News From the Orange County Clerk of Courts

Beginning Friday, April 17 through Saturday, April 18, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days, customers can visit select Clerk’s Office locations to pay fines and fees that have been sent to a collection agency while saving the 40 percent collection agency fee.

Operation Green Light 
It may come as a surprise to some of you reading this that there are thousands of citizens in Orange County with overdue fines and fees. These fines and fees are usually associated with traffic infractions or criminal cases. As a result, many are driving with suspended driver’s licenses and if stopped by law enforcement, could face additional traffic citations, have their car impounded or worse.
That is just one of the reasons why I am proud to announce that the Orange County Clerk of Courts will participate in Operation Green Light, a two-day event that allows customers with outstanding traffic and criminal fines that have been sent to a collection agency to come to the Clerk’s Office, pay their fines and save the 40 percent collection agency surcharge.
Beginning Friday, April 17 through Saturday, April 18, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days, customers can visit select Clerk’s Office locations to pay fines and fees that have been sent to a collection agency while saving the 40 percent collection agency fee.
Operation Green Light is a state-wide initiative that we certainly hope will help us collect many of the outstanding fines and fees due Orange County. Of equal importance though, is making it possible for some of our customers to bring their accounts current. We anticipate that Operation Green Light will be a win-win for the citizens of Orange County and the customers we serve.
Below are a few examples of local television programs I will be appearing on to get the word out about Operation Green Light.

  • Saturday, April 4: Orlando Matters, WRBW-My 65 at 7:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 4: Central Florida Spotlight with Greg Warmoth, WFTV Channel 9 at 12:30 p.m.
Remember, green means go for savings of 40%!
Source: Orange County Clerk of Courts

Beware of Non-Government Affiliated Trademark Solicitations!

 

blog4Please be aware that private companies that are not associated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) are using trademark applications and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to issue trademark-related solicitations. These solicitations may include offers for legal services, for trademark monitoring services, record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and even to “register” trademarks in the company’s own private registry.

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Some applicants have reported paying fees to these companies, mistakenly under the assumption that they were paying mandatory fees to the USPTO.  If you receive documents that appear to be from an official government agency, please be sure to read the fine print. If an address is provided, always perform a search to verify that the location is legitimate. Sometimes these companies will provide an address for a vacant building or office space. Usually, an official correspondence will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain “@uspto.gov.”

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Unfortunately, if you have already submitted any payment to these companies for services offered, the USPTO is unable to provide a refund. The USPTO encourages you to file an on-line consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), at www.FTC.gov. If you receive one of these solicitations and you’re unsure of its legitimacy, or if you are interested in filing for a new trademark, we can help! Contact us today so that our legal professionals can discuss your options.

Purchased a New Property In Florida? Beware of Solicitations!

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As many of you know, the process of purchasing a new home, or commercial property involves quite a few important documents that you need to be familiar with. Title and Deed documents are given to you by your attorney. Usually, these documents are also accessible online via your county’s property appraiser’s website FOR FREE. In instances where you have purchased a new property, you may receive a letters in the mail that might look like an official county or state document which states that you will need to take additional steps to finalize documentation, or that you will need to order vital documentation that shows ownership of your property.

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This mailing will have your name, parcel number, and property address on it. What Record Transfer Services is doing might not be illegal; however, these services are usually already performed either before or at closing by a title company or real estate attorney. A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, who researches the vested owner, the liens or other judgments on the property, the loans on the property and the property taxes due before the closing is done. If duplicates are needed or documents are misplaced from your records, these documents can usually be found via your county property appraiser’s website or you may contact your real estate attorney.

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Given that the letter includes a deadline for which to request for these documents, it appears to be an official document, however, make special note of the disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the letter: “This product or service has not been approved, or endorsed by any government…” Generally, if you receive a solicitation asking for more money after your closing, it is not necessary and is rarely legitimate. If you are not sure or you would like more information, contact your Florida Real Estate attorney or title company as soon as possible.

Broward County’s New Recording Procedures

journalsBroward County, Florida, has released a recent update on their new record keeping procedures. Effective January 1, 2015, Broward County will no longer assign Book and Page numbers to the documents being recorded. The new record keeping procedures will be done through an “Instrument Number” which is how the documents will be found if searched in their database. They do make an exception for large format documents. See Broward County’s Memo for further information.

Source: RTT Instrument Number Memo

Happy Holidays from All of Us Here at Gulati Law!

 

We want to thank our Clients, Business Partners, Family and Friends for allowing us to service you everyday.

For those of you who have been following Gulati Law but have not retained or needed our services, we hope to earn your trust and look forward to your partnership.

To our business partners and colleagues, thank you for joining us on our journey. We cannot wait to continue our awesome ride in 2015!

To Attorney Gulati’s team– keep rocking! Thank you for all you do for our clients and Firm. You know how much Attorney Gulati loves her team!

And of course, thank you our families, for the continued support through the up’s and down’s of life.

We wish you all a Happy Holiday week and a wonderful New Year!

Our offices will be closed in observance of the Holidays on December 25th & 26th, returning on Monday the 29th. We will also be closed on New Year’s Day!

Hiring A Real Estate Attorney Is An Important Decision

Hiring a Florida Real Estate Attorney for your purchase, sale or investment is one of the most important decisions to consider when first becoming involved in real estate. The right Attorney will keep you informed, on track and lessen your liability for any title defects.

At Gulati Law, our practice primarily focuses on Real Estate and Business Law, in which we offer our clients all forms of title services, including title insurance. Attorney Gulati is not only a Florida Real Estate Attorney but also a Florida Real Estate Sales Agent licensed with the Florida Board of Realtors.

Attorney Gulati is also a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, which creates, maintains and enhances a business environment that contributes significantly to the success and the prosperity of Central Florida. As a property manager, landlord and real estate sales agent, Ms. Gulati realizes the need for legal representation in handling real estate transactions.

For more real estate questions, please contact our office today, we will be happy to help.

New Home Sales Steadily Increase-Improving Housing Market!

Unfortunately many families are still feeling the economic instability that the recession brought us. However, according to USA Today the housing market is seeing a rise in new home sales of almost 16% in the month of January.

The exact specifics of that data have not been released yet, but during the recession Florida’s housing market remained steady. Increased new home sales are a strong indicator of increasing consumer confidence in the overall U.S. housing market, says John Tashjian, principal, Centurion Real Estate Partners.

For more information: http://www.usatoday.com/

The Difference Between a Trademark and Registered Mark

Intellectual property is defined as creative work that comes to life. A registered trademark and trademark both protect intellectual property; however they protect the mark in different ways.

If you are trademarking you are most likely trademarking a logo, symbol, or name. Anything that is associated with your product or services can be trademarked.  Some things however cannot be trademarked, like common names.

Essentially, the difference between a registered trademark, designated by the symbol ®, and a trademark, designated by ™, is the word “registered.” The main difference is that a registered trademark has been officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or its foreign equivalent. A trademark (™) may be in the process of becoming registered with the USPTO, or it may never be officially registered at all. The main advantage to registered trademarks is that it is a nationwide recognition that the symbol, or name that you’re using is yours.

If you are interested in protecting your logo, symbol, name or trade name, contact a Florida Trademark & Copyright Attorney who can help protect your intellectual property rights. Gulati Law has successfully obtained numerous positive approvals for clients, including responding to any office actions that came along in the process.

Investigating a Franchise Opportunity

Franchise opportunities are a great tool for start-up businesses. For example:

  • Franchises offer industrial growth;
  • You have strong support from the Franchise when problems may arise; and
  • Franchises offer major marketing and advertising within the community.

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Another great thing about a franchise is that they are regulated by the government. Under current federal law franchises have to be registered with the Federal Trade Commission.  A franchise owner has to provide the buyer with detailed information about the business, so the new owner can make a detailed decision about buying the business. Some information in this document may include:

  • A financial statement with relevant information;
  • The costs for starting-up the franchise and the costs of maintaining the franchise;
  • An outline of the franchise opportunities.

However, it usually is the franchisee’s responsibility to do their due diligence on the business.  If you have any questions regarding investing, start-up, due diligence, or termination of a franchise agreement, please contact us today, we will be happy to help.

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