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3 Steps to Prevent Domain Name Conflicts


Given the widespread use of websites to promote businesses, it’s no wonder that domain name conflicts are on the rise. A domain name conflict typically occurs when the owner of a website address (i.e., the domain name) is not the same as the owner of a similar trademark. To illustrate the problem, let me give you a hypothetical domain name conflict. Let’s say there’s a grandmother in Del Mar who makes custom T-shirts. Because she isn’t very mobile anymore, she sells her shirts exclusively through her website, www.HappyTs.com. Two years after she starts doing business, a fashion designer out of…

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Is ZERO Generic for Coke (ZERO)?


For more than 13 years, a battle has raged over the brand name COKE ZERO. At its core, the dispute centered on whether the term “zero” was generic or descriptive for purposes of trademark law. These two trademark types have important implications for the abilities of companies to protect their intellectual property. If the term was deemed generic, that would mean it could not be registered and it could be used in commerce by anyone – including Coca Cola’s competitors. If, on the other hand, the term was found to be descriptive (i.e., it could be uniquely recognized by consumers…

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Ask David: What Should a Standard Nondisclosure Agreement Include?


There may be no more critical tool for new companies and inventors than a solid nondisclosure agreement. Generally speaking, standard nondisclosure agreements allow a company to share secret information with other parties while legally prohibiting those parties from spreading the information to a wider audience. Nondisclosure agreements (also known as NDAs) can be used for a variety of purposes, including dissemination of financial information, marketing plans, new technologies, or confidential business processes. NDAs are especially important when a company or entrepreneur is trying to protect their trade secrets. Legally speaking, trade secrets consist of any information that: (1) derives independent…

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3 Key Differences Between LLCs and S Corporations


New business owners often get confused when it comes to the differences between LLCs and S Corporations. In truth, the entities are similar in many ways. Both are designed to shield the individual owners from liabilities incurred by the entity. This means that in many circumstances, the owners of LLCs or S Corporations cannot be sued personally for the debts of the company. Additionally, both limited liability companies (LLCs) and S Corporations can enter into contracts, incur debts, and initiate lawsuits in their organizational capacity. Note that I’ve chosen to focus solely on S Corps in this article to keep…

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