Trademark Class – Which One to Pick?

Once you’ve picked a name to trademark the second step is describing the goods and services for the trademark. This can be a difficult process for someone inexperienced with trademarks. However, here are some quick tips to remember (and a really good resource!).

First, trademarks are registered for particular things. To take an example, Apple is registered for “computers” (amongst other things) and “iPhone” is registered for “mobile telephones.” What you register your trademark for will limit your legal rights. For example, the same trademark can be registered by different people provided it’s for different goods and services. Trademarks being focused on preventing confusion in the market, it’s unlikely that a company making, say, “t-shirts” would be confused with a company providing “legal services”. Obviously there is lots of room for interpretation here!

Second, all goods and services are divided into 45 different classes. Most countries in the world use the same forty five classes. The first thirty four classes relate to goods while the remainder relate to services.

Third, each class relates to a group of things, not just one particular thing. For example, class twenty five relates to clothing, footwear and headgear. Some class groupings are not as logical – for example alcoholic beverages are in class thirty three, while beer is in thirty two. Obviously there are some political and social reasons behind some of the groupings. Also, having the groupings means that it’s easy to search for similar marks – a very simplified search strategy might look for all similar marks in classes that have similar goods and services to your own.

Fourth – and this is one of the most common mistakes – if you operate a retail store selling third party goods, you’re in class thirty five. Some people make the mistake of trying to register the trademark in each of the classes of the goods they sell, when in fact they are selling goods from someone else and their trademark is being used for retail sale.

Finally, the descriptions of good and services should cover your use and intended use of the trademark – no more or less. The descriptions should be plain language and easy to understand, without any jargon.

What Is a Business Legal Professional?

A “business lawyer” or “business attorney” usually refers to a lawyer who represents provider entities of all types. These consist of companies, LLCs, general partnerships, limited partnerships, sole proprietorships, associations, organizations and joint ventures. Commonly, corporation suitable professionals also signify individuals who act inside of a business capacity (owners, proprietors, principals, managers, partners, directors, officers, controlling shareholders, entrepreneurs)! Some business attorneys also represent other individuals in their dealings with business entities (e.g. contractors, subcontractors, consultants, minority shareholders, personnel)! When we use the term “business lawyer” we believe of all three of the above. We represent services, owners, entrepreneurs, individuals in a office capability and other persons who have relationships with corporation entities.

Most businesses need contracts of numerous several kinds, along with a fantastic attorney can draw them up for you simply. Rather than seeking to write your own and hope that they hold up in court, allow a industry legislation service provider to construct or in the the very least edit contracts that you certainly will use at your company. This will guarantee that for those who truly encounter trouble within your supplier, you will probably be protected legally.

Several industries regularly desire a fine organization business venture legal representative, as you might discover a number of restrictions and rules that ought to be adhered to. Will need to you feel too hectic to keep up with new laws that go into impact inside your field, let an attorney to hold you updated. For instance, the building corporation normally has codes that must be adhered to, or you may face fines or even court instances. Steer clear of difficulty by keeping someone near to who will regularly help remind you of any current updates that might possibly it could be that impact your organization.

Sometimes issues go wrong with clients or workers, and companies get sued. Having an attorney might possibly will not prevent individuals nowadays from acquiring frustrated and threatening to sue, however it could decrease the chances of them truly in all likelihood through it considering that they will know that they might not win. If they do go as a result of with it, you will probably could possibly demand a business authorized professional a lot of a lot more than at any time, so it will doubtless be notably good to acquire a single near to. It is just smart to shield yourself from potential lawsuits brought on by angry clients or personnel, primarily provided that companies of any type can face these issues.

Why To File a Trademark Opposition: Understanding the Differences Between the TTAB and Court

One who believes she will be damaged by a registration can file a trademark opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the USPTO. This must be done within the 30-day Opposition Period, although extensions can be sought. Before doing so, it is important to recognize the differences between a TTAB proceeding and litigation in a federal district court.

  1. Although a TTAB proceeding can take less time, oftentimes less than a year, and cost less than litigation, they both are adversarial processes that require an understanding of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and trademark law.
  2. A TTAB proceeding is typically easier to file and to dismiss than a court action, without the risk of a requirement of consent or payment of costs and/or fees.
  3. A trademark opposition is filed with the TTAB with any appeal going to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This is the only way to be heard by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which contains the most precedent related to TTAB matters. Any appeal from a decision in a federal district court will go to the controlling Court of Appeals (e.g. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals).
  4. While a favorable TTAB ruling in a trademark opposition will preclude the application from becoming a registered trademark, that ruling is not necessarily binding on a federal district court. Moreover, only a court of law can order injunctive or financial relief (i.e. stop the infringing use or award damages).
  5. Leverage in a TTAB proceeding is limited to a petition to cancel the trademark registration relied upon, if any, as part of the opposition. In a federal court action, various counterclaims are available that would make the originally named defendant a plaintiff. In addition, additional third parties could become part of the litigation.

As you can see, there are numerous considerations that have to be made in choosing a TTAB trademark proceeding rather than litigation.

A History of the Eight-Hour Work Day

Although many workers do not necessarily realize it, many of the major standards of workers’ rights are the result of long battles between labor organizations and employers. Historically, the fight for the eight-hour work day in particular took over a century of organized protest and resistance, eventually ending in a major victory for industrial and commercial goods workers. Now, the eight-hour day is considered a basic right among many blue-collar workers, as it is discussed along the same lines in legislation as overtime pay and child labor laws.

One of the earliest movements in America for the eight-hour work day was actually a push for a ten-hour day. The Industrial Revolution changed the way working conditions affected the average person, putting workers in twelve to sixteen-hour days. Eventually, workers decided that this much work was actually detrimental to employee productivity, and they demanded less intensive schedules. In 1791, carpenters in Philadelphia fought for and won a ten-hour work day. In roughly 40 years, this became a standard demand from workers, and the push for eight-hour days began in earnest.

By the mid-1800, labor movements across major industrial centers in the United States organized strikes and protests for better conditions, including an eight-hour day. These battles continued, winning the occasional fight over a certain industry in a city. Not until 1938, with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, was the eight-hour day established as a right for commercial goods workers.

As a result of this law’s passage, an employer is not permitted to ask an employee to work more than eight hours each day without offer overtime pay. However, given the restrictions of the law, certain white-collar careers were not actually covered by the 1938 provisions, meaning that businesspeople may be asked to work over eight hours in some cases. If you would like to learn more about how the eight-hour work day and overtime pay disputes can be legally settled, contact an employment attorney.

Security in a Renting Contract

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, Part II provides statutory protection for tenants who use a building for the intention of a business. This Act is significant in giving security for business tenants who may lose business and goodwill if they were forced to leave their tenancy at the end of their lease term. The Act was brought about at a time when the economy was in turmoil This was done as it was believed that by providing security of tenure to business tenants it would promote investments and the economy to get back on track.

It gives safety for business tenants by enabling them to apply to the court for a renewal of the tenancy and therefore for the tenancy to automatically be allowed to continue after the contractual term. Thus allowing the lease to continue on the same basis and at the same rent until it is brought to an end by the methods set out in the Act.

By a section 25 notice (under the 1954 Act) is the more prevalent means of termination by a landlord. There are strict deadlines for serving notices under section 25, and a minimum of 6 months notice must be provided but no more than 12 months prior to the date the landlord wishes the lease to terminate. however, the landlord cannot terminate the lease before the contractual termination date.

There are limitations for a landlord in disregarding a tenants application for a new tenancy. As follows are the statutory grounds:

(a) tenant’s failure to carry out repairing obligations;
(b) tenant’s persistent delay in paying rent;
(c) tenant’s substantial breaches of other obligations;
(d) suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant;
(e) in cases of a sub tenancy of part, possession is required for letting or disposing of the property as a whole;
(f) the landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the premises;
(g) the landlord intends to occupy the premises himself.

It is up to the landlord to prove the reasons on which they are relying on. If the landlord was to successfully oppose a new tenancy under grounds (e), (f) or (g) the tenant would be entitled to compensation in most circumstances.

Some tenancies are not a part of the 1954 Act, i.e. a tenancy at will, contracted out tenancies and fixed term tenancies not exceeding 6 months. You must seek professional advice on whether or not you are protected by the 1954 Act and what you must do if you are served with a section 25 notice.

This article is meant to be only for general information purposes and is not meant to be relied upon by any party in any circumstance.

I Have Noticed the Government’s Announcement That the Default Retirement Age is to Be Phased Out

On 30th July 2010, the Government announced that the default retirement age, which is 65, is to be phased out from 6th April 2011 and abolished completely from 1st October 2011, when the statutory retirement procedures will be removed.

The current situation is if an employer wishes to retire an employee who has attained the default retirement age of 65, an employer must give a minimum of 6 months notice, or a maximum of 12 months notice of retirement to those employees. The notice must give the employees the right to request to work beyond their retirement age, in which case there should be a meeting to discuss this request, together with the right of appeal in respect of the decision. If, following the appeal the ultimate decision is that an employee is to retire upon his or her attaining the age of 65 years, there is no need for the employer to give reasons for the decision. The reason for dismissal is retirement.

From 6th April 2011 it will no longer be possible for employers to retire employees with this procedure. Indeed there will be transitional arrangements for retirements that have been notified prior to 6th April 2011 and where the date of retirement occurs before 1st October 2011.

From 1st October 2011, subject to the transitional arrangements, if an employer wishes to dismiss or retire an older employee, this would involve following a fair procedure and relying on one of the established reasons for a potentially fair dismissal which are set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996, which are, conduct, capability, illegality, redundancy or some other substantial reason.

The Government has published a consultation document, explaining the proposals to phase out the default retirement age. Responses to the consultation are required by 21st October 2010.

Be Careful When Relying on the Canada Revenue Agency

You want to know in advance how a transaction will be taxed, so you ask the CRA. Or perhaps the CRA reviews your business and there is a dispute, but you reach a written settlement. Unfortunately, that is not always the end of the story.

In one recent case the taxpayer sold agricultural netting products (used to cover crops to protect them from birds and the like). They were uncertain as to whether GST/HST applied to the sales – it does not apply to fish nets, but the legislation was silent with respect to agricultural netting. The taxpayer contacted the CRA head office and was advised that the agricultural netting fell within the same exemption as fish nets, and GST did not apply on the sale (zero-rated in GST terminology). In fact the taxpayer inquired repeatedly in order to be sure of the point, since the consequences of not charging GST when it is due can be severe. However, when the auditor came calling, the CRA took a different view and said it was taxable. The Court agreed that since agricultural netting products were not specifically referred to in the legislation, they fell under the general rule of taxability. The taxpayer was liable for all of the GST they should have collected, but did not, in reliance on the CRA advice they had received.

But surely you say, the taxpayer could rely on the CRA advice and would only be liable on a go forward basis. That would be logical, and that would be fair, but that would also be wrong. As the Court said, the Court’s “only jurisdiction is to apply and interpret the Act as written”. As the Court has previously said about oral or written statement of law from the CRA, “… they will not generally bind the Crown, nor can estoppel generally apply against the Crown as regard to positions of law”.

In another recent court decision, the Quebec Superior Court considered the position of two taxpayers who had been audited by the CRA and had signed a written settlement agreement with the CRA. The agreement provided that if the two taxpayers undertook certain actions, there would be “no adjustment to taxable income” for specified taxation years. The taxpayers undertook the actions contemplated by the settlement with the CRA, and then the CRA went ahead and assessed them anyway, directly contrary to the agreement. The CRA took the position that the agreement was invalid on the basis that its employees did not have jurisdiction to enter into such an agreement. (In the end, the Quebec court declined to hear the case, saying it was better left to the Tax Court of Canada.)

Seeking the Services of a Competent Lawyer

If you are facing a legal problem that involves big amounts of money, the wisest move is always to hire a lawyer.

These legal professionals are not only capable of providing sound legal advice. More than that, they know the technicalities of different cases and they can help you resolve a concern without making matters worse.

Now you have to realize that selecting a lawyer involves many factors. You can’t go with a random choice and you have to make sure that the attorney has sufficient skills and experience. In short, you can’t afford to hire the wrong person.

To find the right attorney, consider the following suggestions:

1. Ask referrals from those you know.

You have higher chances of successfully finding a competent lawyer as you ask colleagues and friends. Inquire about their experiences working with lawyers. Be specific and ask about the attorney’s performance whether they were satisfied or not. That way, you’ll have a better idea about who to hire and who to avoid.

2. Do your own research.

Asking for referrals is merely the beginning. You have to do your homework, too. You may visit the official websites of different law firms. View the profiles of the different lawyers and get information about their education, experiences, and any awards they’ve received. More importantly, you should check out online testimonials posted by previous clients.

Aside from the internet, you may also turn to other useful resources. For instance, you can contact the local chamber of commerce if you need help finding a business lawyer. On the other hand, you can count on men or women support organizations if you’re looking for family or divorce attorneys.

3. Arrange for a meeting with your prospective lawyer.

After trimming down your choices to a smaller number, paying a visit to their offices and arranging for a short meeting should be done.

You have to hire the one you are most comfortable with. Do not make a final decision unless you are not really confident about the person.

Also, such meetings are an excellent opportunity to inquire about the accompanying fees. Some attorneys charge by the hour while others will only require a flat fee. Find out ahead of time so you can tell if you can afford their legal services or not.

To sum it up in a few words, your main goal is to look for a well-respected lawyer with a good track record and a price that’s within your budget limits.

Changes in the Australian New Skilled Occupations List 2010

The Australian government has recently announced new immigration reforms which come into effect from the 1st of July 2010. The reforms will apply to General Skilled Migration applications in the form of a new skilled occupation list (SOL). This new list has been specifically designed to better meet the skilled labour requirements of Australia for the future. It is part of a more targeted approach to migration in response to the changing needs of employers across the country. It is intended that the SOL list will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

The new list will see a reduction of the total number of occupations down to 181 from a previous number of 400. The new list will be much more focused on high skilled occupations and professions, requiring formal education and training, such as nursing and engineering. Occupations to be cut from the list will include lower skilled jobs, requiring little education and training, such as cookery and hairdressing. The list was developed by Skills Australia, an independent group, and now contains only higher valued occupations.

The changes, in part, are in response to previous government immigration policies which allowed a large influx of low skilled migrants. Previously and currently many people, completing short vocational courses, and at times with low English capabilities, are permitted to obtain permanent residence as a skilled migrant. The new rules will be put in place to attempt to address this problem, so that skills needs, as opposed to educational needs, will drive immigration policy and outcome for the future. It should put to an end an influx of foreign students, currently going to Australia to study for short vocational subjects and subsequently being granted permanent residency on the basis of that training or study.

Migrants to be most affected by the changes will include students who intend to study in Australia on a Subclass 572 visa. This visa is issued for persons wishing to study within the vocational education and training sector. Other students to be affected are those looking to study in higher education, Subclass 573, and those engaging in postgraduate research, Subclass 574. For students currently studying on one of these visas, and seeking visas under the General Skilled Migration Programme, there are however generous transition arrangements. The concessions set out will allow any potential migrant, holding one of the aforementioned visas, as of the 8thof February 2010, to apply for full residency, as their particular applications will not come under the new skilled occupation list. In order to comply with visa regulations for full residency, these students must first submit an application for a Subclass 485 visa, Temporary Residence Visa, by no later than the 31st of December 2012.

People not affected by this new list and regulations include applications for Subclass 457 visas, Temporary 4 Year Working Visa, and additionally international students, going to Australia in order to study and then return to their home country.

The new changes are seen by the government and industry as essential in radically overhauling the way skilled migrants are targeted. It is specifically designed to ensure that people entering Australia on the migration programme in the future have the skills required, including English skills, to meet the demands of Australia for the future. Further to this, Chris Evans, the current immigration minister, has said that the new changes will also help, “To restore integrity to the skilled migration programme.”

The major metropolitan areas of Australia, such as Sydney, are most likely to see the impact of this new legislation, and specifically migrants either currently studying or working, or intending to do so. Any potential migrant would be well advised to look carefully at the latest changes, as immigration regulations can be both difficult to understand and navigate. With this in mind, The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, have an informative and comprehensive website that offers useful information along with full lists and categories of all visas available. Alternatively, lists and further help, if needed, can be obtained from an immigration lawyer. Sydney has a large number of immigration lawyers, most with extensive experience. Immigration lawyers can easily be found through the usual local listings and internet searches.

Reclassification of Theft Charges

Multiple states have created new regulations or reclassifications of theft laws to account for criminal activities that target elderly adults. Often the penalties for stealing from an elderly or disabled person are more severe than the penalties for the same action against adults of those without disabilities. These changes in regulations are important in cases involving identity theft.

Greater numbers of people, including elderly adults, are using the internet for shopping and other forms of commerce. With this increase in traffic comes an increase in personal information that is available on the web. This can put elderly adults, who may not be as familiar with internet trends and threats, at higher risk for theft or fraud. Without a good deal of familiarity with internet scams and dangerous actions, a person may quickly become a victim of theft.

In light of these changes in criminal activities, many states are beginning to adjust their theft laws. Many of the reclassifications increase the consequences for these charges based on the amount of money that is stolen. The value of the theft can directly affect the severity of a criminal charge. In many of the states, these actions are enough to bring serious consequences upon a convicted individual.

It is important to be aware of the codes that regulate theft in your state. It is possible that theft against specific victims or theft that occurs in specific manners will have much more severe consequences, and in many cases, the charges and penalties associated with theft crimes can vary greatly from state to state.

If you are facing theft charges involving elderly adults, it is important that your rights are protected.

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