Noavel horse headstall design could be patented since it is a new, original, useful design; The line of riding clothing design by Sharon, can be filed as utility patent for the unique function she designed for riding convenience. She can also consider a design patent if it has for the unique and original look or design, while article of clothing are rarely patented. And patent has a high cost of $25K.
Names of the two large retail outlets are the customer list, which is a trade secret because it prevents possible competition from entering the market and if may provide a pricing advantage; The process of manufacturing Noavel horse headstall and the new line of horse product are trades secrets. Their marketing plan and pricing information are trade secrets since these are methodologies that give Bruce and Rick an advantage over their competitors.
“Noavel” brand name could be a trade mark. It is a coined term and has no prior meaning until used to represent the specific product; The phrase “Rick, the horse whisperer” could be a trade mark since it has been associated with the horse related product, and established secondary meaning; They can trademark the domain name of the website Bruce created since it is an ecommerce site.
Rick has the copyright of Noavel horse headstall since he invented the design and the copyright is automatic based Berne Convention. However, to register the copyright, he must submit the work with the proper form to the United States Copyright Office (USCO); The training DVD and Rick’s signed photo are protected by copyright; The line of riding clothing design by Sharon, Bruce’s wife: All clothing designs are protected by copyright; Bruce can copyright the content of the website since it is original information; The product catalog created by Bruce can be copyrighted because there are original text and photographs.
Rick and Bruce entered a 50/50 general partnership even they didn’t file any paperwork to establish the partnership. The verbal agreement of going into business formed the general partner relationship.
Rick could be sued for Fraud by silence in omitting the material fact to that he had signed the agreement with Whisperide at the same time he knew Bruce had invested money and time in developing the same line the product as his partner. Rick could also be sued for Fraud by signing the contract with Whisperide on one side and stating the court case were “attaching everything he owned”. Bruce could expect to recover the full $90,000 investment back plus his time and labor cost in the business.
The partnership relation is one of trust, loyalty and confidence. It imposes upon the partners the highest standards of good faith, the duty to act for the common benefit of all partners in all transactions relating to the business. Applying theory of breach of fiduciary duties, Rich could be sued for having a conflict of interest by signing the agreement with Whispride without disclosing full information related to the business to his…