We sat down with our clients Mary Ouimette-Kinney and Larry Kinney of the University Heights Arts Association to learn more about their programs, and their experience as an arts organization trying to expand their reach within the community, while also protecting their intellectual property interests.
Tell us about your business and program. How did your organization develop?
In 2013, we formed the University Heights Arts Association (UHAA), a business that generates free art opportunities using under-utilized spaces and recycled or discarded materials. Prior to forming the UHAA, we spent several years informally offering art activities in church basements using whatever materials we could pick up from garage sales or that could be recycled. Through the UHAA, we now accomplish this mission through seven programs, which now serve 2400 people per year. For more about UHAA programs visit: uhartsgroup.com/programs.
Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio participates in the UHAA’s ARTpartnering program, which places organized exhibitions into participating businesses and nonprofits through ongoing collaborations that benefit both the artists and the venues without cost to either entity. The exhibitions drive traffic to businesses, while also exposing artists’ work to the markets and audiences associated with the business. QR codes are placed on exhibition tags and lead to additional information about the artist, the artwork, the venue, and the UHAA organization. The UHAA does not charge artists or businesses any fees for art-related services, nor do they take commissions on the sale of any work. A map of local ARTpartnering locations further promotes participating artists and businesses. The inaugural exhibition here at Kloss, Stenger and LoTempio features the work of celebrated fabric artist Susan Borden, and the next exhibition in April will feature the work of George Grace.
What audiences do you hope to reach with this program?
We hope to reach artists and enthusiasts in places where they learn, conduct business, and spend their leisure time.
Tell us about the process you went through in order to protect the intellectual property associated with your business.
Attorney Vincent LoTempio helped us to trademark our ARTcovz® mark, which represents another program of the UHAA. This program offers self-serve art samplers made from discarded and donated materials that are dispensed through unique kiosks which are then placed at businesses, nonprofits and community spaces that sponsor them. With the assistance of Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio, we were able to clearly define this rather involved program which bears a database of more than 120 samplers of various art forms. These are placed into tin cans or envelopes, labeled with a set of directions bearing the ARTcovz® trademark, and placed into the ARTcovz® dispensers. Currently, dispensers have been placed at the following locations:
Independent Living Center of the Genesee Region (Batavia)
UHAA-St. Andrew Sculpture Garden (Buffalo)
Christ United Methodist Church (Amherst)
West Herr of Toyota Williamsville (Williamsville)
Niagara Power Vista (annually during Christmas)
Buffalo Central Library (*beginning January 2018 with a kickoff event)
An ARTcovz® website featuring a cross-referenced database of projects will be released in 2018.
For more information about the ARTcovz® program, please visit uhartsgroup.com/artcovz.
Tell us what legal challenges that you have faced, or legal challenges that you hope to avoid by working with intellectual property lawyers on your business matters.
The process of working with Vincent LoTempio and the staff of Kloss, Stenger and LoTempio
helped to us to clearly define our ARTcovz® program and for that matter, all of our programs.
A challenge that we have faced more than once is that the attraction to our programs sometimes comes from individuals and groups who wish to claim our programs as uniquely their own. The processes of trademarking, copyrighting and accurately documenting everything we do has defined our intellectual property and demonstrated our accomplishments. Working with a business attorney who understands multiple aspects of our business helps to characterize us professionally and to avoid unnecessary conflict.
For more information about the University Heights Arts Association, please visit https://www.uhartsgroup.com, or contact Mary Ouimette-Kinney and Lawrence Kinney at [email protected] or [email protected]
Interested in more about Trademarks or Trademark registration? Here’s a video!