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IP in Hospitality. Intellectual “Properties” in HRIM Trademark & Franchising Tech Transfer. IP Overview. Patents Trade Secrets Copyrights Unfair Competition Trademarks & Trade Dress Sui Generis Protections:

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IP in Hospitality

Intellectual “Properties” in HRIM

Trademark & Franchising

Tech Transfer


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IP Overview

  • Patents

  • Trade Secrets

  • Copyrights

  • Unfair Competition

  • Trademarks & Trade Dress

  • Sui Generis Protections:

    • Semiconductor chips, asexual plants, designs, petty patents, Databases, boat hull design


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Recurring HRIM IP ?s

  • What is intellectual property and what does it all mean to the entrepreneur?

  • Can I patent a recipe?

  • How do I go about establishing a trademark?

  • Is a brand , like McDonalds protected under any type of IP?

  • How do I establish a franchise and protect it?


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Distinguishing IP from Tangibles

  • Tangible Property

    • Physical substance

    • Only one copy exists, totally exhaustible

  • Intangible Property

    • No physical substance

    • Often only represented by something of substance

    • Apparent inexhaustibility


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IP Theory & Economics

  • Incentive Theory

    • Investment likely when exclusivity assured

    • Suboptimal investment w/o ownership & control

    • Lockean theory of initiative: innovation forthcoming w/ rewards of private property

  • Contract Theory

    • Maximize the public domain

    • Ltd. monopoly exchanged for disclosure


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Patentable Subject Matter

New, Useful & Human-made

  • Process

  • Machine

  • Manufacture

  • Composition of Matter


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Novelty

  • Not in The Public Domain

  • Statutory Bars:“Known or Used...Patented or Published”

  • Diligence

    • Not abandon, suppressed or concealed

  • The U.S. One Year Grace Period

    • No Public Use or Sale

    • US: no use or sale

    • World: no patent or publication


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Non-Obviousness

  • Patent should not grant if the advancement is small, merely minor improvements over prior art

  • Not obvious at the time of invention to one skilled in the art

  • Graham v. John Deere:

    1. Determine scope and content of the prior art

    2. Determine differences between prior art and the claim(s) at issue; and

    3. Determine the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art


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Confidentiality of Application Materials

  • Trade Secrets Maintained?

  • Most nations - confidential only for 18 mos after filing

  • U.S. law changed to Int’l Standard:

    • Confidential only for 18 months if application is also filed in country that publishes files after 18 months

    • Otherwise, confidential until patent issues, then publicly available unless national security matter


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Trade Secret Under Uniform Act

  • information (formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process)

  • derives independent economic value from secrecy or by proper means discovery by potential competitors, and

  • subject of efforts, reasonable under the circumstances, to maintain secrecy.


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Eligible Information:

pattern, device, engineering data, formulas, customer lists or preferences, raw materials, manufacturing processes, design manuals, operating & pricing policies, price codes, bid information, method, technique, bookkeeping methods, market studies/research, sales data, marketing plans/strategies, new product information, business plans, equipment & machinery, program, software, flow charts, drawings, blueprints, negative results, unique compilation or combination of public domain info, know-how


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Duty of Secrecy

  • Implied Confidentiality Duty

    • Fiduciary duty of loyalty

  • Express Confidentiality Agreements NDA

    • Employment contract; covenant not to compete

    • independent contract, consulting contract, certain distribution contracts, franchise agreement, prior assignment of innovations,


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Employee Confidentiality Agreements (NDA)

  • Provision or addendum to employment contract imposing confidentiality

  • Continuously updated list of specified documents, projects, corporate functions, etc.

  • Establish ownership of particular innovations

  • Define theft of IP, custody or removal of documents, files, computer disks, E-Mail


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What are Databases under Law?

  • Systematic data accumulation/ordering

    • Collections of works, data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way for retrieval or access by manual or electronic means

  • Used for learning, research, science, governing & control, commerce

  • File composed of records, each with fields, operations search, sort &/or recombine for useful report


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Elements of Copyrightability

  • Must be original

  • Must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression

  • Must be directly or indirectly perceivable by humans


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Types of Copyrightable Works

Literary works

Pictorials, graphics, and sculptures

Musical works

Motion pictures and A/V works

Dramatic works

Sound recordings

Pantomimes and choreography

Architectural works


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Non-copyrightable Material

  • Ideas are not copyrightable – only the expression of ideas.

  • Includes ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, or discoveries.

  • The idea-expression dichotomy rule states that creators can maintain control over ideas only if they qualify as patentable or remain as trade secrets.


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Trademark Protection

  • Word, Name Symbol, Device

    • Recently: color, sound, smell

  • Identifies Source of Goods or Services

    • Distinguishes from competitors

  • Protection Schemes:

    • State C/L, misappropriation, unfair competition

    • Federal registration under the Lanham Act

    • Int’l: Paris Conv, Madrid Arrange, Pan-Am


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Fundamental Purposes of Trademarks

  • Trademarks differ conceptually from patents, trade secrets, or copyrights.

  • Promote business ethics

    • Prevent palming off

    • Symbol or device identifies source

    • Knowledge about prior use

    • Likelihood of confusion

  • Protect investments in goodwill

  • Promote Distributional Efficiency

    • Consumer search costssavings outweigh costs of regulation & forgone competitor opportunities

    • Identifiers are often suggestive


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Distinctiveness

  • Capacity to distinguish owners goods or services

  • Protectability Scale

  • Ranges from Descriptive to Distinctive

  • Spectrum of Distinctiveness – a Scale of Decreasing Protectability

    • Arbitrary or Fanciful

    • Suggestive

    • Descriptive

    • Generic


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Trade Dress

  • Configuration of package, product &/or premises

    • 3D design, ornamentation, color scheme, sound, smell, ambience, look & feel

    • Not merely decoration; must serve to distinguish & make a commercial impression

  • Must be distinctive & not primarily functional

    • Separate protection & consumers impression

  • EX:

    • Website, homepage distinctive graphics

    • Pole lamp

    • Taco Cabana patio Mexican restaurant

      • http://www.tacocabana.com/


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Words

Titles

Numerals

Abbreviations

Product package design

Slogans

Colors

Smells

Sounds

Manufacturer’s premises

Trademark Subject Matter

The Coca Cola trademark is an example of a product in which the recipe, bottle design, and brand name are all trademarks.


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Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana

Facts: Family restaurant split, 2 Pesos used Taco Cabana “motif”

Issue: Is trade dress protectable w/o proof of secondary meaning?

Rationale: Difficulties of determining inherent distinctiveness; restaurant motif, look & feel protectable


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Legal Tools for Technology Transfer

  • Assignments

  • Licensing: scope, duration, fields of use, compensation, geographic limits, etc. (e.g., software “sales,” terms & conditions of website use)

  • Shop Rights

  • Work Made for Hire; Hired to Invent; M-S & S/E

  • Confidentiality Duties

    • Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA)

  • Non-Competition Agreements (non-competes)

    • Emerging Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine

  • Leasing, Franchising


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Common License Terms

  • Scope & Exclusivity

  • Duration & Termination

  • Geographic Limitations

  • Confidentiality & Non-Competition

  • Establishes & Perpetuates Trade Secrets

  • Limits on Improvements & Sub-Licensing

  • Warranties of IP Ownership

    • Infringement indemnity


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Principe v. McDonald’s (1980)

  • Facts: McDonald’s denied Principe another franchise; Principe sued claiming tying: franchise to premises lease

  • Issue: Is franchise illegal tying? NO

  • Rationale: Lease is not separate from franchise due to importance of site selection & other factors improving quality & potential success for franchisees.


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Franchises

  • Franchise Definition

    • Business Organization, Network

    • Franchisor Exerts Control/Provides Assistance

      • Business Methods; ™

    • Franchise Trademarks & the Lanham Act

      • Control: Must Police ™ Use!

    • Required Fees & Payments

  • Franchise Agreements

  • Franchise Marketing Disclosures as Business Opportunity Investment (security, FTC)

  • Maintaining Limited Liability F’or – F’ee

    • McDonalds Scalding Coffee


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