Conference Notes

Conference Notes

Last week I attended the American Bar Association Spring Intellectual Property Meeting in Rockville, MD. There was only one session, which shall not be named, that didn’t get me jazzed about intellectual property work. Needless to say, I had a great time and I learned a great deal. There were a few take-aways that I will share over the coming weeks as I digest the topics more, but here are the highlights

  • Terms of Use and Privacy Policies. If you operate a website, particularly when your site or client’s site is collecting information or selling items, you should be putting these policies in a very prominent place. For Terms of Use, having a “clickwrap” policy (which requires active user engagement) versus “browsewrap” policies are generally better.
  • All unauthorized uses of trademarks are not created equal. Dealing with overzealous fans of your brand can usually be handled with far more tact that a cease & desist letter. Key point, always draft (and as a client ALWAYS review) a cease & desist letter as if the letter will appear online-because it will.
  • UDRP–Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy can be an effective dispute resolution tactic when dealing with online trademark disputes. Oh, and it is usually a whole heck of a lot cheaper than full blown litigation.
  • State based online privacy protection acts need to be considered. Many developers understand COPPA, the Child Online Privacy Protection Act limits the kind of data that can be collected by website owners. But there are state level acts, particularly CalOPPA which apply to websites as well if you think you could be collecting data on residents of that state.

Do you ever use stock photos for your website? Do you know that if you use a human model, the license for use of that model’s image might not be sufficient for commercial uses? Did you ever think about how YouTube is changing the definition of a celebrity, which may impact the right of publicity? Did you know you had a right of publicity? You do, even if you are not a celebrity and this area of the law is growing and changing rapidly.

These are just some of the subject areas that I will be talking about over the coming weeks.

One of other big lesson of the conference?

I sure don’t miss commuting from Frederick to Rockville (or further) everyday.