IP Litigation & Government Investigations • Videogames & eSports Cyrptocurrency & Virtual Currency • Data Privacy & Breach Response • Intellectual Property Licensing • Patent Prosecution • Trademark Prosecution • Copyright Registration
My Law Journey Making a difference is essential to me and the work I do; it’s what drove my journey into law, and it’s what drives me to this day. I’m not exactly sure what prompted it, but I know the impact my community had on me. Without my hometown and the journey it set me on, I’m not sure where I would be today. I grew up in a quaint town in north Georgia. Two industries were the lifeblood of the city: blue jeans and boozing. I loved playing baseball in my spare time, so I played on my high school team, which drove my dedication to academics. I loved the town, and with a population of only about 5,000, your connection to the community is stronger.
where I gained a completely new understanding of how enterprise law worked.
It was that dedication to my academics that enabled me to gain my town’s HOPE scholarship. The HOPE scholarship, now the Powerball scholarship, is an academic scholarship that awards free in-state tuition to any student with a B average. With only two people in my graduating class attending college, that scholarship set me on a path that would go beyond the doors of the jean and boozing factories. I went to Georgia Tech to study engineering for my bachelor’s. I loved the math and ingenuity of it all. The process of utilizing math and creativity to develop an idea from concept to reality, while helping to solve a problem, fascinated me. As I went further into my studies, I found myself longing for work that would help a community like the one in my hometown growing up.
There was one internship with American Express, however, that solidified my interest in this facet of law. During the internship, I worked to protect the patents of fraud detection technology they were developing. Tracey Thomas, the chief IP strategist, taught me the inner workings of handling IP cases and situations, especially in trade secret litigation and copyright claims. The lessons I was able to glean from Tracey were invaluable. The work was so much fun, and it all went so well that my superior offered me a job! I was there for a year and a half working in their upper Manhattan IP zone. The IP zone was a corridor for IP brokers and lawyers to make transactions and negotiate all in one spot. Soon after finishing my work at American Express, I passed the bar and went into the job market. If anyone remembers 2008, you know how hard it was to land on your feet. So to make myself appealing to firms, I went back to school for one more year. Due to the Dodd-Frank Act, there were a lot of job opportunities in commercial law, so I studied hedge funds and incentives in the context of the law. After I graduated, I moved to Orlando, where I found an opportunity to work with BakerHostetler doing commercial litigation. While I gained a lot of experience working at BakerHostetler, I still wasn’t able to help the community the way I wanted to in patent law. So, I took that as an opportunity to open my firm, a boutique IP practice that focuses on transactions and litigation.
It was during that time in my academic career that I found patent law, and I saw I could help people in a big way. However, I knew if I was going to best serve clients with patent issues, I needed to understand their needs on a technical level. I went to work as an engineer to appreciate the work of other engineers and to authentically interpret issues that arise in the industry. After four years as an engineer, I went to New York Law School to pursue my passion of patent law. After my first year in law school, instead of defense classes, I gravitated toward intellectual property law and took IP and social property classes. During my time as a law student, I had several internship opportunities
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As the cannabis industry grows, so does the amount of legal questions surrounding it, specifically in patent law. According to reports from the analytics firmMagic Number, from 2017 to 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued almost 250 cannabis patents. That’s not the only exciting statistic, as over 750 cannabis patents have been accepted since 1942. However, it’s only been in the last year that companies have attempted to enforce these patents with United Cannabis Corporation v. Pure Hemp Collective, Inc. Cannabis companies aren’t just filing patents on plants but on anything marijuana-related, including vapes, cultivation techniques, and specific strains. As patents associated with cannabis are on the rise, it begs one question: Since marijuana is federally illegal, how is it legal to file and enforce patents related to it? The Underlying Legal Aspects of the Cannabis Industry Patents on Marijua na?
In recent years, a patent office spokesperson sought to clarify this in statements regarding their patent approval for a cannabis plant containing a significant amount of THC: “In general, the [patent] office issues both utility and plant patents to all types of plants, including cannabis and poppy, provided the applications meet and comply with the applicable
Chances are, a few months ago you or someone you love exclaimed, “I can’t believe the year’s already over!” Time really does fly, so why not capture the best moments of 2020 before it’s gone? Whether you’re a budding photographer or just looking to take your Instagram game to the next level, these products will help you snap crisp pics of all of your adventures. Going Pro With the Nikon D3500 If you’ve dreamed of getting serious about photography but have been intimidated by all the pricey gear, this is the camera for you! Lightweight and packing a 24.2-megapixel sensor, the D3500 embodies everything an entry-level camera should be: high-quality and simple. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of cutting-edge models, it does have a much more affordable price tag. Easy to handle and extremely forgiving in low-light conditions, this camera is perfect for exploring the fundamentals of photography without breaking the bank. Phoning It In With the Halide Camera App If you have an iPhone and just want to get the most out of its built-in camera, then great photos are just a download away. Halide is an app that brings professional-level control and detail to your device without any added hardware by providing you with digital tools, such as more granular focus and exposure controls, that let you capture your ideal image. Better still, the app lets you save photos as RAW files, meaning they aren’t compressed like JPEGs. Download Halide on the App Store today; at only $6.99, your wallet will thank you. Living in the Moment With the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 Classic movies aren’t the only thing getting rebooted. FujiFilm is bringing back the simple joy of instant photography with film-fed cameras that can snap and print with ease. The Mini 9 is by far their most affordable option, leaving you with more cash to spend on film. Sure, the image quality takes a hit, but that just adds to the retro feel of the images!
Answer choices (see next edition for solution)
A Game of Entities A Riot Over Trademarks
There are specific terms, which can be associated with certain characteristics like font and color scheme, that a company can trademark or copyright. However, one company is claiming its trademark was infringed upon by another due to their use of the word “riot.” Riot Games Inc., the company behind “League of Legends” hit Riot Squad Esports LLC with a trademark suit just last month, claiming Riot Squad exploited the term “riot” for their marketing strategies. Riot Games is making the case that it’s trademark infringement due to false designation and unfair competition.
patent statutes. There are no special statutory requirements or restrictions applied to marijuana plants.”
While the applicable patent statutes are a lot to cover, there are some interesting provisions and limitations that relate specifically to plant patents. One of the more exciting requirements is the plant cannot be patented, in public use, on sale, or publicly available before the filing date of the patent. There are exceptions to this rule, however, depending on the specific strain or type of cannabis plant. It then falls within another provision — the plant must differ from known, related plants by at least one distinguishing characteristic. This characteristic must be more than a difference in growing conditions or fertility levels.
In a statement Riot Games made in their claim to the California Federal Court, they had this to say regarding the situation:
There are some other necessary provisions, including that the plant be named as so on the patent and others that are very similar. If you want to learn more regarding the requirements and limitations of plant patents, you can find more information at USPTO.gov.
“With full knowledge of Riot and its trademark rights in the words ‘Riot’ and ‘Riot Games’ in connection with video games and esports, defendant Riot Squad Esports LLC has unfairly and unlawfully adopted and exploited the ‘Riot’ brand name in connection with its marketing, advertising, and promotion of a nascent esports organization that it claims was ‘founded by gamers, for gamers.’” Riot Games goes even further, claiming their founding principles are also similar. Riot Squad claims to be founded “by gamers, for gamers,” while Riot Games’ website clearly states they were established “to develop, publish, and support games made by players, for players.” Riot Games is not only after damages but also the court and attorney costs and a court order halting Riot Squad’s use of the term “riot” in any of their rebranding. While the case itself is up for debate, Riot Squad’s current marketing success would call any related company’s attention within the industry. Since its launch in March, Riot Squad has built partnerships with well-established corporations like Grubhub and Sublime Sports Apparel. If you feel you or your company is in a similar situation or fear your brand name is being infringed upon, reach out anytime to discuss your options. Call us at (407) 598-8407 or (407) 377-6688.
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Right now, I love building the firm. It’s run like a young tech firm because we’re all paperless and very technology-forward. If we feel like something isn’t working, we can shed it quickly. We do this as a way to set us apart from others in the market and better serve our clients. In comparison to older law firms, it’s easier for us to change and improve since we’re not committed to the old ways. As the industry changes, we change with it to best serve our clients’ needs, and we’re proud of that.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy time with my kids. One is 5, and the other is 8 and in gymnastics, so I do CrossFit and bicycle to keep up with them. While I love scaling my business, I’m excited about what the future holds for us. I now can help people in a significant way by doing what I love in patent law. I’m protecting our clients just like that small- town northern Georgia kid always wanted. —Coleman Watson
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From Factories to Patents 1 Products for Better Pictures The Underlying Legal Aspects of the Cannabis Industry 2 Mensa Puzzle A Game of Entities 3 Execution Is Greater Than Strategy 4
3 Tips for Every Business Leader Execute Strategy and Kill Stagnancy
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed ... Execution is worth millions.” –Steve Jobs
stagnant business. Successful people know that plans take many shapes before they reach their final form. Don’t jump into something without a clear plan, but don’t be afraid to define your strategy as you go. There’s a reason audiences won’t be flocking to theaters to watch the latest galactic adventures of Luke Starkiller this December. 2. Be Methodical While you shouldn’t wait for the perfect plan, you shouldn’t be flying in blind, either. You can be too energetic about execution. Make sure everyone involved in a plan knows their responsibilities. Confusion will torpedo any strategy faster than you can say, “Who was in charge of this?” The Harvard Business Review states, “Having the discipline to organize people, assemble resources, and then generate a plan that others can commit to will collectively improve execution.” 3. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate We’re not saying you should micromanage your team, but you do need to be checking in on a regular basis to evaluate progress on your plan. Schedule monthly or quarterly meetings to go over the strategy. This is where you look for any changes that need to be made and refine the strategy. A smart strategy feels reassuring, but learning to execute a plan is the only way to make progress. The best business plan in the world is worthless if you never follow through.
Anyone can take this advice to heart, whether you’re a stay- at-home parent or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ideas are easy, but no one becomes successful because they had a great idea. Success comes from putting that idea into action. Being able to execute a plan is a skill every business leader needs. Here are three steps to help you improve your execution. 1. Ditch Perfection Have you ever watched a behind-the-scenes featurette of your favorite movie? Some of the most successful films were all but unrecognizable in their early phases. In fact, a lot of early concepts are terrible. Look up the original designs for Woody in “Toy Story” to see for yourself. Fortunately, rather than wait for the perfect script, creators executed their visions and make changes as needed.
Putting off action in favor of creating the perfect plan or strategy leads to
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