Intellectual Property Section

This section provides a resource for lawyers who practice in intellectual property or have an interest in building an intellectual property practice. The practice areas of trademark, copyright, trade secret and patent law fall within this section.

Merchant & Gould, P.C.
9717 Cogdill Road, Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37932
Prism Technologies LLC
750 Old Hickory Blvd, Bldg 2 - Suite 150
Brentwood, TN 37027

SCOTUS Reviews Trademark Case Over 'Offensive' Band Name

The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday began to review the constitutionality of a federal law that denies protection to disparaging trademarks. According to a Reuters report published by the Daily Mail, the case was brought by the Asian-American rock band The Slants, who were denied a trademark on the name after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed it offensive to Asians. The band’s attorney claims the decision violates the group's First Amendment rights. The court’s ruling could set new parameters for trademark registration, and could affect other high-profile disputes, such as the case of the Washington Redskins football team's trademark, which was canceled in 2014.
read more »

Opinion: Lawyers Need to Protect Against Ransomware

Ransomware attacks against law firms and other businesses are “the fastest growing threat that we see across industries,” Trey Forgety tells the American Bar Association Bar Leader magazine in its new issue. Ransomware is software that can encrypt the data on a computer and force the computer owner to pay a “ransom” to have the data unencrypted. “In the past we’ve worried a lot about data theft, ... Now, the biggest concern is the threat to the attorney’s business,” he says. Forgety, director of government affairs and regulatory counsel to NENA: The 9-1-1 Association, wrote the December 2016 Tennessee Bar Journal cover story, "Is Your Client Information Safe: Data Security Is Your Responsibility Even If You Don't Understand How it Works."

read more »