Legal English

Legal English

Problem: The law can protect your business investments and help you achieve your business goals. But you need to know how to answer these questions:

  • When do I need to call my lawyer?
  • How do I evaluate my lawyer's advice?
  • How do I communicate that advice to my employees and partners?

Solution: With our help, you can answer these questions.

Legal English: What is "Consideration?" Part 1

You are negotiating an international contract. Do you know how to tell when your foreign partner will think that your promises are legally enforceable?

Legal English: How Are Trademarks Violated?

There are two ways to violate a trademark. Do you know what they are?

Managing Intellectual Property Rights: Trademark

 

Jewelry sold in stores is marked up by a vast amount. You run a jewelry store that is entirely online. This allows you to keep your costs down and undercut your competition. Your problem is to make customers aware of your online store.

You deal with this problem in two ways.

On your home page, you have a large logo reading, “Tiffany & Co.” “Tiffany” is the trademarked name of a famous jewelry store. Below the logo, in small print, it says, “Buy cheaper here.”

You also purchase keyword advertising from Google. You buy as keywords the trademarked names of famous jewelry stores. This ensures that, when people use those names as search terms, your advertisement will appear on the right-hand side of the search results page.

Consider these questions:

Do you violate the trademark in “Tiffany” when you use it on your home page?
 
Do you violate European Union competition laws when you use “Tiffany” on your home page?
 
Do you violate trademarks when you use trademarked expressions as keywords?
 
Do you violate European Union competition laws when you use trademarked expressions as keywords?

When you finish this module, you will know the answers to these questions.

Managing Intellectual Property Rights: Contracts

 

Let’s say you are a furniture manufacturer in China. Many of your clients are retailers and interior decorators whose customers favor fashionable furniture designs from North America and Western Europe.

You think that many of your clients would be interested in having access from your Web site to the latest furniture and home decorating news from North America and Western Europe.

To accomplish this, you send automated search programs - also called “search robots” - to Web sites with news about the latest fashions in furniture and home decoration. The robots locate suitable stories.

Several of the sites have Terms of Use Agreements prohibiting the sending of automated search programs for the purpose of accessing news stories and copying or summarizing them for commercial purposes.

Consider three scenarios. In the first scenario, suppose you visit the site yourself before sending your automated search programs to it. Do you accept the Terms of Use Agreement?

In the second scenario, the site you visit has a link to the Terms of Use Agreement at the bottom of the home page and on every other page of the site.

IOn your web site for your business, you have a Terms of Use Agreement and a link to it from the home page (and every other page); you regard the agreement as enforceable against web site visitors. You are also aware that it is a common practice to link to Terms of Use Agreements from the home page.

Is the link enough to make it clear to you that you are being invited to enter a contractual relationship when you visit the site?

 

 

Managing Intellectual Property Rights: Trespass

Let’s say you are a furniture manufacturer in China. Many of your clients are retailers and interior decorators whose customers favor fashionable furniture designs from North America and Western Europe.


You think that many of your clients would be interested in having access from your Web site to the latest furniture and home decorating news from North America and Western Europe.

To accomplish this, you send automated search programs - also called “search robots” - to Web sites with news about the latest fashions in furniture and home decoration. The robots locate suitable stories.

Several of the web sites detect your activities and send you letters telling you that you are not authorized to send automated search programs - “robots” - to their sites. You continue to send the search robots to the sites.

Consider three scenarios. In the first scenario, the search robots cause the computers to malfunction in some cases and the web sites are shut down and are unable to conduct business. Have you trespassed?

In the second scenario, the search robots do not harm the computers or cause any business loss. Have you trespassed?

In the third scenario, some of the web sites are in the European Union. Do you violate provisions of the Database Directive?

When you finish this module, you will know how the law of trespass to Web sites, and the law of the European Union’s Database Directive, can guide your strategy for obtaining the information you want.