Keith Law, PLLC

Blog Articles

The firm’s blog is a resource for current and prospective clients. Here anyone can discover information aimed at helping Texas businesses protect their competitive advantages.

ALL BLOG POSTS:

  • The Basic Differences Between Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, & Trade Secrets
    It’s very common for non-lawyers (as well as lawyers who don’t focus their law practices on intellectual property) to mix up the different types of intellectual property—trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. The purpose of this post is to provide the basic differences between trademarks (designed to identify the source of goods or services and avoid consumer confusion), copyrights (designed to protect creative expressive works), patents (designed to grant a limited monopoly for use of inventions and processes in exchange for public disclosure), and trade secrets (aimed to protect business secrets that provide a competitive advantage so long as reasonable measures are taken to maintain the secrets).
  • Texas Noncompete Enforceability
    This post and related podcast episode covers what is required for a noncompete to be enforceable under Texas law.
  • What is a Contract?
    This week, I thought about delving into a specific type of contract. But then, I figured it might make more sense to first go over the basics of what a contract actually is.
  • Explaining Statutes of Limitation
    A statute of limitations establishes a time limit for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit based on a particular cause of action. In this post, Jason outlines the questions that must be analyzed to determine whether a claim might be time-barred.
  • Explaining “Unclean Hands,” a Third Equitable Defense to Trademark Infringement
    Another of the equitable defenses is called “unclean hands.” Although I mentioned the word in previous blog posts, it might be helpful to explain what it means in more detail. So, in this blog post, I’ll try to describe the concept of unclean hands in more detail.
  • Trade Secrets and Former Employees—Effect of No Written Agreement
    This post and related podcast episode are aimed at answering the question of how protected a company’s trade secrets are in the absence of a confidentiality agreement, if at all.
  • Forming an Entity Does Not Protect Your Trademark
    I often hear business owners say that they they would eventually like to register their trademarks, but that they’re already protected because they have a filing entity or assumed name registered with the Texas Secretary of State. This is not true.
  • Explaining “Acquiescence,” Another Equitable Defense to Trademark Infringement
    Another of the equitable defenses to trademark infringement is called “acquiescence,” and in this brief blog post and podcast episode, I will go over the elements of this defense to a trademark infringement claim.
  • Update: Effect of Noncompliant Defamation Mitigation Act Request for Correction or Retraction
    In Episode 6 of the Keith Law PLLC Podcast, I covered how a business can handle negative online reviews that are false. During that, I discussed the Texas Defamation Mitigation Act (DMA) and it’s requirement that the defamed business or person send a demand for retraction or correction to the accused defamer. In that episode, I mentioned that there was some uncertainty about the effect of failure to send the demand—whether it would prevent the lawsuit from concluding or would only prevent a plaintiff from recovering exemplary (punitive) damages. This month the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hogan v. Zoanni aiming to answer this question.
  • McDonalds Ice Cream Machine Drama
    In this blog post and podcast episode I explain the unfolding drama pertaining to the notoriously unreliable ice cream machines at McDonald’s restaurants and the lawsuit recently filed by Kytch, a company that developed technology aimed at solving these ice cream problems.
  • What is Fiduciary Duty?
    During a recent podcast episode I mentioned the term fiduciary duty and a listener followed up asking what it is. It’s a good question and one that takes some thought for a lawyer to translate from “legalese” because we have been so deeply exposed to the concept that it becomes challenging to clearly describe. But here in this blog post and podcast episode I’ll try.
  • How to Maintain Your Registered Trademark
    Congratulations for registering your trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office! But, your USPTO journey is not over. After you get a trademark registration you have to do a few things to prevent the USPTO from cancelling the registration.
  • What is Trade Secret Misappropriation and a Real World Example
    This post and podcast episode covers what trade secret misappropriation is, along with a real world example.
  • What is a Trade Secret?
    In this post and podcast episode I discuss a lot about what is (and is not) a trade secret and a little about how to protect this important type of intellectual property.
  • Why Conduct Business Through an Entity?
    A “filing entity” can be a corporation, LLC (limited liability company), or other corporate form that serves as a liability veil, shield, or forcefield between claims of folks who interact with the business and the individuals who own and run the business.
  • Explaining “Laches,” an Equitable Defense to Trademark Infringement
    In this episode, I’ll try to describe the concept of “laches” in more detail.
  • Properly Signing a Business Contract
    Once you have your entity set up, you are on the right track toward protecting your personal assets from business claims. Don’t undermine your risk management by improperly signing business contracts.
  • Dealing With Negative Online Reviews
    It’s common for many businesses to live and die by their online reviews. If you do enough business, there’s a chance you will eventually run into someone who wants to damage your business reputation by posting negative online reviews. If the review is true, or merely opinion, freedom of speech will probably override any steps you can take to force the removal of the review unless the person posting has promised, in an enforceable contract, to never publish anything about your business. Otherwise, you have some tools in your toolbox to protect your online reputation by forcing the removal of negative reviews.
  • Texas Justice Courts—Do It Yourself!
    It often makes sense to pursue your own claim in JP Court (also referred to as Justice Court and Small Claims Court).
  • Prompt Payment of Contractors in Texas
    You performed work on a private construction project in Texas and you’re wondering how long until you receive payment. In Texas, chapter 28 of the Property Code governs this situation. It’s called Prompt Payment to Contractors and Subcontractors. It regulates the time limits and interest penalties on all private construction projects within the state.
  • Commercial Landlord’s Disposal of Former Tenant’s Property
    Your commercial tenant abandoned the building; then you sold the building which was demolished by the buyer. Although you sent the required certified mail to your former tenant advising that the remaining property would be disposed of, you no longer have proof that you sent the certified mail. Now the tenant pops up claiming you wrongfully disposed of their property and that they are going to sue you if you don’t pay. So, Should You Pay?
  • Arbitration Award Confirmation in Texas
    Your customer failed to pay so you pursued the arbitration and obtained an arbitration award. Congratulations! Unfortunately, the debtor has refused or failed to pay the award.
  • Practical Trademark Protection
    If I own a bar, restaurant, or coffee shop what can I do if a former or current employee hosts a “reunion” party at a competitor’s establishment aimed at current and former employees and customers?
  • Welcome to the Keith Law, PLLC Podcast!
    This “episode 0” introduces the podcast, the firm, my background, opinions about litigation and settling business disputes, and business focus on creating value, making money, and protecting its intellectual property (trademarks and trade secrets), and how to contact me.
  • Completion of Services Letter
    If you hired the firm and the scope of work concluded, you should receive a completion of services letter. Perhaps …

    Completion of Services Letter Read More »

  • Business Disputes Occasionally Happen
    As a business grows, an occasional dispute becomes more likely.  Although disputes present themselves in all shapes and sizes, generally, …

    Business Disputes Occasionally Happen Read More »

  • Business Reputation Protection Prerequisite
    Section 73.055 of the Defamation Mitigation Act requires a “timely and sufficient request for a correction, clarification, or retraction from” the defamer (a “DMA Request”).
  • Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets
    Trade secrets provide competitive advantages but must be treated correctly to be protected.  To get a sense of what the …

    Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets Read More »

  • What is a Trademark?
    This post provides a simple explanation of trademark and some of the related responsibilities. Trademarks distinguish the source of goods …

    What is a Trademark? Read More »

  • Hiring the Firm
    The process of hiring Keith Law may be unfamiliar because of the differences from your experiences hiring other service providers.  …

    Hiring the Firm Read More »