HELP!!! Someone trademarked my company name!!

August 17, 2017  |  Carole Clark Isakson

Yep. Before explaining how this happens, a little background information is needed. Every state has an office charged with registering businesses that wish to do business in the state. In Minnesota, that office is called the Secretary of State’s office (hereafter SOS) and registering businesses is one of many tasks it undertakes.  The SOS will not permit a company to be formed that has the exact same name as an already registered company, and other rules apply in choosing a name. Once the name is registered, it is yours to use – doing business in Minnesota. It is not reserved for your use beyond the borders of the state. There is a common misconception that forming an entity at the state level somehow reserves the name in the same way that filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does. It does not… in fact, on the USPTO website you will see the following caution: However, a state’s authorization to form a business with a particular name does not also give you trademark rights and other parties could later try to prevent your use of the business name if they believe a likelihood of confusion exists with their trademarks. Although a trademark is frequently a name (or logo)…

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August 9, 2017  |  Carole Clark Isakson

Ownership is important… especially in the context of a sale. If you want to sell your company, whether as an asset sale or through an ownership sale, the buyer will want to make sure that it can continue to use the software that you use. Conversely, if you are buying a company, don’t forget that the accounting software and whatever else is used in running the company is an important asset! Business owners FREQUENTLY forget about this.  When investigating assets do not forget about the software (and make no assumptions…) Ownership is incredibly important, as this gives that person: The right to reproduce the code The right to create “derivative works” based on the code The right to distribute copies of the code The right to “display” the code, for example by posting to a web site. (17 S.C. § 106) The basic rule is this – the person that puts fingers to the keys and creates the code, owns it, except for three exceptions….   There are three exceptions to the basic rule that almost consume the rule itself.  These exceptions are: Work “made for hire” Code written by an employee in the SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT  Work specifically contracted for (i.e. project based) in one of ten named categories (see 17 USC 101)…

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Transportation Lawyers on the Move at MTA Convention

August 4, 2017  |  Carole Clark Isakson

The BGS Transportation Law Team  – Jim Wills, Carole Clark Isakson, Nicole Wiebold and Jackie Campbell – again attended the annual Minnesota Trucking Association convention in northern Minnesota. The event featured golf and educational seminars, and the always enjoyable connections with clients and potential clients.  Having been active in transportation law for more than 4 decades, Jim Wills is a great presence at the event and the subject of much attention! This year  he was even more notable as a member of the Long Haul golf team. That team won 1st place in the Scramble Tournament with a 17 under par and also won the Yellow Ball contest. Todd Volkers of the Long Haul team also won longest drive and closest to the pin. This year’s event featured a fascinating keynote speech by American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear. Did you know: 70{a0c01d20c42349884e67ff80c137866b0a9fe47aaae8f8a86a605a369ae487c3} of the gross tonnage of freight in the US is moved by truck This tonnage represents 56{a0c01d20c42349884e67ff80c137866b0a9fe47aaae8f8a86a605a369ae487c3} of all goods There are more than 7.3 million people working in the trucking industry HALF of the money paid in to the Highway Trust Fund is paid by trucking companies 82{a0c01d20c42349884e67ff80c137866b0a9fe47aaae8f8a86a605a369ae487c3} of the cross border trade with Mexico is by truck 71{a0c01d20c42349884e67ff80c137866b0a9fe47aaae8f8a86a605a369ae487c3} of the cross border trade with Canada is…

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