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Recently in Intellectual Property Category

'Shark Tank' Entrepreneur Sued for $300M in Fraud Case

"Shark Tank" entrepreneur and guest Shark, Jamie Siminoff, has found himself in rough waters before, and here he goes again. Siminoff, founder of Ring, has been named as a defendant in a fraud lawsuit brought by former board member and investor, Russell Stephens, to the tune of $300 million.

Tips for Protecting Small Business Proprietary Information

In this day and age where business is fiercely competitive, and almost everything can be found on the internet, it's more important than ever to protect your proprietary information. Whether it's information on a patent you are developing, or "just" a hamburger recipe, you have a strong need to keep your private information private. Here's some information on why and how you should do that, not just when interfacing with third parties, but also when hiring and handling your own employees.

If your car breaks down, you can take it to just about any repair shop you want. You might even have the know-how and the parts to fix it yourself. The same hasn't always been true for smartphones and other electronic devices with embedded software.

U.S. copyright law prohibited bypassing, breaking, or hacking digital rights management ("DRM") and software locks to make repairs or reset phones. But a proposed exemption would allow consumers and independent repair experts to hack embedded software on their devices, including smartphones, cars, smart home appliances, and tractors. Yes, tractors.

Sometimes you come up with a great idea for yourself, sometimes you come up with one for someone else. Or maybe you don't have the resources right now to take advantage of your good idea, but someone else does. So how do you make sure you're taken care of while someone else takes care of your big idea?

A licensing contract or agreement can allow you to share your intellectual property and get compensated if someone else is making money off your ideas. Licensing contracts may also allow your small business to use someone else's ideas or content without getting sued, and may be a good idea when using independent contractors. Here's a quick overview on licensing contracts and how they can help your small business.

When to Sue Counterfeiters

If you come up with a great new product, you want to be the only one selling it. Like if you had to clear all the testing and regulatory hurdles associated with vaporizers and e-cigarettes and adhere to strict age requirements when selling them, and then you see dozens of Chinese entities selling untested counterfeit e-cigs on eBay without a care to underage buyers, you'd probably sue those entities for trademark infringement.

Litigation may not always be the first choice for small businesses that discover someone selling counterfeits of their products, but it may be your last resort. Here's when you might want to think about suing counterfeiters.

Chances are, you started your small business either because you had something (an idea, a product, or a service) that no one else had, or because you could make or do something better than it was being done already. Either way, you're bringing something unique to the table, something that will set you and your company apart, and something you don't want anyone else to get their hands on.

Protecting your trade secrets is essential to maintaining your competitive advantage as a small business, so here are five things you should be thinking about when it comes to your trade secrets:

Every small business needs to know how to protect its intellectual property. From product patents to trademarking logos to copywritten written materials, making sure other businesses don't steal your ideas is essential setting your products and services apart and ensuring your value.

These efforts can be especially important, and complicated, when it comes to online businesses, where everything you make, sell, and say is immediately available worldwide. So if you're running an online business, here are five tips to protecting your intellectual property.

Fitbit Settles Lawsuit Over Haptic Feedback Patents

Fitbit is active in the legal arena again. It has been embroiled in numerous patent infringement and trade secret cases over the last few years with companies such as Jawbone and Valencell.

Most recently, Fitbit was sued last year by Immersion in both the US and China for using what Immersion claims are three of its patented technologies related to Haptic Feedback. (For those keeping track, that would be patents 8,351,299, 8,059,105, and 8,638,301.) What is Haptic Feedback? More on that later.

Between patent trolls, corporate and espionage, and employees taking your ideas with them as they walk out the door, there are myriad reasons to protect your intellectual property as a small business owner. But you entrepreneurs are a curious breed, so confident in your ability to do anything and everything. And, to be fair, a law degree is not a prerequisite to filing for a patent.

Still, there comes a time when your intellectual property needs will require an expert in the field. So how do you know when you need to hire an IP lawyer to protect your business' ideas?

Everybody and their mom has a podcast these days -- how hard can it be? You record yourself (and maybe some friends), throw it up on the internet, and wait for that sweet, sweet ad revenue to come flowing in. But like anything that sounds too good to be true, there's always a hitch, legally speaking.

Although it may seem like it, podcasting is not the Wild, Wild West, and there are a few legal considerations any prospective podcaster should take to heart before hitting record.