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Jack Daniel's has long been one of the most aggressive companies when it comes to defending its brand. Most recently, it successfully defended a state law that legally defined "Tennessee whiskey" -- a phrase featured prominently on Jack Daniel's bottles -- as charcoal-filtered, corn-based whiskey aged in new barrels -- a process almost unique to the Jack Daniel's distillery.

And while proactively defending the distinguishing trademarks and characteristics of your business is admirable (and sometimes necessary), some companies have been known to go overboard, and garner some negative attention. So how do you find the right balance when protecting your business image?

Taylor Swift is trademarking her lyrics. A bunch of athletes are trademarking their names and catch phrases. Maybe you've wondered whether your business needs to register a trademark.

If your answer to that question is yes, you've come to the right place. Here's a quick guide on how to register a business trademark.

What Is Trademark Tacking?

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday decided in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank that the issue of "trademark tacking" was a question for a jury, not a judge.

We all know (hopefully) what a trademark is, but what is "trademark tacking"?

Yesterday, news broke that Northern California brewery Lagunitas was suing Sierra Nevada, the other big maker of craft beers in Northern California. The controversy centered on the design and use of the letters "IPA" in the labels for both breweries' India Pale Ales. Lagunitas claimed that Sierra Nevada's design infringed on a trademark for its particular use of "IPA."

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lagunitas' founder announced over Twitter that he was dropping the suit after some harsh public criticism.

What can businesses learn from Lagunitas' mini-controversy?

Young Girls' Invention Gets Them Sued for $1M

A pair of young sisters was amazed when their nifty little invention -- a microfiber cleaning cloth that sticks to the back of a smartphone or tablet -- started picking up steam.

Called HypeWipes, the cloths were a hit at trade shows and amongst a growing number of customers. But that luck soon changed for 14-year-old Sophia Forino, her sister Marissa, and the girls' father Rocca Forino: A company which markets a product called Hype-Wipe filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Forinos claiming the girls' invention infringes on the trademark for the Hype-Wipe, reports WVIT-TV.

What can small business owners take away from this somewhat unfortunate intellectual property dust-up?

Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" turned 50 this year, and business owners could learn a thing or two from how Willy Wonka runs his factory.

From a legal standpoint, Wonka's business is one giant lawsuit waiting to happen, and the whole thing is premised on inviting children into direct harm. But on top of being fictional, this business owner had some rather keen ways of keeping his business out of court.

Check out these five tasty legal lessons from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (both the book and the movie versions):

Do You Need to Register a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or device -- such as a brand name or logo -- which identifies your business or product and distinguishes it from other similar businesses or products.

The owner of a trademark can enforce his trademark rights to prevent others from infringing upon it by using a similar name or selling the same goods or services under a different name. But how are those rights established?

Do business owners need to register a trademark in order to protect their trademark rights?

SLCC Punk: San Diego Tries to Muscle Rights to 'Comic Con'

The Salt Lake Comic Con is experiencing its first year, but the convention already generating some potential legal battles with its larger comic con brethren.

In a letter sent last week, attorneys for the San Diego Comic-Con demanded the convention change its name, or face legal action, reports Salt Lake City's KUTV-TV.

What's behind this comical name battle and what lessons can you learn about choosing a name for your business?

YouTube star Michelle Phan has been slapped with a copyright-infringement lawsuit over her use of background music in her makeup tutorials.

The do-it-yourself online makeup sensation is accused of rising to commercial success by illegally using copyrighted music by artists like Deadmau5 and Kaskade in her videos. While Phan insists she didn't infringe on any copyrights, business owners may be wondering: Isn't there a way for entrepreneurs like Phan to use music without being sued?

Learn from Phan's copyright suit with these three business lessons:

Does Your Business Need an Intellectual Property Audit?

It's 2014. Do you know what your business' intellectual property is doing?

If you didn't answer with an emphatic "Yes!" (or worse yet, had to stop and think about what exactly intellectual property is), then you may be a prime candidate for an IP audit.

What exactly is an IP audit, and what can it potentially do for your business? Here's what business owners need to know: