Anyone can use the TM symbol for anything. When you use it together with a word, phrase or logo, you’re just saying that you consider that word, phrase or logo to be a trademark. You don’t need to have any registration or permission from anybody. But you’re only allowed to use the circle-R “®” symbol if you have a federal trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Please visit the latest issue of Valley Business Front May [PDF link] for the full discussion of how and when to register your business.
And if you’re interested in learning more about trademark and brand development, join us at our next round of Shark Bites this month.
The law can protect internet services against copyright suits over content that their users upload. One thing that an internet service has to do to be protected is to take down infringing material as soon as it receives a takedown notice. You don’t get any protection if you don’t designate an agent to receive takedown notices. The law requires you to appoint an agent, to put the agent’s contact information on your web site, and also to file the contact information with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can just fill out a form and send it in. There’s also a fee of $105. Appointing an agent won’t protect you retroactively. You have to appoint the agent before the copyright infringement occurs. If you don’t, then the copyright owner can sue you directly for the infringing material that your users uploaded to your site.
Please visit the latest issue of Valley Business Front April [PDF link] for the full discussion of how to shield your web content from copyright lawsuits.
And if you’re interested in learning more about how to keep your business’s digital both public and protected, join us at our next round of Shark Bites this month.
If you go into business for profit with someone, and if you don’t create a company like a corporation or an LLC, then your business automatically will be a partnership. However, a partnership does not give you any asset protection — you are 100% liable for the debts of the business — and it also gives each other partner the power to sign a contract that legally binds the business, even without your permission or knowledge.
Please visit the latest issue of Valley Business Front March [PDF link] for Keith Finch’s latest legal perspective on business pitfalls.
And if you’re interested in learning more about how to choose the right type of entity for your business, join us at our next round of Shark Bites this month.
“The NFL does its best to scare everyone else into thinking that they’re not allowed to use the term SUPER BOWL. So all the businesses that aren’t official sponsors are terrified. Under trademark law, they’d probably be just fine using the term SUPER BOWL. No one is going to think that a local grocery is discounting Fritos because it’s sponsoring the Super Bowl, and an electronics store would be well within its rights to run ads saying that the Super Bowl would look great on a new 110-inch TV.”
Please visit the latest issue of Valley Business Front [PDF link] for Keith Finch’s latest legal perspective on licensing and trademark issues.