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May 2011

Trademark Applications: A Glance at the USPTO's Second Quarter of 2011

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published their trademark statistic report for the second quarter of 2011.  Thus far, the USPTO has recorded 112,970 trademark registrations and 189,064 trademark applications.  The report also measured timeliness and provides the average number of months from the date the application is filed to the first action, which is currently 2.7 months, and a target ramge between 2.5 and 3.5 months from filings.  The average number of months from filing to notice of abandonment, notice of allowance, or registration is approximately 10.9 months with a target of 12.5 months or less. 


The Next Three Things: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know in Order to Survive

The Next Three things I have a lot of sayings, mottos and processes for our law firm.  But one that I continually come back to is my theory of “the next three things.”

Time management is always challenging for lawyers, paralegals and staff.  It is very easy to get overwhelmed in the volume of things that start to pile up.  Because we are Internet Law Attorneys, we handle a tremendous amount of volume.  We process over 200 prospects per month.  Of those 200 prospects, we convert approximately 10% into clients, most of those on commoditized legal services, such as trademark registration, trademark and copyright infringement threat letters, domain name disputes, internet defamation analysis and related issues.  The greatest bulk of our business comes from current clients who seek further services on a flat fee, defined deliverable basis.

All of this means that we handle a large number of clients each month on commoditized legal services.   How do we keep on top of everything and make sure that client service is our number one priority?  We focus on the next three things.  Instead of seeing that we have fifty things to accomplish in a day, we pick them off three at a time.   For any lawyer who’s seeking to “survive the day,” I would recommend using the “next three things” strategy.  As long as you’re prioritizing things appropriately, you’ll keep clicking off tasks without feeling overwhelmed. 


The Law Firm Outside GC Announces Expansion

Outside GC, a national leader in on-demand, in-house legal counsel services announced its expansion last week into the New York and Washington, DC areas, according to press release.  The firm plans to expand into the growing technology and media sector markets. 

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Does Anyone Read the Terms of Use / Service Agreement?

In this CNN.com article covering the White House Correspondence Dinner, the author notes Seth Meyers' hilarious metaphor about the way congress passes legislation by comparing it to the how we all simply say “I Agree” anytime the button pops up in our face on the Internet, more specifically, the iTunes terms. We all know that no one ever reads the terms of service, terms of use, privacy agreement or terms and conditions. 

CNN asked two attorneys to review the iTunes agreement and here are a few terms that users should be aware of:

Continue reading "Does Anyone Read the Terms of Use / Service Agreement? " »


District Court Judge Denies Copyright Holder the Right to Subpoena ISPs of Alleged Infringers

As reported on TorrentFreak, in the case Vpr Internationale v. Does 1-1017, District Court Judge Harold Baker denied Canadian adult film company from accessing the personal information connected to IP addresses from various ISP’s because:

“The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber’s household, a visitor with her laptop, a neighbor, or someone parked on the street at any given moment.”

This ruling is definitely a setback for attorneys who practice internet law, IP addresses are sometimes the only link to identify someone who has engaged in defamation, theft or other unlawful activity.  Unfortunately, the pornography business is muddying the waters for attorneys who need IP address information in order to link unlawful activity. 


Invasion of Privacy: Aaron's Rental Company Laptops Spie on Customers

As reported on the ABA Journal, a federal lawsuit has been filed by a couple from Casper, Wyoming against the rental company Aaron’s.  The lawsuit contends that Aaron’s, Inc. installed software on a the couple’s laptop in order to take webcam photos, monitor keystrokes, take screenshots and otherwise spy on their customers. 

The couple, Brian Byrd, and his wife, Crystal, learned about the software on their computer when Aaron’s manager showed up on their doorstep toting a photo of Brian Byrd, which was taken by the installed spyware. 

Continue reading "Invasion of Privacy: Aaron's Rental Company Laptops Spie on Customers" »