Jason Sanders Law
Intellectual Property, Commercial and Corporate Points of Interest
You Now Need To Register Your Small Business, Its Owners, Officers, And Other Controllers With The Federal Government
In one of the most sweeping federal regulatory changes regarding small businesses, pursuant to the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), the federal government now requires the vast majority of small businesses to register with and report “beneficial ownership information” to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a bureau of the Department of the Treasury. And, to put some teeth into the requirement, civil and even criminal penalties can result from a failure to comply.
If you’ve found it cost-effective to focus on your existing trademark registrations only when either there is a question of infringement or when it’s time for a maintenance filing, some new rules at the USPTO may change that calculation. Now may be the best time to review your portfolio. The USPTO has implemented changes intended to incentivize trademark owners to routinely audit their own registrations in order to avoid extra fees and third-party challenges, as well as to allow anyone to challenge certain existing registrations. The goal is to cull the trademark register of registrations for goods and services that don’t fulfill the use in commerce requirement, so-called ‘dead wood’ registrations.
“Which is real, a unicorn or a pony?” my daughter once asked. “Ponies are real, unicorns are made up, and I’m sorry to say you won’t be getting either for your birthday,” I responded. While myths about unicorns and dragons may be easily dispelled, some copyright fair use myths seem particularly enduring. People tend to gravitate towards a few simple (and often wrong) rules of thumb, possibly because the doctrine of fair use is such a fact-intensive inquiry and some of these misperceptions have a nugget of truth at their core. Falling into the trap of relying on any of these mistaken beliefs could lead to serious headaches and expenses down the road.
I’ve recently noticed an uptick in startup clients raising money for the first time. Sometimes sales are booming and money is needed for expansion, sometimes it’s a strategic investment by a larger player, and other times it’s early stage money used to get the company started. Whatever the reason, if you’re a founder looking to raise money, it’s important to understand the difference between the three most common types of fundraising offerings – equity, convertible debt, and SAFEs. Choosing the right vehicle for the investment is essential for ensuring the fundraise moves smoothly and without surprises. At their most basic level …
My daughters have created an imaginary conglomerate: Winston’s. I often overhear them workshopping slogans for this brand. Some of their slogans seem somewhat questionable, such as “Winston’s food, always edible, rarely poisonous.” Like many companies real and imagined, Winston’s has spent a lot of time in brand building. Now that it is creating this brand value, what are the legal steps it should take to protect it? For most companies, a simple and essential step to protecting brand value …
I’m commonly asked about the speed of forming a limited liability company (LLC). Clients are often happy to learn that LLCs are quick and easy to form, and can generally be…
My nine-year-old daughter recently informed me that she and her best friend were about to start a dog-walking business. I’d previously rebuffed her requests for our family to get a dog by noting my aversion to picking up dog poop. However, I thought this seemed a reasonable way for her to get some dog time, and some familiarity with the work involved with having a dog. I wasn’t deterred by her statement that the services would be free for dog owners, pre-IPO profitability not being particularly in vogue these days. But, as a lawyer and typical dad, I did have some questions – for example, what type of agreement had she reached with her best friend? Had she thought through liability waivers with the clients? What would the branding be and how would she protect it?
I assured her that while it might seem daunting, the legal aspect of starting a new business doesn’t need to be.
String of Complaints Filed by Apparel Company Based on Supplemental Trademark Registration May Clarify Bounds of Law
Copyright Claim by Heir of Raging Bull Screenplay Writer Allowed to Proceed Despite 18-Year Delay in Bringing Suit
In May, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., holding that certain aspects of Oracle’s Java software were copyrightable.