mentioned here. The origins of the dispute lay in Greenspan ’s claims to have had the original idea for the social networking company. Two interesting points arise from this – firstly…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | April 18, 2008
Joint Copyright appeal favours Procol Harum

Joint Copyright appeal favours Procol Harum

The recent ruling in the Procol Harum copyright dispute illustrates the dangers of joint copyright. It is a huge practical problem which anyone whose business involves copyright works should pay heed to. In the case it was decided that Matthew Fisher became a joint author of the musical work for the song ‘A Whiter Shade…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | April 14, 2008
Domain Drop Catching

Domain Drop Catching

Domain names are always an important part of any business. For web based businesses they are sometimes a lifeline. So, what do you do if you do not own a domain name you want? One of the available options is to use a domain drop catching service.  This involves registering your interest with a service…Read more »

By Our Team | April 7, 2008
Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

As a potential user of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services, as well as solicitors specializing in internet and related laws, we recently examined the market and reviewed the services that are offered. As expected there is a huge variation in price and terms on offer. Some SEO providers are charging well into the thousands for…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | March 31, 2008
Worldwide clearance of names and the small business

Worldwide clearance of names and the small business

Google’s Gmail litigation raises an important point about clearing names before use. It is hard enough for a business to invent good distinctive names that are not already someone else’s trade mark in one country, let alone in several countries worldwide. The charges made by large search providers can be prohibitively high.A company could pay…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | March 27, 2008
Metatags and Trade Mark Use

Metatags and Trade Mark Use

Trade mark law like any IP right has been forced to adapt to the digital environment where trade marks are seen on virtually every web page available on the internet. The question is whether or not the appearance of the mark amounts, in certain circumstances to use of the trade mark. Today many businesses use…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | March 20, 2008
Google loses Gmail trade mark case

Google loses Gmail trade mark case

Google’s unsuccessful EU wide trade mark application to register the name ‘G-mail’ shown here is a salutary lesson about the importance of registering rights to a brand early, and in all countries in which you hope to use it. When an EU application is successfully opposed in any one member state, as it was here,…Read more »

By Shireen Smith |
Unjustified Threats

Unjustified Threats

One challenging aspect of advising small businesses is the vagueness of the law. It is difficult to give the clear, black and white answers business people need. One client recently asked me what letters we would be able to send out to enforce her design or trade mark rights if she registered them. She even…Read more »

By Shireen Smith | March 18, 2008
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