0 comments on “You Should Know – Trademarks are for every business!”

You Should Know – Trademarks are for every business!

Trademarks are an essential tool for any business, small or large. A trademark is any word, slogan or symbol that identifies your unique business offering, and distinguishes it from everyone else. It’s part of what makes your business special.

In order to secure your trademark as uniquely yours, you will need to register with the United States Patent & Trade Office. If granted, a registration gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark in association with your goods and services throughout the United States, and can even be used as the basis for foreign trademark filing should your business expand outside the U.S.

Why is this important? And what should you consider trademarking?

Consider trademarking your business name, any slogan, catchphrase, jingle, and logo you use for your business to prevent other businesses from capitalizing on your name. It is also an important way to build business assets if your goal is to eventually sell your business.

Even if you are registered to do business in a particular state, your business name is not protected as a trademark. Only registering with the United States Patent & Trade Office can give you that protection. And purchasing a domain name for your business’s name and website is no protection, either. Again, you must register your information with the United States Patent & Trade Office.

Still not convinced? Years from now, after you’ve invested your time and money into your business, someone else who *did* register your business name, slogan or logo may take legal action against, and force you to stop using their trademark, even if they registered the trademark years after you started using it. Not registering a trademark can cost a lot of money down the road!

The United State Patent and Trade office will not provide any legal advice to you, so it’s important to consider hiring an experienced trademark attorney to navigate the process on your behalf. An attorney can conduct a pre-application clearance search (to make sure no one else is using your proposed trademark already), file the correct applications, and advise you advise you on the best way to maintain and enforce your rights to your trademark once it is registered.

We can make the process as painless as possible. Give us a call.

0 comments on “You Should Know … Before You Record a Video or Take a Photo on Your Smartphone!”

You Should Know … Before You Record a Video or Take a Photo on Your Smartphone!

The latest smartphone to be announced, the Nokia 9 Pureview, has not one, not two, but six cameras.

That’s wonderful news for budding photographers and videographers, but there are a few things you should before you take that Instagram photo or record your next YouTube video.

New Jersey is a one-party consent state: Under the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, it’s illegal to record a private in-person or telephone conversation unless one party consents. Anyone who violates the Wiretapping Act is guilty of a third-degree felony and may also be liable for money damages and legal fees.

New Jersey Courts have decided, however, that some conversations may be recorded when the parties involved do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” For instance, one court decided it was legal to record a conversation between two police officers out in the field without their permission, because they were talking in a place “more akin to an open, accessible place than an enclosed, indoor rom.”

The Wiretapping Act does not apply to photographs and videos. Generally, it’s legal to take a photo or video of someone if they are in a place where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as on a bus, in a crowd at a concert, or in other public areas.

It’s important to note that both New Jersey and federal law make it a crime to videotape or photograph a third party who is nude or engaging in sexual activity, without their consent, in a place where he or she enjoys a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a home, a bathroom stall, or a gym locker room.

And generally speaking, you cannot take photos or video in private spaces if the owner or occupant of a property asks you not to, or to stop.

So grab your phone and take that photo, record that video … but be sure you know and follow the rules.

0 comments on “Did you know…you can (and should) call your lawyer before things go wrong ”

Did you know…you can (and should) call your lawyer before things go wrong 

This is not only the best piece of advice routinely given to clients, it’s also the simplest: as soon as you think you might need a lawyer, make the call.

For instance, recently a landlord client called with a potential tenant problem. Two tenants, paramours sharing an apartment, broke up and one moved out. The remaining tenant could not afford the property on his own for long and called the landlord us to work out a solution before he was in trouble. In turn, the Landlord called us for assistance. Reasonably working out a negotiated lease termination allowed the tenants to end their lease without an eviction and credit impairment, while allowing the landlord to get new tenants in the property. The key is everyone did exactly what they should have, and the outcome benefited all. The tenant talked to his landlord before the rent was late or missing and the landlord called his lawyer for advice, rather than making a similar call a few weeks later when an eviction was necessary.

Everybody wins.

This principle applies to business disputes as well. Unfortunately, most of the business breakups we see are long, dramatic, and expensive. But every now and then a business comes to us early, recognizing things are not working. It’s much easier to dissolve the business and wind things up before there is financial hardship and hurt feelings. Early intervention saves everyone time, money and lowers the stress in what can be a very stressful event.

If you have a real estate or business issue, not yet a problem – just a concern, give us a call and we can talk it through with you.