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Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway” To Courtroom

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You may have heard that Led Zeppelin is being sued for copyright infringement for “borrowing” the opening chord progression on their mega-hit, “Stairway To Heaven.” It’s such an iconic progression that it’s going through your head right this second, without me having to hum it for you, which is a good thing, since I have…
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Why it is always a good idea, to protect a good idea

Taking an innovation from idea to thriving business is no simple feat — every entrepreneur would do well to pursue the proper legal protections to safeguard what they have sweated and bled to create. Should they file for a patent, a trademark or a copyright? To answer this, let’s first consider the historical context. The…
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5 Epic Patent Battles

Flashback: 5 Epic Patent Battles that Would Make Headlines Today

Patent trolls, patent thickets, international tug-of-wars, and the race to be first to file may seem like the stuff of today’s cut-throat global economy. But they’re old news. Many of the most iconic American inventions were mired in patent battles. As the U.S. joined the rest of the world by shifting to a first-to-file system…
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First Sale Doctrine Under Threat

First Sale Doctrine Under Threat: Why You May Need Permission to Sell Your iPhone

Guest contributor Brian Keith Felderstein, Esq. explains what you need to know about the First Sale doctrine and how an upcoming Supreme Court decision could change the way you buy and sell goods. A couple weeks ago I finally got my hands on the new iPhone 5 and have now relegated my iPhone 4 to…
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How to copyright photos and written works

How to Copyright Photos and Written Works: Ask a Lawyer

Whether you’re writing the next great novel or inventing a new cell phone app, it’s important to legally protect your creative works. One of our fans asked us how to protect her photos and written works, as well as how to pass the rights on to her heirs. Read on to learn what you need…
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Ask a Lawyer: Filming in a Public Space

Each and every week, we invite a guest attorney to our Facebook page to answer questions from our users. This week’s best? A question about filming in public spaces and whether you need permission from people who happen across your camera’s lens. Of course, keep in mind that this has to do with filming something…
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Choosing a unique business name

Choosing a Business Name That’s Yours, and Yours Alone

Nerve-wracked over trying to pick a business name? It’s understandable. Your business’s name is the first thing many people notice. In your quest to choose a great, standout name, make sure you aren’t picking a name someone else has already claimed. Stake Your Claim As a business owner, it’s important to understand some trademark basics.…
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Mashups and sampling: what's fair use

Mashups and Sampling: What’s Fair Use?

The use of mashups and sampling in music has created many questions when it comes to copyright protections.  If you’re a musician, you might want to protect your works from being used without permission. On the other hand, if you’re a mashup artist, you want to do it without getting in a copyright infringement lawsuit.…
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Have a Crazy Invention? Get a Patent!

What do you get when you mix beer and an umbrella? A “beerbrella” of course! If you happen to be the beer drinking, sunbathing inventor of the beerbrella, you might call it US Patent #6637447. Yes, attaching an umbrella to a bottle merits a patent. As an outspoken fan of cocktail umbrellas, I struggle in…
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Ask a Lawyer: Getting a Copyright for a Self Published Book

Every week, our guest attorneys answer your questions on the Rocket Lawyer Facebook page. On July 25, the questions covered copyrighting a self published book, what to look for in a wedding contract, and security deposits.  Scroll down to see all of the questions and answers. Please visit us on Facebook to see the next…
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