Category Archives: General Litigation

Change Management Protocols and Drafting Good Master Technology Service Agreements!

How do you draft a good Master Technology Service Agreement?  What do you consider?  What is reasonable? What is foreseeable?  What is too remote? How do you respond to an Evidence Preservation Letter? What is your clients’ doom and gloom fears?  These are all things that all technology and information technology consultants and teams have to consider and make good decisions on.  Without having a good team of professionals that can identify the areas of risk for the clients, the method and means of exploiting known or identified vulnerabilities, and creating a prompt data security protection protocol you may end up losing out from a change in ISPs or IT vendors.

Having good change management procedures is vital to the success of your clients and to protect them from many would be competitors looking to acquire your clients’ knowledge, trade secrets and intellectual property.  A good first step for protecting your clients is using good provisions in your Master Technology Service Agreements that all vendors have to comply with to ensure that the proper procedures are followed to ensure that key personnel, key clients, key vulnerabilities, key consultants and key terms and caveats are negotiated and drafted to protect against reasonably anticipated problems.

The Master TSA allows for a method of interjecting vital controls that can be adapted to the needs of the clients–sometimes all that is needed is a wise and seasoned Chief Technology Officer (“CTO”).  Other times–key schedules and predefined procedures to follow for implement changes in information technology services or hardware.  Sometimes good limitations on damages, warranties and representations and third party indemnification provisions are required to ensure that your clients are protected from potential errors in the change management procedures.

Finally, having good enforcement and corrective actions predefined and provided for in the Master TSA will save you a lot of headaches down the line–including delays based on the need for board or shareholder’s approval, manager or member’s approval, or similar delays that may be required in following corporate formalities.  Sometimes a rigid adherence to corporate formalities can allow a problem to become bigger over time and based on delays–it is generally advisable to deal with these types of data security problems sooner rather than later.

For more go to: http://www.bipeblawg.com, http://www.vrplawgroup.com, http://www.eebrunchclub.com

EEBC-It’s Just Brunch Club! Fall 2014 Start Up Competition–Special Thank You to the Panelists!

Third Installment of the Fall 2014 Competition Thank You to the Panelists! Paul Durbin of Miller and Canfield, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon running for Comptroller of Illinois, Ron Kirschner founder of Heartland Angels, Tom Kastner Woodbridge International and GP Ventures, William Bennett of Level Office and Vihar R. Patel  Founder of EEBC-It’s Just Brunch Club! and Managing Attorney for VRP Law Group.

This was a special privilege and honor to have the collective experience, guidance and wisdom of all the panelists to be a great opportunity for the sharing and exchanging of ideas and knowledge for the benefit of Chicago Entrepreneurs and the StartUp Community!

For more go to: http://www.eebrunchclub.com or http://www.vrplawgroup.com Fall2014EEBC_Thank You_Announced_Press Release_102314

Copyright Protection: The Lesser Known and less Attractive Form of Intellectual Property Protection!

Clients often, ignore the need to copyright their creative content, because of a perceived deficiency in the type of protection it offers.  There is a tendency to believe that Copyright is a very soft form of protection that would not allow the holder to actually license or make the funds that it needs to acquire, police and enforce the copyright.  This is not entirely new news to most intellectual property attorneys or cyber-lawyers.

However, Copyright protection is actually a very good form of protection for creative content and relatively inexpensive to acquire.  The filing fees for most applications are less than $35-65 per application.  Moreover, the legal fees vary, but for most simple applications for routine online creative content or works the legal fees are between $500-$1500.   The more complex the work or the sophisticated the works and the larger the size or volume of the electronic deposit–the more expensive the copyright application.  

We recommend creating copyright portfolios that allow you to build a library of protected works based on creative content for blogs, websites, user interfaces, mobile applications, drawings, figures, schematics, photographs, videos, songs, and a variety of other creative content that helps your online business succeed.  Most importantly, the Copyright Portfolio is easy to maintain and has an extremely long duration for protection of the Works or Content.  

It is vital to the success of follow through works or creations in the form of producing derivative works or content in other mediums of distribution.  The greater the number of copyrights in your copyright portfolio–the easier it is to find ways to monetize it and develop monitoring and enforcement policies by tracking subscribers, visitors, users, and clicks or event analytics information. Sending a quick DMCA Take Down Notice and a cease and desist letter and often, acquire statutory fees and legal fees.   

For more go to http://www.vrplawgroup.com, http://www.iptrialattorney.com, http://www.eebcbrunchclub.com, and http://www.chicagobusinesscounsel.com

The Use of Disclaimers in the Context of Trademark Infringement Online!

The value of trademarks and trademark portfolios is in the ability to develop an online brand, increase your SEO ranking, and developing a good key word optimization site that allows you to acquire more online visitors than your competitors.  This is not the easiest thing to do, in light of, how often Google changes the webmaster policies or rules.  Moreover, the nature of organic search results is such that it does not stay constant, but is fluid–these organic searches that are performed by consumers are not going to be the same each month, quarter or year.

In addition, the use of disclaimers for trademark infringement you must be careful to ensure that your competitor is not able to diminish the effectiveness of the disclaimer by placing it in less visible area of the website.  If you are not careful the fees and expenses incurred or spent on a preliminary injunction will be wasted.  It is difficult to judge the effectiveness of a disclaimer, but the more prominent the disclaimer and the less likely it will be easily avoided by a consumer by clicking through a link or special portal the better off you will be as an online business operator.

If you take the time to develop a content rich website and develop a good SEO optimization strategy, then you want to ensure that it is adequately protected.   More importantly, if you expend the funds in acquiring a disclaimer to remedy consumer confusion, then you must make sure that at least the following is done:

1) the disclaimer is prominent in relation to the remaining content on the website;

2) the disclaimer is bolded, italicized, font and color are actually large and vibrant enough to ensure that it is easy for a consumer to find;

3) moreover, the disclaimer must be from a click through portal that requires the consumer to acknowledge that each has read and viewed the disclaimer;

4) also, the disclaimer must be such that it is only, avoidable after the issue of initial interest confusion has be resolved; and

5) the disclaimer is not subject to alteration or modification by online search robots.

This is a common concern in most trademark infringement matters or opinions in recent cases.  Often times, lawyers do their clients a disservice by winning the preliminary judgment hearing and failing to take the time to craft an appropriate disclaimer or include the appropriate language in the Judge’s Order.  See the following:  International Kennel Club, Inc. v. Mighty Star, Inc and Std. Process, Inc. v. Banks, 554 F. Supp Std. Process, Inc. v. Banks

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Copyright Infringement Lawsuits-Defense of Infringement, Declaratory Judgments, and Recovery of Legal Expenses and Fees!

In defending against the Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, many times the ability of the defendant or plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action plays a significant role in protecting and preventing copyright trolls and frivolous infringement claims.  The enactment of the Digital … Continue reading

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Attorneys’ Fees and Business, Civil and Commercial Litigation: What can be released and what cannot?

In an interesting Ruling from the IL First District Appellate Court, a panel found that it was not possible for the parties to a divorce proceeding to contractually waive the attorneys’ right to legal fees or file a fee petition. … Continue reading

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New E-Book for Entrepreneurs: A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners!

We recommend a new book that has been published relating to a Beginner’s Series of Guides for Entrepreneurs relating to acquisition of angel, capital, funds, seed or VC funding for undertaking new efforts to try out and test out the … Continue reading

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Corporate Risk Management: Creating an Effective Compliance System.

There are a variety challenges that must be overcome before a fair, good and just system can be created. It is subject to human frailty,emotions, misperceptions, miscommunications, lack of cohesiveness, and lack of full disclosure or access to a complete … Continue reading

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