A trademark is a word, slogan, symbol, design, or combination of these elements, which identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from others. The word trademark or trademark law is frequently used generically to encompass similar identifiers of origin such as service marks, collective marks, certification marks, trade dress, and trade name.
The primary purpose of the trademark laws is to prevent unfair competition by applying a test of consumer confusion and providing rights and remedies to the owner of the trademark.
The test for consumer confusion is to assure that the consumer can be confident that when buying a product or service bearing a particular trademark the product or service expected is actually delivered. In other words, the consumer relies on a standard of quality established by the association of the trademark in the marketplace with the owners product or service.
Although the trademark identifies the source of the product or service, that source can be the manufacturing source, the selling source, or in case of universities, the source of sponsorship or authorization.
The trademark application or registration process is not straightforward. Subtleties exist in the process that make hiring a lawyer to guide you through registration very helpful. We help clients through the trademark application process, to assure they get the most protection possible for the best price. Call us to schedule a consultation at (334) 356-7879.
Copyright is a legally enforceable property right that makes it possible for the holder of that right to profit from a work such as a book, song, or piece of visual art, for some examples. It does this by preventing others from exploiting the work without the rights holder’s say so for a period of time. Copyright protects the expression of ideas but not the idea itself. For a work to gain copyright protection it has to be original and should be expressed in a fixed form – for example, in writing (whether in print or electronic). Copyright becomes effective at the time of the creation of the work.
Registration of your copyright is still very important to protecting your legal rights, even though protection is automatic. Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.
If you would like to speak to an attorney regarding the advantages of copyright registration, call us for a consultation at (334) 356-7879.
Intellectual Property law includes trademark and copyright law, but is actually much more expansive than that. In general terms, intellectual property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. The ownership of intellectual property inherently creates a limited monopoly in the protected property. Intellectual property law includes the law of copyright and trademark, but it also includes trade secrets, trade dress (protecting your recognized styles and colors), nondisclosure agreements, and patents. If you are an employee or employer in either a creative or tech industry, intellectual property law touches everything you do. Make sure your assets and creations are thoroughly protected by calling us for a consultation at (334) 356-7879.
Negotiating is a part of everyday life, but in business it’s absolutely critical to your success. Poor negotiation can cripple a company just as quickly as losing key customers. While most negotiating strategies seem like common sense, it’s not uncommon for people to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and ignore their basic instincts. Emotion, luck and magic have no place in a successful negotiation. It takes an iron gut, homework, street smarts and unblinking discipline. These keys will unlock your ability to get the best deal possible under any circumstances. We are expert negotiators, its just what we do. Not only that but we have the expertise necessary to get those negotiated points written in an iron clad document that makes your responsibilities and that of the other party crystal clear. Call us today for a consultation at (334) 356-7879.
In the civil justice system today, most claims and lawsuits are resolved through negotiation long before a jury is ever seated. Regardless of what the initial motivation or driving emotion is, the ultimate remedy that our civil justice system provides is the compulsory payment of monetary compensation where appropriate. At the end of the day both parties must make a decision about money – a largely business decision that involves deciding how much money, if any, should be paid to avoid further expense and/or the risk of an adverse judgment. Every case has a “golden moment” where a litigant has the maximum leverage and ability to settle the case on the most favorable terms. In order to take advantage of that moment, having an experienced negotiator on your side is an absolute necessity. Call to consult with us on maximizing your leverage, at (334) 356-7879.
Are you ready to incorporate? What is the best form for your business? Do you have or are you an investor in a small business ‘partnership’? Does your corporation have iron-clad bylaws that help prevent misunderstandings and disputes between shareholders?
One of the fundamental decisions that a business owner must make is the form of the organization that will be utilized to conduct the business. As there are a number of potential forms for business organizations that may be considered, and it is important that the business person choose the form that will be most beneficial to the operation of the business, Amanda B. Cook and your accountant can advise and assist in choosing the appropriate type of business organization that will be beneficial for the operation of the business and the owner of that business.
In Alabama, corporations are required to have bylaws in place for their inner governance. We also write agreements between shareholders, partners, and members that clarify roles of individuals in your organization and rules that privately govern the way your organization will behave. Operating agreements, partnership agreements, bylaws, and shareholder agreements are absolutely necessary for the function of your business for several reasons. These reasons include protecting your liability status and therefore your personal assets, clarifying verbal agreements to have the written word ready to clarify any disagreements with partners, and controlling the application of vague default state rules in the event of any disagreements.
Sometimes two parties to a lawsuit just can’t come to an agreement, especially if there has been some sort of nefarious activity on behalf of a trusted business associate. If you are being sued or need to file a lawsuit, come talk to us. Set up a consultation by calling (334) 356-7879, and we can counsel you on the necessary steps you need to take to move forward. We can answer all of your questions about what litigation entails and what to expect at each step of the process.
Entertainment law generally encompasses industries involving motion pictures, television, music, publishing, and theater. These industries have special economic and business considerations that involve nearly every area of law including copyright, trademark, trade secret, rights of privacy and publicity, securities, tax, tort, corporate law, labor law, constitutional law, international law,etc.
Defamation and Privacy Law
Defamation (libel and slander) and privacy law relate to your right to maintain your integrity. These areas of the law are rapidly expanding due to developing technology. If you have been defamed, bullied, or had your likeness or personal information used without your permission, call us for a consultation at (334) 356-7879.
Most environmental cases arise from environmental regulatory action. These cases are often brought by plaintiffs alleging injuries caused by air, surface, water, or groundwater contamination, or by direct contact with hazardous substances. Ongoing litigation includes claims of exposure to substances such as PCBs and dioxins, lead-based paint, volatile organic compounds, herbicides, and biological agents. Tort claims alleging injury to persons or property in the course of Environmental Protection Agency clean-up activities are also defended by ETL. These complex actions are typically brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, but are also premised on admiralty and contract law, or on environmental statutes.We handle cases for Plaintiffs who have been harmed by environmental toxins, as well as assist companies with compliance issues. Call us today for a consultation at (334) 356-7879 for a consultation.