bLAWg – TableTalk

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO TRADEMARK?

We hear it time and time again. Many businesses and creative professionals don’t think they are ready to protect their trademark. They think that holding off on talking to an attorney and registering  for trademarks will save them time and money. When you’ve invested your valuable time and a lot of money into building a brand you should protect that brand.

Imagine this… you have managed to build a successful brand. Everything is going according to plan. You’re making sales and you’re growing a stellar and loyal customer base. Then, you stumble across a competitor with the exact same (or confusingly similar) branding that you’ve been using… or…  you receive a letter from a lawyer or another business owner demanding that you cease use of your trademarks and brand. The Court can order you to change your business name, logo, or slogan… and possibly even pay damages to the other business using the same or similar mark.

Think of the time and money invested on networking, marketing materials, products, and all the time and effort you’ve put into building your customer base.  Would being forced to rebrand your entire business cost your business time, money, and result in confused customers?

When businesses don’t consider trademarks from the start they can end up spending even more time and money down the line.

Still think your business isn’t ready for a trademark?

Here’s our #RoundTableLegal brand strategy. Think about your trademark portfolio from the very beginning. That’s right, the best time to discuss your trademarks is before you even launch your product or service. If you have already launched. Don’t worry. The second best time to protect your brand is Now.

Is it time to get serious about protecting your trademarks?

Want to learn more – Let’s talk. Connect@RoundTableLegal.com

#Creative Counsel  RoundTableLegal.com #IPLAWYER #TrademarkLaw #ProtectYourPassion #ProtectYourBrand

#RoundTableLegal Tip: Copyright Matters. #RoundTableLegal cares about your creation and can help you protect it. YOU should decide how and when it is used.

A copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, visual, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, photographs, movies, songs, computer software, websites, blogs, and architecture.

The list of creative works that you can and should protect is vast. Speak with us today about protecting and/or Licensing your creative works. RoundTableLegal.com #CreativeCounsel #CopyrightLawyer

#RoundTableLegal Tip: When you register your LLC/Business with the state, you are protecting yourself as an individual, but you are not protecting your brand, which could lead to consequences for your business down the line. We can help.

Remember your Brand Portfolio includes not only the name of your business, but also your logo, your slogan, and other information that consumers identify with your business.

Brand protection is absolutely necessary as you build your business. If you are investing money in marketing, advertising, networking, signage, etc. you want to consider trademarking your business name and other aspects of your brand portfolio. Contact us to discuss how. Through this protection you have exclusive rights to use the name/brand. If not protected you could face a federal lawsuit and be forced to re-brand in the event another business makes a claim of being confusingly similar or has federal rights. 

Contact us to discuss the plan to protect your brand. The time is now. Contact us at Connect@RoundTableLegal.com #CreativeCounsel #Protectyourbrand #BizLaw #TrademarkLawyer

Photography Contracts

5 Contracts Every Photographer Needs…

Listed below are five of the most important types of many types of contracts every photographer/photography business needs to know about and some of the many considerations for each one: 

  1. Booking Fee Contract.If you require a retainer, or a booking fee, for your services, you should have a contract for it. Having a retainer and a corresponding contract will protect the clients who want to be sure to secure your services and it can ensure you will be paid, even in the event of a cancellation.
  1. General Contract.A good contract for your services will cover all of your bases. How soon after the event will you deliver the photos to your client? When must the client pay you, in full? What if your equipment malfunctions and you lose all of your phots? You will want to nail down all of the details in a contract.
  1. Wedding Photography Agreement.Wedding photography is no easy feat. Having a contract in place can help. How soon in advance will you need to know the schedule? Will the clients be obtaining the proper permits to have your services at the event or will you need to do that? What if the wedding runs over the time allotted? Set out yours and your clients’ expectations beforehand for a smooth day for everyone.
  1. Second Shooter Contract.If you plan to bring on a second shooter for an event or for a set period of time, a contract can do a great deal to protect you and your business. Will the second shooter own the images they take or do you? Is the second shooter going to be an independent contractor or an employee? The contract should cover everything expected from both parties
  2. Print Release/licensing agreement.Having a print release or licensing agreement in place can ensure that you keep the copyright over your work and still allow your client to print the photos they want.

Having the right contracts (these and others) in place will protect, not only your business, but also your relationship with your clients.

Contact us to discuss your Contract review or drafting needs. The time is now. Contact us at Connect@RoundTableLegal.com #CreativeCounsel 

Small business concerns - covid 19 - corona

IS YOUR SMALL BIZ IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AND THE CURRENT SITUATION?…

HERE IS A CHECKLIST OF ITEMS TO LOOK OVER… CONTACT US TODAY TO HELP WITH YOUR PEACE OF MIND AND SOLUTIONS TO YOUR NEEDS TODAY.

  1. Check your policies. Check your insurance policies for business interruption, keep person, and/or short term disability insurance. IF you get sick and/or business has issues – you may be covered. Don’t have these policies. Time to get covered. If you have concerns about your policy language, contact us for help. 
  1. Check your contracts. Check all your contracts! Identify the language for cancelation, reschedule, sick, substitute, and importantly Force Majeure provisions. These may apply if you or the other party are unable to render services or products. Be sure to stay on top of this – circumstances change and the terms may be enforceable later on even if they are not currently. Government action may create new remedies in your contract. If you have questions about language or need to enforce a provision contact us for help. Also, contact us if creating new contracts so that we can help ensure you are protected in the future. 
  1. Make a checklist. Make a checklist of things you can do during any “downtime”. Think outside the box to find new ways to help customers and build products. If your business is slowing – use it to market and strategize and potentially build new ideas. Create Content. Make network connections. Learn to work in this new virtual environment. 
  1. Savings and assistance. Tap into existing savings if you need to. This is what you’ve been saving for. A back up plan is only a plan until it is needed. Then it becomes reality. We may be facing a reality in business decline for small business cash flow. Look into government assistance programs to help your business. Things like the PPP through the CARES act can help so many small businesses.    Please contact us if you have questions about these programs and if you qualify. These programs are even available for independent contractors/freelance artists! 
  2. Protect yourself and your Team. Remember to take care of yourself and your team during this important time. There are exhaustive lists of how to tmentally and physically protect yourself out there. Self and team member care is of the utmost importance. Find ways to stay active even if away from others. Look for ways that you and your team can give to the community during this time. 

I know things might be scary and confusing right now, but please take a deep breath and contact us with any concerns you might have. We can set up virtual meetings by video or phone Andy time day or night to best meet your concerns and needs. We are here for you.

Contact us at Connect@RoundTableLegal.com to set up an appointment today. #CreativeCounsel 

USING GOOGLE IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE LEGAL STRATEGY. 

When you are first starting out or if you need quick assistance, it’s tempting to DIY as much as you can because your business isn’t really. making much money. So you use Google to get by. Maybe you copy/paste bits and pieces of contracts or forms you’ve found online. Maybe you use that “cheap popular” site that helps you start a company with a click of a button… It all seems just fine until you run into legal trouble that your Frankenstein contract can’t fix or you realize your “cookie cutter” form company that you set up doesn’t really protect you. 

At the very least, it is worth having conversation with a lawyer to make sure you’re starting your business on solid legal ground. Paying a lawyer to fix a problem costs more than hiring a lawyer to help you do it right in the first place. Let’s Chat. I’d love to learn more about your business and how I can help. 

Contact us to discuss your business, your ideas and legal strategy. The time is now. Contact us at Connect@RoundTableLegal.com #CreativeCounsel 

On Copyright Day I thought I would share 3 quick myths about copyrights… 

Myth 1: Copyright only protects if someone copies your work. FALSE. You have a bundle of rights associated with your copyright including the right to copy, the right to create derivative works, the right to publicly display and perform your work. You can license out any or all of these rights. Contact us for details on how.

MYTH 2: You don’t have to register your copyright. FALSE. Although you have a copyright in your work automatically upon expressing your creation on a tangible medium… pen to paper, paint to canvas, etc. You must register your work with the copyright office in order to legally enforce those rights in court. Contact us about how to register your work or how you can protect your work even if it isn’t registered.

Myth 3:  If I only copy 10% then it is not infringement. FALSE. There is no magic figure or percentage that can be applied as each case must be viewed on its own merit. In cases that have come to trial what is clear is that it is the perceived importance of the copied content rather than simply the quantity that counts.

Bonus Myth: It’s ok to copy if I don’t make any money off of it. FALSE. Except in specific circumstances permitted under Fair Use rules, any copying or publication without the consent of the copyright owner is an infringement, and you could face legal action.
Contact me to discuss more of your copyright questions. #CreativeCounsel #RoundTableLegal #CopyrightLawyer #IPLawyer

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