Signs and Business Development

The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed. The vast majority of the following information comes from what was formerly posted on the Small Business Administration website, beginning in 2000 in the “Starting Your Own Business” section. You can read how it occurred at http://fasi.org/2000/09/15/isa-signage-foundation-signs-web-agreement-with-sba/Unfortunately, […]

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What do I need to know about Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks?

The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed. The basic concept behind copyrights and patents is providing legal protection to the inventors, authors, and creators of artistic works that insures their right to economic benefit from the investment of their time, skill, energy and […]

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Four Legal Issues To Know About My Business Sign

The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed. The following are the four different sets of legal issues you will want to know about regarding your business signage. Almost all local governments control the construction, materials, electrical or other operating components, size, number and […]

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Trademarks and Logos – Federal Preemption (Lanham Trademark Act)

The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed. The Lanham Trademark Act, at 15 U.S.C. 1121, prohibits states, and their political subdivisions, from requiring alteration of federally registered names, marks and colors where included within the registration. The decisions in two recent federal cases […]

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Signage Sourcebook (2003)

US Small Business Administration’s Guide for Sign Use. Signage Source Book Cover (PDF – 2MB) Forward, Acknowledgement & Contents (PDF – 0.2MB) The Science of Signs Introduction: The Science of Signs (PDF – 12MB) Signs and Traffic Safety (PDF – 22.MB) The FHWA Approach (PDF – 18MB) Conspicuity and Readability Issues (PDF – 9MB) Legibility […]

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What’s Your Signage? (2004)

How On-Premise Signs Help Small Businesses Tap into a Hidden Profit Center A handbook developed by The New York State Small Business Development Center and the Signage Foundation for Communications Excellence. Download What’s Your Signage? Download

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Is Blockbuster Decision a Blockbuster?

Here’s a Video Update on the case of trademarked logos and signs in Tempe, AZ The following article originally appeared in the July 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Wade Swormstedt A federal appellate court has upheld the Lanham Act and concurred with a lower-court ruling that the City of Tempe must […]

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Senator Orrin Hatch Discusses Signs and Property Rights

Excerpts from Sen. Orrin Hatch’s keynote address at the National Sign Users’ Conference on Sign Regulation and Marketing The following article originally appeared in the August 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Wade Swormstedt “I believe government regulation [of signs] has been burdensome, often times unconstitutional.” At the Intl. Sign Assn.’s (ISA) […]

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How Does the Copyright Protection of the 1982 Lanham Act Affect Signs?

The Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act, was originally passed in 1946. It has been revised several times since then, including 1982, when it was revised by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to prevent cities/municipalities from requiring businesses to alter federally registered trademarks. Section 1121(b) of the act states: “No state or other jurisdiction of […]

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Another Perspective on Blockbuster Video and the Lanham Act

Here’s a reminder that landlords are not subject to the Lanham Act The following article originally appeared in the November 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Robert M. Aran, Esq. and Jeffrey L. Aran, Esq. For the landmark Blockbuster Videocase, Bob and Jeff Aran each submitted amici curiae (friend of the court) […]

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