5 Tips to Avoid Copyright & Trademark Infringement

Miami Carnival  National Black Business Spotlight: Kimra Major-Morris

SOUTH FLORIDA – Miami is home to many premier events like the Miami Carnival and others.  Use of photos and images is always something that organizers have to pay attention to especially in the world of social media.

South Florida Caribbean News caught up with Kimra Major-Morris, a top rated intellectual property attorney licensed to practice in Florida and the United States Middle District of Florida.

Her firm, Major-Morris Law, LLC is located in Central Florida representing international trademark brand owners and talent, and advocating for the registration, enforcement, and monetization of their copyrights and trademarks.

She is an award-winning author on the subject of intellectual property law and a national speaker on the copyright and trademark issues.

Attorney Major-Morris earned her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Communications at Florida International University and is a proud alumnus of the 2007 Florida A&M College of Law Class.

In 2016, Attorney Major-Morris was honored as a FAMU College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award Nominee.

Get Clear About Clearances – 5 Tips to Avoid Copyright  & Trademark Infringement

  • Logo.  Be sure to have a contract assigning ownership from the artist who designed the logo to the business. The logo is the business’s brand identifier.  Therefore, it should be properly vetted with a comprehensive search before it’s registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and/or with the Secretary of State where the business is located. Many trademark owners have registrations with the state and the federal government for additional layers of protection. The underlying artwork in the logo may also qualify for copyright protection.  Make sure the company has a clear chain of title (with signed work-for-hire language) for the artwork before applying for copyright and trademark registrations.
  • Photography.  It’s no secret that high-quality images are required for successful marketing.  However, without a contract that includes specific language, the photographer owns the copyright to all the beautiful images captured at the company’s photo shoot. Be sure the agreement includes work-for-hire language that ensures the company will own the images. Most importantly, business owners should register the images with the Copyright Office once they receive them and the signed work for hire agreement.
  • Use of Name/Likeness.  It’s a good idea to include in the photographer’s agreement, that the photographer is responsible for getting signed releases from any and all persons who appear in the photographs. If the business ad or video goes viral, the chance that someone depicted will complain or sue is much greater.
  • Internet Images.  The picture is online and widely used, so it must be in the public domain, right?  It could be that the author’s lawyer hasn’t yet reached all the infringers with the cease and desist notice! There are legal departments dedicated to tracking unauthorized downloads and uses of their clients’ images. Sometimes there is embedded code within the image that tracks everything from the download to the upload (to your email), and to the distribution of the image to the art department that will create the ‘perfect’ ad.  Get written permission before downloading or don’t do it!
  • Stock Images.   Actually read the license agreement.  Stock images are excellent resources for great content.  Be sure to check the terms and conditions in the license.  It could be that the license is limited to online use and it’s not permissible to use the same images in print or on a billboard. Never embark on a marketing campaign with stock images without a thorough review of the license.
Click here to reach Kimra Major-Morris
Save the Date: Miami Carnival, Sunday, October 7, 2018
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