General Counsel’s Corner for the Small Business: Getting Show Ready, Part 1 of 2

It’s finally that time of year again: after a long break, automotive trade shows are back on the market. After a virtual version in 2020 that was virtually non-existent, SEMA returns in person this November. Leading up to that, there are a lot of pre-shows, as well as Walmart’s private show in August and the Automechanika Show in Germany in September, which is the largest automotive trade show in the world. While Read More

6 Ways to Protect Your Brand’s Trade Secrets

Some of the most important assets that any business possesses are their Trade Secrets. Trade Secrets are, simply, any information that provides financial value by being kept secret. It is what makes you unique: anything that would result in knockoffs and cheap imitations if your competitors got their hands on it. Trade Secrets are the key to your success. And yet, many companies treat their own Trade Secrets Read More

What Does a Minimum Advertised Price Mean for My Product?

When it comes to actually selling your product, determining the price is a bit complicated. You are presumably not the only one selling your product - you want it to be in stores at Walmart and Advance Auto Parts and online at Amazon. Even if you are only selling parts directly to repair shops, those parts are being sold to the consumers by the shops and not by you. That means that you do not have complete control Read More

GREAT IDEAS PROTECTED™ – Picking the Next Great Brand!

A memorable brand will be essential to the success of any new company, product line or service.  A truly great idea must have its own brand -- one that people associate instantly with your top line products, services or approach.   The best products emerge from thousands of failures -- the best brands have to land on the first try.   At BRADFORD, we are constantly called upon to brand our client’s products -- a Read More

The Value of Having an Outside General Counsel

Over two thousand companies work in the automotive aftermarket. Many of these companies still do not utilize the proper legal protection to help their business succeed. They will try to handle everything in house and end up woefully unprepared to deal with the legal business challenges that eventually face them. At Aftermarket Law, we have been working with the aftermarket industry for over fifteen years. Here is Read More

Top Three Considerations for Safely Selling Performance Parts Under the Clean Air Act

Few sports are more all-American than racing. Speeding cars, roaring horsepower and vast amounts of smoke are all part of the experience, which is why in 1970, Congress exempted racing vehicles from regulation under the Clean Air Act. Even now, however, it is not well understood how the Clean Air Act affects those retailers who stock aftermarket products for race cars. The short version is that as an aftermarket Read More

Patent Owner Enforcement Perspective: Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Procedure

This is the second post in Aftermarket Law’s series on Amazon’s new Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Procedure.  For the first post in the series, click here.  This post discusses the general advantages of the Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Procedure and then presents a case study of one of our recent proceedings.  Every case is different, and previous results are no guarantee of future performance.  But Read More

The Mythical Off-Road Exemption: It Doesn’t Exist in the Clean Air Act

In recent years, the popularity of racing, both off-road and on the racetrack, has exploded in the United States. This $5 billion per year industry is a testament to our country’s long standing passion for the automobile. Thousands of aftermarket manufacturers feed that passion with performance parts that help a car race better on the track or go off-road.  There’s a prevalent myth in the automotive aftermarket that Read More

The New Frontier of the Amazon Brand Registry

As a global distributor of goods and products, Amazon is a uniquely positioned company in the intellectual property world. Given the enormous volume of products and sellers on its marketplace, Amazon has decided to create its own Brand Registry. With the creation of the Brand Registry, in order to sell products on Amazon under a mark or brand, the seller must register the mark with Amazon’s Brand Registry. To be Read More

What Every General Counsel Should Advise Their Client To Do To Protect Products at SEMA360

SEMA360 is scheduled to “open” November 2-6, and I am sure you are all in full preparation mode for this new format.  While we do not know how SEMA360 will compare to the live version, many of the same issues that you face going to a trade show apply.  In this Blog Post, we’re going over the advice every general counsel should offer to a client who wants to protect products from competitors at Read More