Lawtalk is a collection of essays and observations on the intersection of business, technology, entrepreneurship and the law.

Disparaging Trademark or Reclaimed Slur? The Supreme Court Weighs In

Matal v. Tam

Josh Greenberg

In a unanimous decision in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. __ (2017), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibiting the registration of disparaging trademarks or service marks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment and that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) may no longer reject applications to register trademarks deemed potentially offensive. The “Disparagement” Clause of […]

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Benefit Corporations and Purpose-Driven Commerce

Josh Greenberg

 “Brands and consumers will continue to come together to form a more cohesive and fluid business ecosystem….The new era of business is about creating enterprises that work together in tandem to drive commerce that matters.” – Billee Howard, We-Commerce   Entrepreneurs who seek to harness the power of business and innovation to address and implement […]

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“Cannabusiness” in the U.S.

Steve Masur

What’s Kosher, What’s Crowded, and What Will Get Crushed?   As public opinion continues to shift in favor of legalizing marijuana and state legislatures respond accordingly, many people, including investment firms and financial analysts, believe that legalized cannabis and cannabis-related products will become the next big market. We’ve been advising an increasing number of entrepreneurs […]

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(Trade)Marking Your Territory

Josh Greenberg

A strong trademark or service mark can become a valuable asset for your business, so when you come up with a great name or memorable tagline for your product or service, it makes sense to register the trademark. Common law trademark rights originate from use in commerce so all you have to do is use […]

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I’ve Seen the Future, and It’s Voice Activated

Steve Masur

Smartphones are awesome. But aren’t you sick of looking at the tiny screen, especially if you wear glasses? A hundred times a day you stop in your tracks to navigate some groovy mobile interface to get a tiny piece of information—an address, a gate number, maybe a change in direction. The screen is a litter […]

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New York Takes a Chance on a Game of Skill

Steve Masur

How the distinction between skill and chance gave rise to a billion-dollar industry   In daily fantasy sports games, players are not placing “wagers” on the odds of winning based on the number of people playing; they’re paying “entry fees” to compete in a guaranteed prize pool where the prize is set and made well-known […]

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You, Me, and 83(b)

Josh Greenberg

Imagine you’re at a cocktail party with a circle of sophisticated, seasoned startup investors and you get caught in a conversation about 83(b) elections, finding yourself completely out of your depth. What you do next is critical: First, get out of there. Nobody deserves to be subjected to party conversation about tax law. Ever. Second, let MG+ explain […]

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