Resources

We encourage you to browse this Resources section for timely articles and other materials. Please visit our Events page to learn about upcoming seminars, presentations, and speaking engagements that may be of interest to you.

Brand Protection and Trademark Law Basics

Previous versions of this article by Andrew Stockment have been published by the American Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, and The Virginia Bar Association.

Practically every business has a brand—a name, a logo, or some other mark used to identify its products or services. Trademarks allow businesses to develop brand reputation and public goodwill in connection with the associated goods or services, and consumers rely upon trademarks and the reputation of the products sold under those marks to inform their buying decisions. As a result, trademarks are often among the most valuable and important assets owned by a business.

Because trademarks allow businesses to develop brand reputation and public goodwill in connection with their products and services, trademarks are often highly valuable assets and should be protected. Although unregistered trademarks receive some protection under the common law and under the federal Lanham Act, trademarks can be further protected through registration under both Virginia and federal laws, and federal trademark registration provides significant additional substantive and procedural rights.

 Related Professionals: Andrew B. Stockment

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Understanding Copyrights and Works Made for Hire

Previous versions of this article by Andrew Stockment have been published by the American Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, and The Virginia Bar Association.

Copyrights are unique among the various types of intellectual property rights because they are the most easily obtained but, arguably, the most misunderstood. And within the sphere of copyrights, the concept of “works made for hire” is particularly counterintuitive. This article gives an overview of some copyright law fundamentals and then unpacks the law regarding the requirements for a work to qualify as a “work made for hire.”

 Related Professionals: Andrew B. Stockment

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Virginia Business Trusts, A Neglected Statutory Entity

This article by Richard Howard-Smith was published in the Fall Newsletter of the Virginia State Bar’s Trusts and Estates Section (Fall 2017, Volume 23, No. 2).

In the article Richard Howard-Smith offers an insightful look at Virginia Business Trusts, an underused entity option that planners rarely consider; comparing and contrasting Virginia Business Trusts with more commonly used entities, and suggesting some creative uses of them.

 Related Professionals: Richard H. Howard-Smith

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Employee Privacy for Personal Social Media Accounts

This article by Andrew Stockment was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Opening Statement, the VBA Young Lawyers Division newsletter.

On July 1, 2015, a new Virginia law (Va. Code § 40.1-28.7:5) that address employee privacy for “social media accounts” became effective. “Social media account” is defined very broadly and includes virtually every personal Internet-based account. The law applies to all government and private employers, regardless of the organization's size or revenue. This article gives an overview of the new law, addresses two exceptions that may undermine protections for employees, and also cautions businesses about pitfalls associated with accessing employee social media accounts.

 Related Professionals: Andrew B. Stockment

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Two-Factor Authentication: Simple and Powerful Security

This article by Andrew Stockment was published in the Winter 2014-15 issue of Opening Statement, the VBA Young Lawyers Division newsletter.

This article provides an overview of the benefits of two-factor authentication and discusses some general password best practices.

 Related Professionals: Andrew B. Stockment

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