Monthly Archives: December 2013

How to Protect and Defend Your Brand

Earlier this year, Microsoft was on the wrong end of an English court ruling that found the software giant had infringed on the trademark of British broadcasting company BSkyB with its SkyDrive cloud storage service. Instead of appealing the ruling, Microsoft decided to rebrand the service.

Before your company has a misstep with intellectual property litigation, consider these tips for developing and protecting a brand:

Make it unique. While it’s tempting to choose a common name, these choices are often difficult to protect.

Conduct a thorough search. Search on the Internet to see if the name you are contemplating already exists. Go past the first page or two of search results – take the time to scour them all before you proceed. In addition, be sure you conduct a trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website for the intended name as well as variations on that name.

Register the name. As soon as you have cleared your name, register your trademarks quickly. Be sure the name is registered in all the classes that pertain to your business. You will need the assistance of a business attorney to do this properly.

Protect the brand. Set up a Google Alert on each of your trademarks so you will know if someone else is using your brand name. If you discover that someone has appropriated your brand name or a similar version, have a cease-and-desist letter sent immediately.

If you are interested in learning more about business asset protection strategies, call us today to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit. Normally, this session is $1,250, but if you mention this article and we still have room on our calendar this month, we will waive that fee.

Think About Your Beneficiary Designations Over the Holidays

When you look around your holiday table this year, you will probably not be thinking about the beneficiary designations on your 401(k), IRAs or life insurance policies. But perhaps you should. Having the wrong beneficiary designated on these and other things like bank accounts, annuities and 529 college savings plans is probably one of the… Continue Reading

Protecting Your Business From Personal Legal Liabilities

Most small business owners are aware of the importance of protecting their personal assets from business liabilities. However, the reverse is just as necessary – protecting your business assets from personal legal troubles. For example, if you are at fault in a serious auto accident that injures someone and you own a business, the assets… Continue Reading

The 4 Fatal Legal Mistakes Family Businesses Can Avoid With Planning

Anyone involved in a family business knows that working with family has its pleasures and its pitfalls –incurring these legal pitfalls can prove deadly to your family business, so here’s how to fix them: 1. Mixing family & business finances. Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society, so as soon as your family business is… Continue Reading

Government Announces One-Year Delay in Small Business Sign-Up Using HealthCare.gov

On Nov. 27, the federal government announced a one-year delay for small businesses to sign up for insurance plans using HealthCare.gov. The enrollment deadline is now November 2014 for coverage that will take effect in January 2015. The government said the delay was necessary to allow individuals impacted by the well-known technical difficulties with the… Continue Reading