MEM Concessions LLC prides itself on knowing all about the laws relating to intellectual property. Our market economy allows and inspires business to compete with each other. This can help keep costs low for consumers as pricing wars between companies can drive costs down. What they should never do is turn to underhand tactics to get their bigger share of the pie. This is usually in the form of making an attack on a competitor or confusing the public about a competitor in a negative manner.
Unfair competition is therefore any act that isn’t honest or fair practice that is carried out by one company to the detriment of another company. The term honesty does have to be defined legally as cultures can differ in what they deem socially acceptable. Protection against unfair competition is continually growing to adapt to the differing types of trade that we now have. An adaptation of the law now protects customers as well as just businesses.
The right of publicity is a type of intellectual property that protects a person’s name from being used for someone else’s personal benefit.
At this moment it isn’t legally covered by statute in the US but it is included under unfair competition law against false endorsements. This is when you might use a celebrity’s name to promote your product, but in reality, the celebrity in questions has never heard of and never used your product.
The right of publicity on the other hand has been recognized as law in most of the states in the US. This can be extended to nicknames, alias, your voice sound, signatures and many more. The main thing in question is how long this right should last after your death. Whether it can be then assigned to a relative or whether you can use it immediately in this situation. For this reason, some celebrities have registered their name as a trademark and even their likeness or voice. This part of the law is ever evolving as we become more fixated with persona and celebrity but their legal and moral rights must be protected.
Trade secret protection is the protection of a trade secret, a trade secret is a piece of information that is somehow valuable, that has been kept secret for a reason and that will benefit someone if it was released or released early.
It can therefore be things like a new business plan or proposal, list of clients and so on. Trade secrets are registered with the government. Within your business the information should be held under a strictly need to know policy. This reduces the risk of the secret being leaked or even sold. If you do end up in a legal battle stating that someone had shared the information before it should have been shared, you have to prove that it is a trade secret as well as how the early release of the information has cost you. Trade secret information remains trade secret until it is either no longer valuable, it is no longer a secret or you are no longer taking and making positive steps to keep it secret.