Intellectual Property

5 Parts to Solid ERP Contracts
For all of the reasons I wrote about last week, ERP software system contracts are becoming increasingly complex to negotiate and draft owing to the growing number of functions such systems are required to accommodate. Because of the complexity, there are many ways an ERP project can go wrong, starting ...
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6 ERP Trends to Watch In 2019
As 2019 looms larger on the calendar, it’s easy to forget what the great Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra said about looking ahead: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Even still, as an ERP software licensing and litigation attorney who has worked in the field for ...
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6 Early Warning Signs Your ERP Project Is in Trouble
There are lots of ways the acquisition, development, installation and launch of an ERP software system can go wrong, even with a negotiated contract that spells out in detail what the software vendor and integrator will do, when they will do it, and what they will be paid for doing ...
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Doing Everything Wrong With ERP
If a graduate business school at a major university ever wants to write a case study on how not to do ERP, they need look no further than U.S. National Grid Co.’s series of decisions surrounding its buying, implementing and launching an SAP program for its power generating and distribution ...
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A Shady Challenge to A Sunglass Company’s IP
A Shady Challenge to A Sunglass Company’s IP The world of fashion and beauty is intensely competitive – sometimes ruthlessly so. But there are occasions the competition slides into the bizzaro-world, when one designer challenges the legitimate trademark of another house just to sideswipe the rival. The outcome of just ...
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Partner Marcus Harris on Leading By Example and Leading From Behind
“Leading from behind,” especially in a law firm and the need to look beyond mere financial rewards. I talk about how we look for attorneys who will bring now just excellence to their work but something more that’s often intangible ...
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Implications for ERP Users of Teradata Accusing SAP of Stealing IP
Implications for ERP Users of Teradata Accusing SAP of Stealing IP SAP, one of the world’s largest developers and vendors of ERP software systems, is accused in a lawsuit of stealing trade secrets and intellectual property for 10 years from Teradata to build its flagship HANA platform. While a trial ...
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Coke Zero’s Out on Coke Zero Trademark
Coke Zero’s Out on Coke Zero Trademark Sometimes, even a Fortune 100 company can get in trouble over a trademark protection. Coca Cola’s fastest growing brand is its sugar-free Coke Zero, filing some filed 17 trademark registrations over the years to protect the name. But the Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group contested ...
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SAP Stirs A Hornet’s Nest of Worries Over New ERP Pricing Scheme
After allowing its ERP customers to plug third party software into SAP’s software for a number of years without saying so much as “boo,” the German company is cracking down. It just announced a series of significant pricing changes for its ERP software system licenses because, the company claims, its ...
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ERP Software Systems Will Be Big Beneficiaries of The IoT
When the 3GPP standards body approved New Radio specs for 5G telecommunications at the end of December 2017, it cleared the way for ISPs and telecom companies to begin offering ultra high-speed services to businesses and individuals. Although the speed of 5G downloads on smartphones has received much of the ...
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Confronting Trademark Bullies and Infringers Requires Playing Tough, Not Dirty
Today, the world is filled with so-called “trademark bullies,” large companies that seem to take a perverse pleasure in going after the trademarks of small companies, sometimes because a portion of a mark incorporates a portion of what the competitor feels is theirs but often on specious grounds.  In fact, ...
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IP Summit Learns How ERP Contracts Can Head Off “Train Wrecks” For Users and Vendors – Part III
Over the past two days, I’ve been blogging about my presentation to the IP Summit on June 5, 2018 in Chicago. Part I revealed to vendors the three main reasons why so many ERP software implementations end up in lawsuits. Users learned in Part II the four lessons they should ...
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IP Summit Hears Lessons for Users On Avoiding ERP Installation “Train Wrecks” – Part II
Yesterday, I blogged about my speech to the IP Summit in Chicago on June 5, 2018 that showed vendors ways of Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck, I began by explaining the three key reasons why a disturbing number of ERP software implementations end up in disputes and litigation. Today, ...
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IP Summit Hears Why So Many ERP System Installations Go Off the Rails – Part I
I addressed the 4thannual IP Summit on June 5, 2018, in Chicago on Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck. This is a subject that is all too familiar to me as an ERP software litigation attorney having represented a significant number of clients over the years in disputes and lawsuits ...
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Is Your ERP Sales Team GDPR Ready?
Like many businesses, vendors have been scrambling to adjust the software in their ERP system to be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force in late May. Senior managers and executives have been so consumed with rewriting and testing code that many haven’t ...
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Faking It: Counterfeit Products Plague the Cosmetics and Other Consumer Product Industries Study Shows
In a new study of the counterfeit cosmetics industry released in early June 2018, Red Points Solutions S.I. revealed that more than 40-percent of the makeup offerings in Facebook ads and on so-called “company pages” were for fake products as were 30-percent of the cosmetics sites on eBay and 10-percent ...
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Is Viet Nam The New China for Stealing IP?
Counterfeit products flooding the U.S. and world markets is a huge problem, and historically China has accounted for 86-percent of the illicit and illegal goods in circulation. But as the country struggles to gain legitimacy with trading partners and foreign investors, it has conducted a major crackdown on the manufacture ...
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Learn How To Avoid An ERP Implementation Nightmare
Learn How To Avoid An ERP Implementation Nightmare Like Longfellow’s little girl, when things go bad with an ERP implementation, typically they are horrid. So, on June 5, I will be presenting "Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck" at the 4th Annual IP Strategy Summit here in Chicago. The summit ...
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Take a Wrong Turn with ERP and Wind up in Court
In the absence of basic planning and exquisite attention to contractual obligations, companies embarking on ERP deployment can end up in a much darker place: the courtroom. Marcus Harris explains to Information Week how to avoid this happening ...
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This Bud’s Not for You: Anheuser-Busch’s ERP Contract Dispute Settles Quietly
Although an “amicable settlement” was reached nearly a year ago, news of the agreement between Anheuser-Busch and SAP did not slip out until the brewer published its annual report in late May. At stake was some $600-million in damages SAP was seeking, claiming that the huge American brewer allegedly made ...
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Change Management A Key Part of Successful ERP Implementation
As an ERP software system attorney who negotiates contracts and litigates disputes, I’ve seen four things that can doom a newly-implemented or upgraded ERP software system: The user signing the vendor’s template contract, which is always one-sided and disadvantages the user, without negotiation, The vendor over-promising what will be delivered ...
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Lack of Intellectual Property Protection in China Worries American Companies, Slows R&D: Survey
As we wrote on April 18, 2018, protecting American intellectual property in China is a far bigger issue than the reasons Pres. Trump listed as to why he was imposing steep tariffs on a wide range of products produced in China. This point was reinforced a few days later when ...
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Can AI Improve ERP Systems Efficiency Markedly?
On April 16, 2018, a select committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords issued a report on the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) titled AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able?. Among the recommendations, the Lords and Baronesses of Parliament’s upper house suggested that utilizing AI to ...
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IP and JVs: Several Ounces of Protection Is Worth Tons of Cure
When President Trump announced a series of steep, punitive tariffs against China, much of the media’s attention was on how they will hurt American businesses and consumers the most. But alleged intellectual property theft by both private and state-owned enterprises in the P.R.C. has raised the ire of Washington for ...
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Customized ERP Systems Require Customized Contracts
Customized ERP Systems Require Customized Contracts At the beginning of 2018, numerous organizations and people involved in various aspects of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry issued their projections for the year. As an ERP attorney, we were among the many who made a prognostication. Several of the trends identified ...
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Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About GDPR
Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About GDPR As we wrote here recently, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places serious restrictions on how a business can use information it has on customers and clients and imposes tough penalties on companies that violate the rules. While the requirements of the ...
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ERP Systems Being Used by More Industries with Greater Customization
ERP Systems Being Used by More Industries with Greater Customization Not unexpectedly, manufacturers continue to be the biggest users of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software as reported in the 2018 ERP Report (PDF; registration required). What is surprising is how the use of ERP is spreading to many other sectors ...
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GDPR: The Management Issue Too Few ERP Executives Are Thinking About
GDPR: The Management Issue Too Few ERP Executives Are Thinking About Perhaps the most serious issue that few businesses in the U.S. are paying any attention to is the European Union regulation that comes into affect on May 25, 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation, usually referred to as the ...
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Some FAQs About Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Why I Moved My Practice
Some FAQs About Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Why I Moved My Practice Clients and potential clients have asked why I moved practice and have asked about my new firm. Answers to those questions are below: What made you decide to move your practice to Taft Stettinius & Hollister? Taft ...
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Protecting Developers, Vendors and Implementers Against ERP Security Breaches
It’s only a matter of time. Although it has not happened yet, eventually a major Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system will get hacked. An ERP system can reveal scads of data about manufacturing processes, trade secrets, or banking information that would be incredibly valuable to a foreign power or corporation ...
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Arnstein & Lehr Partner Marcus Harris Talks ERPs And What to Do IF They Fail
Arnstein & Lehr Partner Marcus Harris Talks ERPs And What to Do IF They Fail On July 6, 2017, DigiToshi published an interview with Arnstein & Lehr Chicago partner Marcus S. Harris about “enterprise resource planning” systems. The post was directed to CEOs of small and medium sized businesses. Mr. Harris noted that “when ERPs ...
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Protecting Product Packaging And Product Configuration
Marcus S. Harris Law Journal Newsletters ​Marcus Harris authors article on registering and protecting product packaging trademarks. The article explains trade dress and ways to determine if particular packaging can be protected. Marcus also explains strategies to increase the likelihood of a successful trade dress registration and protection. To read ...
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5 Things We Can Expect from ERP This Year
This year, technological advancements are on the rise, especially for the enterprise. Artificial intelligence will gain new force, and blockchain will inch forward. Changes within the ERP industry will make serious waves. In 2018, several forms of technology will reach their tipping point, making this year crucial for tech generally ...
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Responding Effectively To Threats Of Litigation: Tips For ERP Vendors
If you have been in business long enough, you are likely to be threatened with a lawsuit. In the context of allegations of a failed ERP software implementation, you need to quickly assess risk and create opportunities for early resolution. The goal is to make effective decisions to avoid the ...
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Five ERP Software Negotiation Tips For Gas & Oil Industry Companies From Software Licensing Attorney Marcus S. Harris
In our practice, we represent many Oil and Gas Industry clients. While most ERP vendors have functionality that they promote as being designed or built for the Oil and Gas Industry, there generally is not a one-size fits all solution. The Oil and Gas Industry is complex and wide ranging, ...
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Tips For Negotiating With Enterprise Software Vendors Like SAP, Infor and Epicor
Upgrading a legacy enterprise software system, or licensing a new one, is one of the most important strategic decisions a company can make.  With various research indicating that a very large percentage of enterprise software implementations fail, getting it right is critical. Having a coherent strategy for not only negotiating ...
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Should You Litigate Or Mediate Your Dispute With Your ERP Vendor
After a failed or problematic implementation, it is common to assume that taking your ERP vendor to court is your only option. However, many overlook that they do have another option: mediation. Mediation is the process of negotiation between two parties in dispute that is mediated by a neutral third ...
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Open Source "Piggybacking"
In a previous post, we described a lawsuit filed by Rosetta Stone against competitors for “piggybacking” Rosetta Stone’s trademarks in an attempt to divert website traffic.  CNet columnist Matt Asay analogizes this situation to an open source problem here. The open source software development culture thrives on access and sharing ...
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Dr. Dre Does It And So Should You: Fighting Counterfeiting
Earlier this week, CNN.com published a story detailing how Chinese fakes were cashing in on what CNN termed “Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones bonanza.”  Link here. According to a World Customs Organization report cited by CNN nearly 70% of all fake goods – including clothing, DVDs, and electronic goods – seized worldwide ...
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Nice shoes, are they Christian Louboutins or YSL knockoffs?
The red bottoms of Christian Louboutin shoes make each pair instantly recognizable; Christian Louboutin filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent for trademark infringement when the brand’s 2011 shoe collection featured shoes with red bottoms. Louboutin claims that the shoes are virtually identical and are likely to confuse consumers.  Despite ...
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Apple sues Amazon over the use of "Appstore"
Apple recently filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming that Amazon is infringing on Apple’s trademark by using the term “Appstore” and that such use is likely to confuse consumers.   Apple claims that is has exclusive rights to the phrase because of its iTunes App Store and that Amazon’s use of ...
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Warner Bros. knocks out Mike Tyson’s tattooist in ‘Hangover Part II’ copyright suit
S. Victor Whitmill, the tattoo artist who created and tattooed Mike Tyson’s facial tribal tattoo, filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. for copyright infringement on April 28, 2011.  Whitmill claims that the facial tattoo appearing on Ed Helms’s character Stu Price in The Hangover Part II infringes on Whitmill’s rights ...
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Top 15 Comical Trademark Applications
The Business Insider ran an article containing what it deemed to be some of the most ridiculous trademark attempts.  Some of the applications were approved and some were not so lucky.  A summary of the trademarks is below. 15. Jersey Shore Star, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi trademark application for “Snooki” was denied ...
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Yellow Tail sues Little Roo for trademark infringement: can you differentiate a wallaby from a kangaroo?
The Australian makers of Yellow Tail wine, the best-selling wine in the United States recently filed suit against The Wine Group LLC, the maker of Little Roo, in a New York federal court, alleging trademark infringement.  At issue is the likelihood of consumer confusion based on the depiction of a ...
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Ford Sues Ferrari for F-150 Trademark Infringement
Ford Motor Co. has filed a lawsuit against Ferrari for trademark infringement stemming from Ferrari’s decision to use the term F150 in connection with the upcoming Formula 1 season.  Ferrari’s new race car is called the F150 in celebration of the 150th year of Italian unification.  Ford claims that Ferrari ...
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Facebook Sues TeachBook for Trademark Infringement
While its been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is seldom the way its taken when it comes to trademarks.  Facebook, a popular provider of online networking services, filed a federal lawsuit against Teachbook, an online community for teachers based in Northbrook, Illinois. Facebook claims that the use of ...
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Burlington Coat Factory Pays Treble Damages to Fendi
Burlington Coat Factory was ordered Monday to pay triple damages to Fendi for knowingly infringing Italian fashion company Fendi's trademarks. The discount retailer was found to have been selling counterfeit Fendi goods from unauthorized retailers for decades. Fendi sued Burlington back in 1986 for purchasing counterfeit products and in 1987 ...
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6 Tips for Independent Video Game Developers
1. Development: NDAs and Employment Agreements;  2. Pre-release: Identify Your Intellectual Property; 3. Pre-Release: Register Your Intellectual Property; 4. Release – Define The Permissible Use(s) Of Your Game; 5. Release – Define What People Can’t Do With Your Game; 6. Post Release – Enforce Your Intellectual Property Rights ...
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The Importance of Trademark Searching
We had a brief conversation with a prospective trademark client recently. This client failed to fully comprehend the importance of trademarking.  This is relatively common in our practice, but this client's take was a bit different. His rationale for not needing to secure a trademark registration for his product name ...
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