Business Law Articles - Commercial Law, Trademark and Intellectual Property - March June July 2010
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The following articles were gratefully supplied by Dilanchian Lawyers and Consultants - Intellectual Property and Innovation Professionals.

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IP Law

Digital music technology and copyright timeline

Technology and copyright issues for digital music have long been hot topics in Australia and worldwide. They are at the forefront of change for content and intellectual property business models involving the Internet.

Why register a trade mark?

In the legal arena a trade mark is in essence a sign for the source or origin of a product (eg branded magazine) or service (eg branded publishing services). In the eyes of the law - the mark sources the trader.

All businesses have trade marks. Their legal status and ease of protection varies for reasons briefly noted here. In common usage a "trade mark" may be a brand, logo, word or other sign. A trade mark registered in Australia gives its owner the advantage of a monopoly statutory right (ie law made by parliament) to use it in Australia. This legal monopoly right comes into force on registration without evidence of use.

Internet start-up strategy checklist

Lean internet start-up strategy is a theme in Dave McClure's latest slideshow on internet start-ups.

View the slideshow as a checkist and braindump from someone at the centre of a great deal in Silicon Valley. It's at least worth a scan read.

McClure often uses a pirate metaphor, including for his following repeated pirate "AARRR!" recommendation on the critical path for growth for an internet start-up.

Startup Metrics for Pirates
A cquisition: users come to site from various channels
A ctivation: users enjoy 1st visit: "happy experience
R etention: users come back , visit site multiple times
R eferral: users like product enough to refer others
R evenue: users conduct some monetization behavior

How to write a social media policy

I write social media policies. But whenever I'm asked to do so I review the relevant organisation's culture, market and personnel. As we'll see this context is important if you want to know how to write a social media policy.

A social media policy can be as short as a few paragraphs, a few pages or longer. A consideration governing length is - what is the purpose of the social media policy? In simple terms there are two purposes usually present - messages on what conduct is approved and what is disapproved.

As social media continues to grow (see graphics below), so do legal issues. People are people, offline and online.

Social media is still "new" (particularly for audiences familiar only with television, radio and newspapers). This keeps it ripe for moral panics and exaggerated over-emphasis in traditional media. Their focus is on bad things that can and do sometimes take place with a connection to Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.

Venture capital beginners guide and update

What types of investments do venture capitalists seek? How do they decide what to invest in? Two recent videos provide answers along with updates on the venture capital scene for IT sectors.

Each is an hour long question and answer session recorded at Stanford University. In the first video, serial entrepreneur Marc Andreessen talks to Stanford University students here. He talks about ventures he's put money into or in which he serves on the board, eg Facebook and Ning.

Short lesson on trade mark law

In the legal arena one of the things a new brand should be is "distinctive". In trade mark law that word in essence means that the brand should NOT be descriptive of the goods or services to which it relates. Instead it should be "distinctive".

Fail to do this and you'll increase your legal costs. Apple increased its legal costs, it settled this month with Fijitsu, a prior user of the name iPad (for mobile phones). For a longer lesson, with case studies, read our most recent article on the topic - Trade mark distinctive brands, save legal costs.

Viacom versus Google (friend of prosumers)

Wealth is increasingly created by empowering prosumers on networks. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others are in on this.

They are onto the new paradigm. They challenge old business models.

The owners of old business models continue to respond with litigation seeking to preserve the basis of their monopoly rights. This includes the long standing litigation case by Viacom against YouTube.

Anonymous and pseudonym lose defamation cases

My entry into social media in 2006 was facilitated by conversations in earlier years with Des Walsh.

As a strategist in the field, Des has a keen interest in legal considerations for social media. He has often spoken to me about the legal risk of defamation on a social media network, eg Facebook, YouTube or Whirlpool.

ACDC's music business model

What is it about ACDC that explains their popularity and sales in the music business thirty seven years after their debut? This hard rock band has sold more than 200 million albums. The US is a key market, representing about one third of the albums sold. Back in Black is the second highest selling album in history, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller album.

Neil Shoebridge had some answers in his article in the The Australian Financial Review on 1 March 2010. A key informant for the piece is Steve Barnett, co-chairman of the Sony-owned Columbia Records USA, ACDC's record company.

Copyright Notice, RSS Feed and View the Articles The articles in our Business Law pages are reproduced with kind permission from Dilanchian Lawyers and Consultants. If you wish to reproduce any of the information in any format, either electronic or written, you must first contact Dilanchian and obtain permission in writing.

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