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Keep it Legal Blog

New Trademark Scams

I was recently alerted to new scams that are plaguing U.S. trademark applicants. I wrote about trademark scams way back in 2012 (here) and 2016 (here). Unfortunately the problem hasn’t gone away. Here are two recent issues I’ve heard of: 1. Email Scam. After a trademark application is filed, the applicant (meaning, the person or company who owns the trademark, not the filing attorney) is contacted in writing stating that the trademark application was incomplete, and that a conflicting application has been filed by someone else. The scam email looks something like this: I hope this email finds you well….

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FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirement

As of January 1, 2024, the U.S. Treasury Department’s¬†Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has imposed a new obligation on almost all corporations and LLCs doing business in the U.S. Companies that fall under this obligation (“reporting companies”) must file reports containing identifying information of certain individuals, with a limited number of exceptions. This is an ongoing obligation – meaning, it’s not necessarily a one-time filing, these reports are required when certain changes are made to the company. In this post, I’ll go over some of the details. Which Companies Does This Apply To? The rule does not apply to companies…

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New York Times v. OpenAI and Microsoft Copyright Case

A few days ago, the New York Times filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against OpenAI (creators of ChatGPT) and Microsoft (who own part of OpenAI). The full complaint can be read here. This is an extremely complex case, addressing arguably novel issues in copyright law. Meaning, depending on how you look at it, the court may have to consider legal issues that have never been previously addressed. Note that the U.S. Copyright Act was written in 1976, before OpenAI, ChatGPT, or the World Wide Web existed. Ideally, Congress would step in and pass sensible legislation addressing copyright issues as they…

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Basics of Commercial Leases

Commercial Leases: What Every Business Owner Should Know Whether you’re setting up your first storefront or relocating your corporate offices, navigating the world of commercial leases can be complicated. This post is designed to make that process a bit more manageable by covering key elements you need to know before signing any commercial lease. Of course, this post can’t cover every issue that comes up – it’s intended to be a high-level overview. We can go into details about various issues in future blog posts. The Basics: What is a Commercial Lease? Simply put, a commercial lease is an Agreement…

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