Trademark, Copyright or Patent?

Trademark, Copyright or Patent?

3 types of Intellectual Property: Copyrights, Trademarks (Servicemarks) and Patents. Copyrights cover items such as written materials (books, magazines, websites), sound recordings and photos. Trademarks cover company or product names, slogans and logos. Patents cover useful items, inventions and processes. Who owns the Intellectual Property? The person who created the work automatically own the work.  There is an exception in the case of an employee or independent contractor who is under a work for hire contract or if there is a contract which gives the rights to the purchaser of the work.  But if it’s not stated in writing, then generally the creator owns the items, not the person who paid for or commissioned the work to be done. Watch out for: Ghost Writers or Content Writers.  Be careful if you have hired a ghost writer or content writer.  Remember, the one creating the work, even under your direction, will possibly own the rights to it.  Co- Authors:  It can be complicated when working with a co-author.  How do you determine who owns what. What if the two co-authors split before the work is done?  What if they publish the work and want to use it for different purposes? Translations: Incredibly, if you hire someone to translate an item that you own the copyright to, the translator may wind up owning the copyright to the translated material! What can you do?  Get it in writing!  A well-written contract can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to Intellectual Property.  When hiring anyone for creating a work, whether it be a content writer, web designer, graphic artist or...
Is Your Business Compliant?

Is Your Business Compliant?

Not sure if your business is in compliance with all of its non-tax filings?  Is your annual report filed and up to date?  Is your corporate book up to date with Annual Minutes and Board Resolutions?  What about local and state licensing? For non-profits, are you registered with the Illinois Attorney General?  Do you need to be?  Have you been filing your annual reports with that agency as well? AMC Legal is here to help you throughout the life of your business with all of your business legal needs. We can work with you to make sure your business is in compliance.  Want to do a quick compliance check?  Have a chat with us and we can tell you if you are missing any filings and help get you, and your business, on the right track. Need Help? Get In Touch. Dr. Allison Cychosz AMC Legal, P.C. (630) 590-3640 info@amclegal.net Please call for a free consultation This is not legal advice and you should seek the counsel of an...
Top 10 Reasons to Create an Estate Plan

Top 10 Reasons to Create an Estate Plan

1. Avoid Probate If you have assets valued at more than $100,000 that are not in trust or other instrument which avoids probate, then in Illinois then your estate will need to go through probate proceedings. Probate is the process for your estate to pay all its final bills and debts and for the remaining assets to be distributed to your heirs, either according to your will or, if none, according to state law. This is done under the probate court’s supervision. This process takes a minimum of 6 months to complete. There are additional costs for attorneys’ fees and court costs. 2. Make Your Choices Now While You Can No one knows when they may lose the ability to make their own choices. Whether it be a temporary issue such as being in an accident, or more permanent such as dementia or alzheimers. Making your choices now ensures that issues will be handled the way you’d like them handled, and by the person you choose to handle them for you. 3. Provide for Minor Children If you don’t create a trust for minor children, then the court will appoint someone to handle the money for them until they turn 18. That guardian of their assets will have to report to the court each year to provide an accounting of how the money is being used. 4. Avoid Lump Sum Payments Without a trust, when your children turn 18 they will be given a lump sum of their share of the estate assets. Most clients at AMC Legal prefer to spread out the inheritance over time to avoid wasting...
Trademark Scams: How to Spot Them

Trademark Scams: How to Spot Them

Shortly after filing a trademark application, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or with another non-US, government trademark agency, a growing number of our clients inevitably receive one or more official-looking letters or invoices seeking payment related to the trademark registration. You may have received one of these notices in the mail or via email yourself—a solicitation, formatted to look like an official government document, that lists data about your trademark application and even an image of your trademark (all of which is publicly available information). Many of these companies use terms that resemble an official agency name including one or more of the terms “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” The truth is, these solicitations have absolutely no legal or other significance to your trademark registration. If read carefully, you can see that the solicitations provide useless services such as listing the application on an internet database or sending a reminder that an issued registration is up for renewal sometime in the future. Some of the solicitations don’t even disclose what services they are providing. These worthless notices are convincing and tend to solicit significant amounts of money from the trademark owner, often exceeding the actual fees necessary to register a trademark. Unfortunately, some trademark owners pay these invoices, believing they are legitimate, official invoices, because they are unaware of the scams and do not read the solicitations carefully. Any official postal correspondence regarding your trademark registration or application in the United States will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” with an address in Alexandria, Virginia. Any emails related...
Multi-Member LLCs Must Update the Operating Agreement

Multi-Member LLCs Must Update the Operating Agreement

If you are an owner of a multi-member LLC and being taxed as a partnership then it’s time to revisit your Operating Agreement. Not sure if you are taxed as a partnership? Most LLCs with more than one partner are. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) You may be wondering, why am I writing about a law signed in 2015 when it’s already 2019? It’s a little-known rule that didn’t get much publicity and only took effect on January 1, 2018. It’s coming up now that multi-owner LLCs are preparing to file their 2018 tax returns. What does it change? Before the BBA, the Tax Equity and Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) audit procedure required the IRS to perform audits at the LLC/partnership level. If there were any adjustments to be made, they would be passed through the LLC and collected from the partners. After the BBA, the IRS will collect any amounts owed directly from the LLC, rather than the individual members. This makes it easier for the IRS to collect amounts owed. The IRS no longer has to chase down individual owners to collect their share of the tax underpayment. The IRS can now collect the money directly from the LLC and leave it up to the LLC to collect a reimbursement from the members themselves. What effects does this have? If the LLC is audited and there are amounts due to the IRS, the LLC will pay the deficit and the LLC will have to try to collect from the members individually. This also means that the current members may wind up with the tax liability...
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