Category Archives: Trademark and Copyright

First Step to Starting Your Business

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Prince Law Offices, P.C. attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin will be presenting at “First Step to Starting Your Business” in cooperation with the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center.
First Step to Starting Your Business (Lancaster, PA)
Date:Fri, February 17, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Point of Contact: Kutztown SBDC (877) 472-7232
Fee: None
Location: 454 New Holland Ave Suite 300 Lancaster, PA 17602
This workshop covers a number of critical issues relevant to starting and operating a small business. Professional presenters include attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, financial specialists and zoning and codes staff. The workshop is designed for both entrepreneurs thinking about opening their first business and existing business owners looking for a “checkup”.
Desire more specific assistance regarding your business formation, agreements, intellectual property, trademarks, zoning, real estate law, cyber security, insurance, etc., contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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HR Summit November 2 in Reading, PA

Prince Law Offices, P.C. attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin will be presenting at HR Summit,  a must-attend event for HR specialists, HR professionals and business owners who need to understand the latest HR laws. The summit features specific workshops geared to the latest HR issues, as well as top-level keynote speakers. The Chamber partners with SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) on this event, which means continuing education credits for SHRM are offered. Typical attendance at this event is 150 HR professionals and those company employees who are responsible for the HR function within an organization.

Jeffrey A. Franklin, Esq. will be presenting regarding Cybersecurity.
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Click here for event brochure.

Desire more specific assistance regarding your business formation, agreements, intellectual property, trademarks, zoning, real estate law, cyber security, insurance, etc., contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Filed under Business Law, Computer Law, News & Events, Real Estate, Trademark and Copyright

First Step to Starting Your Business

sbdc_header_text
Prince Law Offices, P.C. attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin will be presenting at “First Step to Starting Your Business” in cooperation with the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center.  
First Step to Starting Your Business (Lancaster, PA)
Date: Nov 4, 2016 10:30am – 12:30pm
Registration Deadline: 11/4/2016 8:00 AM (EDT)
Point of Contact: Kutztown SBDC (877) 472-7232
Center: Kutztown SBDC
Fee: None
Location: 454 New Holland Ave Suite 300 Lancaster, PA 17602 , Lancaster PA 17602
 
This workshop covers a number of critical issues relevant to starting and operating a small business. Professional presenters include attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, financial specialists and zoning and codes staff. The workshop is designed for both entrepreneurs thinking about opening their first business and existing business owners looking for a “checkup”.
Desire more specific assistance regarding your business formation, agreements, intellectual property, trademarks, zoning, real estate law, cyber security, insurance, etc., contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Filed under Business Law, Computer Law, Consumer Advocacy, Immigration Law, Landlord/Tenant, News & Events, Real Estate, Trademark and Copyright, Uncategorized

Join Us, 04/08/2016, for Live Immigration Law Video Seminar!!

On behalf of Prince Law Offices, P.C., I am pleased to announce that the firm’s attorneys will be utilizing new technology to host informative live video sessions devoted to the various areas of practice we cover: Firearms Law, Workers’ Compensation, Immigration, Civil Rights, Social Security, Corporate Law, Energy Law, Criminal Law, Wills Estates, Family Law, and Civil Litigation.

Please join us for the pilot launch of these sessions, next Friday, April 8th at 6PM, where I will be leading a 1/2 an hour discussion on Immigration Law issues related to Family Immigration benefits, including application requirements, filing fees, time-frames, and new developments in the law.

The program we shall use is called  JITSI,  a new open-source platform which will permit our participants’ full interaction with the seminar including video and voice access by which to share comments and questions.  There is no cost to attend.  Further, there are no limits on the number of possible participants so please, by all means, tell your friends, colleagues, family members, etc., about this exciting new program.

Please note in advance that the purpose of these seminars is to provide general information concerning the previously mentioned areas of law, and not to respond to or offer advice concerning individual legal issues.

At 5:45PM on April 8th, I will post the link for interested parties to join me in the Immigration Law seminar.

Stay tuned for the link and I hope to see you on the 8th.

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EPA Honors Green Chemistry Winners – including our local Renmatix

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn climate risk and other environmental problems into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.  Prince Law Offices, P.C. congratulates Renmatix from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania for being a winner.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The winners and their innovative technologies are:

Algenol in Fort Myers, Florida, is being recognized for developing a blue-green algae to produce ethanol and other fuels. The algae uses CO2 from air or industrial emitters with sunlight and saltwater to create fuel while dramatically reducing the carbon footprint, costs and water usage, with no reliance on food crops as feedstocks. This is a win-win for the company, the public, and the environment. It has the potential to revolutionize this industry and reduce the carbon footprint of fuel production.

Hybrid Coating Technologies/Nanotech Industries of Daly City, California, is being recognized for developing a safer, plant-based polyurethane for use on floors, furniture and in foam insulation. The technology eliminates the use of isocyanates, the number one cause of workplace asthma. This is already in production, is reducing VOC’s and costs, and is safer for people and the environment. 

LanzaTech in Skokie, Illinois, is being recognized for the development of a process that uses waste gas to produce fuels and chemicals, reducing companies’ carbon footprint. LanzaTech has partnered with Global Fortune 500 Companies and others to use this technology, including facilities that can each produce 100,000 gallons per year of ethanol, and a number of chemical ingredients for the manufacture of plastics. This technology is already a proven winner and has enormous potential for American industry.

SOLTEX (Synthetic Oils and Lubricants of Texas) in Houston, Texas, is being recognized for developing a new chemical reaction process that eliminates the use of water and reduces hazardous chemicals in the production of additives for lubricants and gasoline. If widely used, this technology has the potential to eliminate millions of gallons of wastewater per year and reduce the use of a hazardous chemical by 50 percent. 

Renmatix in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is being recognized for developing a process using supercritical water to more cost effectively break down plant material into sugars used as building blocks for renewable chemicals and fuels. This innovative low-cost process could result in a sizeable increase in the production of plant-based chemicals and fuels, and reduce the dependence on petroleum fuels.

Professor Eugene Chen of Colorado State University is being recognized for developing a process that uses plant-based materials in the production of renewable chemicals and liquid fuels.  This new technology is waste-free and metal-free. It offers significant potential for the production of renewable chemicals, fuels, and bioplastics that can be used in a wide range of safer industrial and consumer products.

During the 20 years of the program, the EPA reports that it has received more than 1500 nominations and presented awards to 104 technologies. Winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2015 submissions from among scores of nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2015 winners. The 2015 awards event will be held in conjunction with the 2015 Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.

For more information on this year’s winners and those from the last two decades, visit http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry

Prince Law Offices, P.C. is pleased to support innovators like Renmatix.  How can we support you?

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A Guide to Better Understanding the Intellectual Property Services that Prince Law Offices, P.C. Offer!

Intellectual Property can be an extremely confusing concept for those outside (and even for many who are a part of) the legal profession. It’s important to understand what Intellectual Property consists of before one can understand the extremely varied and valuable IP services that Prince Law Offices, P.C. offers to the public.

Intellectual Property is generally considered to consist of three major components: Copyright, Trademark, and Patent. Each of these components often deals with registration and infringement.

The first major component is Copyright. To explain copyright in a nutshell, it is generally a work that requires creativity and originality and that can be fixed in some tangible form (e.g., people cannot copyright a story that they only have in their head, but they can copyright one that they have written down). This is of course an oversimplification, but it helps to give someone a basic idea of what copyright can do. If you’ve come up with a story, movie, song, artwork, or most types other creative endeavors, you can copyright it. Some people might ask, “Why should I copyright something I’ve created?” There are numerous reasons, but some of the most common are that in order to fully protect your work you will need to copyright it. You cannot sue someone for copyright infringement unless you have a properly registered copyright. Also if you do not promptly copyright a work, you will lose the ability to sue for punitive damages against someone who might infringe your work. Another reason is that in order to sell one’s ideas to another entity or person, they will often want the work that they are buying or licensing to be properly copyrighted. If buyers cannot fully defend their purchase or license they are likely to offer far less for the work than one that has been properly and copyrighted in a timely fashion.

Prince Law Offices, P.C. offers assistance in making registering a work for copyright protection a cinch and takes the hassle and mystery out of the process for a client. We can register just one work for clients or dozens of works for them. We can help photographers out by taking advantage of the bulk registration allowance for a series of photographs, instead of being forced to individually register each work. We also work hard to ensure that the mandatory deposit requirements are done correctly, so nothing can potentially jeopardize the timely registration of the work.

In addition, we handle issues of infringement, both offensive and defensive. If someone has been making an unauthorized use of your work, we can use a variety of tools at our disposal and can offer many options for a client, such as a non-monetary takedown request, a takedown notice with a demand for financial compensation, and even litigation for egregious matters.

We also handle defending people accused of copyright infringement. Few people fully understand how copyright law works and often mistake fair use for infringement or use vague and poorly collected “records” of possible download use to make monetary demands of people for alleged downloads of someone’s intellectual property. Just because someone sends you a letter claiming you downloaded something, doesn’t mean that he or she can prove it in court…or will even continue a matter to a litigation level. The people sending these letters depend on uninformed and scared opponents, something that they’ll never find when dealing with Prince Law Offices, P.C..

A Trademark, to borrow from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is “a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” In short it can range from the name of your new company, a logo for it, a phrase to describe it, or even a sound that identifies it. The process for obtaining a trademark is far more complex than registering a copyright; it is highly advised that one should use the service of an attorney for such matters. You do not want to put thousands of dollars into a company name that is later refused registration because an attorney at the USPTO found it to be too generic or in violation of one of the many other reasons for why a mark can be refused registration.

Similar to copyrights, trademarks can involve issues of infringement. We can assist when someone is accusing you of using a mark that is the same or substantially similar to one that they have already registered. We can also help when someone is misusing your federally registered trademark.

Patent is a highly specialized area that deals with protecting one’s inventions. People who practice in Patent Law are required to pass the Patent Bar exam and generally have a science and engineering background in addition to their legal background. Prince Law Offices, P.C., does not generally offer Patent services, but we do have a number of excellent lawyers that we can refer members to obtain Patent help.

Whatever your Intellectual Property problem is, Prince Law Offices, P.C. can help you address your IP issues.

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Can the Government Control Your Ability to Get a Tattoo or Piercing? They Are Trying !!

With Pennsylvania lawmakers on the hunt to regulate the Commonwealth’s tattoo and piercing industries via the proposed “Body Art Establishment Act” (see this author’s prior post), it appears Washington, DC, lawmakers are now jumping on the regulation train as well.    Last Friday, the City’s Department of Health released a 66 page packet of proposed “draft” regulations (http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/local/health-department-draft-regulations/440/) in an effort to further govern the tattoo and body piercing industries of our Nation’s Capital. 

These regulations, titled the “Body Art Establishment Regulations”, seek to “protect the public’s health by keeping the District’s body art industry safe and sanitary.” Subtitle G, Title 25 of the DCMR, Section 101.1.   Certainly, a noble purpose undertaken by the City’s representatives.    Many of the provisions of these regulations make perfect sense and are indeed designed to protect customers of such businesses.  However, some of the provisions raise serious concerns.

Section 204 of these regulations imposes a duty upon the operator or licensee of a body art establishment to ensure that no artist in the establishment either tattoos or pierces a customer until after the expiration of a 24 hour mandatory waiting period which will be evidenced by the customer’s execution of a Twenty Four (24) Hour Waiting Period Acknowledgement Form.   If that portion of the section alone doesn’t raise your hackles, artists must realize that this form cannot be used to bind the customer to either getting or paying for the requested art.   This latter provision could prohibit the common practice of accepting a “downpayment” or “reservation fee” for a sitting with the artist.   

To this author, the language of this regulation pertaining to a 24 hour waiting period steps soundly upon the artists’ and customers’ rights of self expression and freedom of expression under the First Amendment.   The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already weighed in on the issue extending the First Amendment to protect tattoos and the tattooing industry.   While not binding law in the DC area, nor here in Pennsylvania, the Appeals Court’s rationale is certainly very persuasive.

In 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, 621 F. 3d 1051 (9th Cir. 2010).   In that case, the City tried to ban tattoo parlors from conducting business in Hermosa Beach, CA, through part of its municipal code.   After a thorough analysis and discussion of the constitutional details surrounding extension of the protection of the First Amendment to the subject of a tattoo and the tattooing industry, the Court stated “[t]he tattoo itself, the process of tattooing, and even the business of tattooing are not expressive conduct, but purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment.”  Therefore, the City’s attempt to ban tattoo parlors in Hermosa Beach was held to be unconstitutional since it is “not a reasonable ‘time, place or manner’ restriction because it is substantially broader than necessary to achieve the City’s significant health and safety interests and because it entirely forecloses a unique and important method of expression.”  In the 2012 Arizona case, Coleman v. City of Mesa, (CV-11-0351-PR), that State’s highest court relied, in part, on the decision of the 9th Circuit, to restate that the protection of the First Amendment does indeed extend to a tattoo and the tattoo industry.  Logically, such protection would likewise extend to piercings and the piercing business.

It is important to remember that regulations which are reasonable in time, place and manner may still be constitutional even where they may infringe upon the First Amendment.   The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in Anderson, “[a] regulation that restricts protected expression based on the content of the speech is constitutional only if it withstands strict scrutiny, see United States v. Playboy Entm’t Group, Inc., 529 U.S. 803, 813 (2000), meaning that it ‘is necessary to serve a compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn to achieve that end,’ Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 45 (1983). ”  Such regulations can include the Department of Health regulations as proposed in DC, as well as those proposed in Pennsylvania. 

Of course, there are some court decisions from various jurisdictions which clash with these opinions.   While Pennsylvania has not weighed in on this subject directly, the issue was mentioned in passing by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Scavone v. Pennsylvania State Police, No. 12-1071, October 15, 2012.   However, the Court held that the Plaintiff failed to preserve this exact issue for review on appeal.   

I expect we will see some constitutional challenges raised to municipal, city and state regulations of the tattooing and piercing industries in the future – both here and in DC.   I will, of course, continue to monitor the issue and update these posts.   If you have questions or concerns regarding these issues, please feel free to email me directly at tbeveridge@princelaw.com.

 

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