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You have a great idea. Now how do you make sure no one steals it? Having a website is essential these days, and it can be a great way to get your small business's ideas and information out to a wider audience. But it can also expose those ideas to some less ethical outfits just looking to lift content from other sources.

Copyrights are intended to protect your work from someone else's unlicensed use, but do they apply to website content? And are copyrights the best way to protect material and ideas on your website?

We're big advocates of registering your trademarks -- it's a relatively painless process that can protect your intellectual property from infringement. We say "relatively painless" because, unlike the trademark for Havana Club rum, most trademark applications don't take 21 years to be processed.

One way to avoid having your trademark application sit around for two decades is to stay out of the kind of litigation Havana Club got involved in. Here are a few others:

As the American craft beer scene has exploded over the last decade, so has the amount of litigation involving craft breweries. Beer makers are going to court over everything from labels and naming rights to trademarked tap handles and whether the beer they make can even be called "craft beer."

Not only have these sudsy spats caused brewers time and money, but some customers as well. It turns out, much like parents with rowdy children, they don't like seeing their favorite breweries fighting. So what can your small business learn from the latest craft beer legal wranglings?

Apple Sued for iPhone Wi-Fi Assist Miss

Apple is being sued for Wi-Fi Assist, a feature that is less than helpful. Plaintiffs say Apple should not have left Wi-Fi Assist on as a default setting or should have made it more apparent that iOS9 users would incur added charges when it is turned on, Fortune reports.

Two plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of a class of users with data overage charges. They want Apple to reimburse iOS9 users who did not have unlimited data plans and got hit with big cell phone bills because of Wi-Fi Assist.

JPEG Copyright Possibility Threatens Fair Use

The Joint Photographic Experts Group, better known as JPEG, this week launched a security initiative seeking copyright protections for images. This will make image sharing more secure. But it will also bolster intellectual property protections for image holders, and that is controversial.

Critics are disappointed. "So much for hopes that the tech industry would back away from copyright protection any time soon," wrote engadget. The concern is for all of us, really, because copyright for jpegs will block creation of much material made under "fair use" doctrine.

Colleges Creating Law Clinics to Help Student Startups

The law is generally not a major concern for young tech geeks dreaming of being the next Mark Zuckerburg. But sometimes, long before the first billion is made, student startups hit a snag. A serious snag -- like a state attorney general's investigation.

That is what happened to some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who found themselves under investigation by New Jersey. Their promising software was accused of hijacking computers. Instead of developing an investment strategy, the students found themselves under investigation. Ultimately, no one was charged with a crime but the experience taught MIT to think different about the law.

Small businesses make hiring decisions based not just on what an employee brings to the table today, but what he or she can bring to the company in the future. We want innovators with new ideas and meaningful contributions.

So what if those good ideas are patentable? Do they belong to you or your employee? Well that all depends on what kind of agreements you have in place before the invention.

In the business world, your name is everything. Ask Polaroid, Xerox, Kleenex, or Google, -- brands whose names have become synonymous with an entire product; they'll tell you exactly how important a business's name can be to their bottom line.

But you know this already, which is why you put so much time and care into crafting your small business's name. Now all you have to do is protect it. So what should you do if another business starts using your name?

I've been on a search for the perfect fried chicken sandwich, trying just about everything from Chick-Fil-A and Carl's Jr. to local spots and food trucks. I have yet to make it to Church's, but based on one ex-employee's legal claim, maybe I need to give their "Pechu Sandwich" a try.

Norberto Colón Lorenzana attempted to patent what I assumed was a classic staple of American cuisine, claiming he invented it in 1991. But a federal court shut him down, saying the fried chicken sandwich could not be copyrighted, meaning restaurants, drive thrus, and food trucks are free to keep cranking out deliciousness without paying Lorenzana royalties.

It says it right there on the label: "Die Weltmarke Mit Den 3 Streifen," or, "The Brand With the Three Stripes." In fact, those three stripes have been synonymous with the adidas brand for so long, you'd think they wouldn't even need to trademark it.

But they have, and now adidas America has filed a federal lawsuit against Forever 21, claiming the fashion retailer is selling apparel with adidas's signature "Three Stripe Mark."