Please 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.
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.”
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.
Broward 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
A Florida company based out of Tallahassee, Florida, has been attempting to convince new business owners who have recently formed a new corporation or LLC, to send money by exaggerating to be involved in a vital step in the business formation process. This “company” has gone by other aliases such as the “Florida Center of Corporation,” and now currently operates under “United Business Services”
In the letter it states: “You have one step left to receive your Florida Certificate of Status”, they are instructed to complete their filing by filling out a stub and to “mail back to the corporations center with your payment of $47.00 (some recent mailings have said $47.99 or a similar amount) to complete your articles of organization certificate.” We urge caution because the correspondence is made deceptively like it is coming from a government agency. And note in the image here, that in very fine print, it states that “This is not a government agency.”
We classify this as an inappropriate deception of the Florida Department of State services because the only service United Business Services is providing is to obtain a Certificate of Status (or good standing) from the Secretary of State of Florida. The state only charges either $8.75 (for an INC) or $5 (for an LLC) for this. Furthermore, when we checked the address for the company, it came up as an empty office space which is available for rent. The company came up in no searches affiliated with that address, or any other.
If you have any questions as to the legitimacy of these letters, do not hesitate to contact your Florida Business Law Attorney as soon as possible.
With the fast and dynamic expansion of social media, it has become a highly used tool in our daily life as well as in the workplace. It is a necessary means of development and something you cannot avoid.
Initially designed for friends to keep in contact with each other, it has also become a necessary business tool for companies to market their products and services, build relationships with prospective customers and maintain relationship with existing ones.
When it comes to employees utilizing social media in the workplace, a policy needs to be set in stone, so that everyone is actively aware of the things they post online.
A sample policy can include language as follows:
-Be aware of what you post, clients or your managers could be looking;
-Remember whatever you do post, will have an effect on your reputation as well as the firm.
-Be thoughtful and courteous of other people’s feelings.
We get so mixed up in the social media world, we tend to forget what we post online. Whatever you post, is not only within your friends, but has the chance of being shared. It is very common for friends and family to share other people’s posts.
As long as you educate your team on the do’s and don’ts in terms of social media, it will allow them to be mindful of the content that they post online. This in turn will give you a good night’s sleep, knowing your team are on the same social media page as you are.
For more business law tips, please sign up for our newsletter!
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, collecting toys for children during the winter holiday season is a great feeling, and we here at Gulati Law are a participating location for Toys for Tots. Come by our Orlando office- Gulati Law, to drop off your toy donation.
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.
We will also update you on our activities for Thanksgiving, and how to join us in giving back to the community!
Source: Toys for Tots