What Do You Know About Physical Abuse?

physical abuse

physical abuse

It’s unnerving to me to see the videos or hear about someone being abused. This time it’s physical abuse that’s bothering me and the discussions about it. To debate whether it’s legal for a parent to beat a child…come on, what’s with that?

How is that even debatable? Is it because of who is making the decisions? Does being a parent give a person the “right” to beat anyone? So, we’re saying if you have anger issues and you need to take it out on someone, take it home – that’s what your kids are for. That is exactly what I thought as a child.
If you were beat regularly when you were a child you know exactly what I’m talking about. You KNOW what others don’t understand.

Increasing Statistics of Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

In order to survive in this competitive world, frustration, depression and anxiety seems to be ruling our world at every step. To escape from all these troubles, drugs seem to be the most potent medium. Besides the illegal drugs, the prescription drug abuse also leads to a certain kind of addiction. It includes the use of sedatives, mood stabilizers and pain killers used by the victim against the prescription of the doctor ‘dosage. It has been found that a taking the drugs frequently leads to certain kind of addiction. Hence it is a kind of self medication, where the victim takes the drugs without even taking permission from the doctor. It has been found that the statistics of the prescription abuse is increasing day by day. Anti depressants and painkillers are the most frequently abused drugs.

Like many other drugs, prescription drug abuse also creates certain cravings within the individual. As a result, the person cannot resist himself from taking the drugs. He develops an insatiable craving, which becomes so much strong that he has to take one dose everyday at least. It has been found that teenagers are the worst victims of drug and alcohol abuse. Oxycodon and Vicodin are two of the most frequently abused drugs among the teenagers. They get abused to the drugs mainly at the social gatherings or at the parties. In the beginning they take the drugs just out of curiosity to find out what are the reasons for it. But gradually they develop the habit of taking it and finally this turns into an addiction process. So what was earlier a physical craving slowly becomes a psychological craving gradually.

What Is Business Law?

business law

business law

In today’s society, many people are starting new businesses and they need to legally register their company. If a business is not registered, the owners may be breaking the law as they would be accused of running the business illegally. When a company wants to merge with another firm, they should have a written contract which both parties need to sign. These agreements should be drafted by a business lawyer who should guide the firms during the process. Business law covers a wide branch of knowledge across a variety of disciplines.

Business law covers all aspects of trade from the registration of a business to hiring employees and selling goods across the globe. A business may need a lawyer to help with the relevant terms of agreement and sales and present them to the other parties. When a company wants to bid for tender or have a project, the lawyer needs to come up with various proposals to present to the other parties. At times, disputes arise and when there was no binding agreement, the business suffers a huge loss.

Funding College Education: Preparing Their Future

Pursuing a higher education is a must. Getting your loved ones’ dreams to be come true and see them successful should be the dream for all parents out there. But, it is no longer a secret that pursuing a higher education means spending a great amount of money. For day to day, the education fees, in all higher degrees become higher as well. Some parents even do not have the ability to pay that and end up in taking all the dreams of their kids buried.

Funding a college education should always come into account. When you commit to have children in your little family there should always be a consideration of their future. Something that you should start as early as possible, to make sure that there will not be trouble when the day they grown up come to you.

Whether you are a parent or grandparent, the way you can take does matter. There are selections of help pay for education. There is various ways to get the save. All with different options and terms that should be understood beforehand. One of those that can you take is the 529 educational institution.

529 Plans

The 529 Plan is defined as the saving plan where the investment grows tax differed and it is free of federal tax in terms of distribution used. It allows parents or any applicants to easily change the beneficiary and investment while they can maintain the funding options.

The 529 plans offer the applicant with the 5 years’ worth of future nontaxable gifts. One thing that might be paid more attention is that this plan sometime charges you with a higher fees and limited investment options.

Custodial Accounts

Another way to help you preparing the education costs is by considering the Custodial Account (UTMA/UGMA). This type of accounts will be held until the kids reach their 18 or 21 for the gifts to be claimed. It has some drawbacks like the issue of the counted against the students themselves if they are taking the college financial aid. One important thing is that, your investment will be available to be used as your children reach their adulthood.

Direct Payment

Without paying the gift taxes, this type of cash loans enable parents or grandparents to make a direct gift up to $14,000 per year. This fund will be directly paid to the educational institution that will not giving the barrier to the users in terms of its limit amount. This is not included the payment of other supporting elements such as books, room, and board, that should be paid separately.

Your need and your ability to fund your beloved children or grandchildren are different. Making them a reality is your dream, for sure. But, if you have the issue in funding, it might be a good idea to always give an understanding to them about the situation but still you have to make the best you can to make them come true. Always make plans and strategies to get them closer to the reality and you will see their wide smile in the future.

Understanding Trademark Law Can Improve Safe Trading Practice

Trademark Law

The trademark law governs the usage of trademarks and entitles the company that has registered it’s to use it while limiting others from infringing upon the trademark intentionally or unintentionally. The trademark law explains what can be considered a trademark and what cannot be considered a unique trade name. There are instances when just a color or a design in a particular color is accepted as a trademark.

What Is A Trademark?

A trademark can be a name or design of the logo, a slogan, or a combination of all these that helps in identifying the goods or products of the company. The trademark helps in differentiating or distinguishing similar products of different companies.

Benefits

Trademarks benefit a company in branding its products. This creates brand awareness and popularity for the company. Trademarks help in making a mark in the general public’s mind about a specific set of goods and services offered by the owner of the trademark. For example, when we see the trademark apple, we know that they belong to Apple computers. Thus, a trademark helps in identifying the product and the values, ethics, policies, and goods that the company stands for.

Benefits Of Trademark Law, Infringement, And Safe Trading Practices

The law clarifies the ownership of a trademark and its usability and limits others from using it or another similar mark that can confuse the public. This is applicable to marks used for business, marketing, and sales purposes. If a company’s trade name is referenced in educational material or in any other context different from trading purposes, it is not considered a violation of this law. A mark can be protected with trademark registration.

The law came into practice mainly to prevent infringement of trade names. If unauthorized create confusion, the company may suffer financial loss and loss of reputation. If the company does not protect its mark and allows it to be used by unauthorized parties, it may lose its value. In that case, even the law cannot protect it, and it will not be considered unique. One classic example is the word cellophane.

The law entails severe penalties for wrongful usage of trade names not owned or registered by a company. In order to ensure safe trading, one needs to do a search before embarking on a journey with a particular trademark. If a particular one is claimed by someone else, it is safer to change to something different.

It is not possible to check trademarks of all companies across the globe the trademarks used in a particular country can be searched and compared. Having a similar trademark can affect business negatively or sometimes positively as well. However, even if the impact is positive in terms of business, it is better to steer clear of such usage, as the original company may file suits against wrongful usage. This may lead to severe penalties, and a company may even be stripped off of the rights to use that trademark.

What You Probably Did Not Know About Trademark Law

Most businesses do not know that Trademark Law can also extend to colors, smells, sounds, the shape of a bottle, font styles, and the interior design of a restaurant. When most businesses think of Trademarks, they think of words like Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola.

In a nutshell, Trademark Law boils down to protecting anything that can signify or indicate that certain goods or services are coming from a particular person or business. And that “anything” can be the pink color of home insulation, the cool shape of a vodka bottle, or the unique interior look of a taco restaurant. In the first instance you could be sued for trademark infringement by Owens-Corning if you were to purchase ordinary home insulation, dye it pink, and sell it under your own mark. You could be sued by Taco Cabana if you were to arrange your own restaurant’s interior to look like that of a Taco Cabana restaurant. And you could also be sued by Absolut Vodka for selling your own brand of alcohol in a bottle closely resembling the shape and curves of an Absolut Vodka bottle.

A couple other examples of Federally registered trademarks is the sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and the AT&T ring you hear in their commercials. For some people the sound exploding from the muffler of a Harley-Davidson is jarring enough to give some an ear infection, but to others it is a sweet enough sound to merit a gold seal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And the short and simple rings at the end of an AT&T commercial supposedly signifies to the public the service provider for the telecommunications giant.

For these reasons, a business owner who desires to begin branding his or her goods or services should expand their understanding of Trademark law beyond that of just words. By seeing their Business Attorney who may refer a qualified Patent and Trademark Attorney, a business owner may be able to craft an intelligent branding campaign. The business may also be able to navigate the minefield of possible trademark infringement issues of which they might otherwise be aware.

A smart branding campaign should probably start with a word mark and be followed with the following: font styles, colors of the letters, logos, catchphrases, a consistent use of 1-2 colors throughout their stores, products or invoices, and perhaps scents, sounds, or trade dress where sensible and appropriate. Of course, every business will have their own special needs and many of these particular types of trademarks may not work or be applicable. However, it does not hurt to at least understand your possibilities from the start. And perhaps, more importantly, how to know where the line is to avoid infringing someone else’s mark.

In order to make sure you are getting the most from your branding strategy, and whether or not a competitor’s trademark may pose a possible conflict with your proposed mark, please consult your business attorney with substantial trademark experience or a USPTO registered Patent Attorney.

Overview of Trademark Law

Trademark law gives companies the exclusive right to use a given name or design, called a “mark,” for the purpose of identifying the source the of that company’s goods or services. Trademark law is an incentive-based system. Because it gives companies the exclusive right to use a mark in connection with certain goods or services, the company can create a brand that is recognizable by the consuming public. That trademark would be associated with and incorporated into every advertisement the company runs for its goods or services. Repetition of those advertisements containing the trademark causes consumers to associate the mark with the goods and, with enough repetition, consumers buy the goods.

A brief, but related, digression. We all know that if you see a product advertised frequently enough, the product will sell. You might even be one of the people who buys the product. The thinking process by which you reached the decision to buy the product is not an intellectual, logical process. It’s a function of the way the human mind works. Continually hearing a repeated message makes the message more familiar, more real, and, eventually, more true. As the adage says, “even the boldest lie becomes the truth if you scream it loud enough and long enough.” I call this the “Lie = Truth” Adage. Sadly, I frequently encounter the “Lie = Truth” Adage in litigation. I also know of some politicians and terrorist masterminds who are experts at exploiting this fact of human nature.

Back to trademarks. The advertising departments at most companies know the “Lie = Truth” Adage can be very successful in advertising. The cynic would pump his fist in the air yell “Down with the corporations, and power to the people! All the corporations care about is taking our money at all costs!” While we can point to some recent examples that might make it challenging to argue against this viewpoint, as to the overwhelming, vast majority of companies, that view simply cannot be supported.

Trademark law creates very strong incentives for companies to make the highest quality product possible and to advertise their merits and attributes accurately. Aside from the fact that companies invest anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars into their trademark(s), all it takes is one bad product line to tarnish a companies image in the mind of the consumers who buy their products. Both of these factors hit companies where it hurts them most: in the pocketbook. So, while companies clearly have to perform a balancing act of creating a high quality product, keeping costs down, and pulling in as many purchasers as possible, they have very strong incentives to create a quality product that they will associate with their trademark.

To be eligible for any level of trademark protection, a mark must be “distinctive” and not merely “descriptive” of the goods or services. Whether a mark is distinctive and “how” distinctive or strong the mark is can be determined by a sliding scale. Marks can be (1) fanciful (2) arbitrary (3) suggestive (4) descriptive or (5) generic. Whether a particular mark is protected by trademark law depends on the strength category into which it falls.

A fanciful mark is one that is invented for the sole purpose of being a trademark. For example, EXXON is a fanciful mark. It is a word that does not exist in the English language and was created only for the purpose of identifying the oil and gas company.

An arbitrary mark is typically an existing word that is arbitrarily applied to a product or service that has nothing to do with the word. For example, the mark APPLE as applied to sales of computers.

A suggestive mark is a mark that suggests a quality or characteristic of the goods or services. Suggestive marks require some level of imagination to bridge the connection between the mark and the product. For example, the mark PENGUIN as applied to refrigerators.

A descriptive mark is a word that merely describes a quality or characteristic of a product. Descriptive marks are not entitled to trademark protection unless they have obtained “secondary meaning” under the trademark law. An example of a descriptive mark would be LIGHT to identify a lightweight notebook computer.

A generic mark simply identifies by name a particular product. Generic marks are never entitled to trademark protection. An example of a descriptive mark would be MODEM in connection with modem sales. If trademark protection were allowed in this instance, the company could essentially remove the word “modem” from the English language.

When Marcom and Trademark Law Collide

trademark law

trademark law

Creative: I’m not festooning my marketing copy with registration symbols! And using the mark as an adjective just sounds weird!

Trademark Attorney: Aacck! Think zipper, escalator, aspirin, dumpster, yo-yo, pilates, pogo stick, granola…

Creative: Somebody get help – I think the lawyer’s having a fit! And who invited her to the meeting anyway?

Have you lived this conversation? Whether you’re a creative or a trademark attorney, there really is common ground. It’s all about the brand.

First Came the Brand (Or Was It the Trademark?)

A brand is about perceptions, experiences, and aspirations – the consumer’s perceptions and experiences and a company’s aspirations to guide those perceptions and experiences. The trappings of a brand are the words, logos, and even colors, that identify goods and services as coming from a particular company. These are the company’s trademarks and service marks. Trademarks and service marks (collectively, “trademarks” or “marks”) serve as a kind of emotional shorthand. They connect consumers to the company’s vision. They’re the promise of quality and service. A company’s marks create an expectation that when a consumer purchases the goods or services associated with the marks, she’s getting the embodiment of the company’s core competencies and the value-add that comes from those competencies.

Brand recognition comes from innovation, from marketing and public relations, and from careful use of a company’s trademarks. Branding and trademark rights share the same three watch words: repetition, consistency, and continuous use. This is because branding and trademark law share the same focus: the associations created in the mind of a consumer.

Trademark Rights: Branding With Teeth

Trademark law comes in when a company tries to protect its brand by keeping others from using the same, or a confusingly similar trademark. The company that uses a mark first has certain rights.

For example, first use in commerce generally means the exclusive right to use the mark, at least in the geographic area where the company operates, and on the goods or with the services associated with the mark.

A company can prevent a third party from using the mark or a confusingly similar one through legal remedies. Remedies include money for damages or lost profits and/or an injunction, a legal order to stop the third party’s use.

If a court finds no likelihood of confusion – the marks just aren’t that similar and/or the goods/services are just too different – both parties may get to use the mark, regardless of who was first. At heart, trademark law is about protecting consumers.

U.S. Federal Registrations: Why You Want That

If you use a mark in commerce, you have trademark rights whether you have a federal registration or not. But there are some advantages to a federal registration.

Some big ones:

There’s the legal presumption you own the mark
You can reserve rights to a mark before you start using it, so long as you genuinely intend to use the mark in commerce (and eventually you do have to show use)
The filing date of your trademark application can be used to show a date of first use
You get the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services described in the registration and
You get nationwide ownership rights vs. rights just in the geographic area where you’re doing business.
Not All Marks Have the Same Bite
Generic marks, or common words, can’t get trademark protection because they’re used in everyday language and so can’t identify a source of goods or services. So you won’t have trademark rights if you name your soap product, SOAP.

Descriptive marks immediately convey the nature of the goods or services. For example, take PERFUMED SOAP as a mark for a perfumed soap product. You may eventually gain trademark protection for descriptive marks if you can show the public has made a strong association between the mark and your company’s product or service. After 5 years of continuous use, there’s a presumption in the U.S. that you’ve created such an association.

Suggestive marks, in contrast, require a leap of imagination to connect to a company’s product or service. These are protectable upon use in commerce. But beware, one person’s leap of imagination is another person’s descriptive mark. There’s not always a bright line between them. ORANGE CRUSH is an example of a suggestive mark.

Arbitrary and fanciful marks are the strongest marks. Arbitrary marks may stand for something, but you’d ordinarily never connect them to the products or services they’re marking. For example, there’s the APPLE mark for computers made by Apple. Fanciful marks are completely made-up. XEROX is an example of a fanciful mark.

How to Murder a Trademark

There’s a catch to having trademark rights: marks have to be used properly. Improper trademark use may make it impossible to prevent another company from using your mark or a confusingly similar mark even on identical goods and even on your home turf. That’s why our poor trademark attorney in the dialogue was having conniptions. That litany of words we all use in our everyday language? They used to be trademarks in the U.S.

And there was no flashing light, no signal that sounded, when the marks became generic. The companies owning them went to court to try to stop competitors from using the marks and found they could not. The courts held that the marks had become words used in everyday language and therefore no longer protectable under trademark law. How did this happen? Through a steady erosion of rights from less than careful branding practices, the marks became the primary identifiers of a product or service. In other words, they no longer functioned as brands. Genericide, or perhaps more accurately, trademarkicide, occurred.

A Tale of a Spinning Toy: How Yo-Yo Became Generic

A Federal Court used Duncan Toy Company’s own ads to find the mark “yo-yo” generic. The company’s ads had proclaimed, “If It Isn’t a Duncan, It Isn’t a Yo-Yo.”

Because the mark’s primary significance to consumer’s was to answer the question – What is it? – rather than to identify the source of the product, the Court found the mark generic and unprotectable.

Donald F. Duncan, Inc. v. Royal Tops Mfg. Co., 343 F.2d 655, 664-65 (7th Cir. 1965).

A tip: come up with common words that you can live with on your ads at the same time you come up with your mark – consider it part of the same branding process. Make those words part of your company’s style sheet for use with your trademarks. Educate your consumers to use those words together with your mark.

Keeping Your Trademarks Healthy

It’s important to use trademarks properly to obtain and maintain rights and federal registrations. Proper use preserves the ability of a mark to serve as a source identifier. When the mark fails to perform this essential function, it’s lost its value.

Trademark Do’s

There are things you can to do to keep your marks healthy.

Do let people know your mark is a trademark by using the appropriate symbol. An indicates a federal registration a TM indicates common law rights in a trademark, while an SM indicates common law rights in a service mark. Use the symbol correctly – it’s fraud in the U.S. to use the symbol with a mark that’s not actually registered.
Think all the superscripted trademark symbols look odd and distracting in copy? The symbol alerts people that you have rights. So the symbol should appear at least in the headline or banner when the mark is used there and in first or most prominent appearance of the mark on each page of copy. If design considerations prevent you from using the symbol in a headline or banner, use it at least where the mark appears first or most prominently on the page. Why? Because notices need to be seen.

Do use typography to create a distinct commercial impression for your mark. Use capitalization, bold fonts, or italics to make the mark stand out.
Alert the public that you have rights to the mark and that it’s a symbol of your brand, not just a word for your product or service.

Do use the mark as an adjective, followed by the generic or common term for the product or service. Don’t use it as a noun, possessive noun, plural, or verb.
This is where most folks slip, usually because the generic term is more than one word, a complicated term (e.g., a chemical name for a drug), or just ugly sounding. But using generic terms along with a trademark reinforces consumer perception that the mark stands for a brand and not for a product or service. Have a one-of-a-kind product or service? Make up a common word or generic term and educate consumers to use the word as part of your ad campaign. Don’t be a victim of your own success!

Do associate your marks with your goods and services.
Not all product and service nicknames or slogans are trademarks. Just displaying a nickname or slogan on your Web site may not be enough to demonstrate use in commerce, which the law requires in exchange for trademark rights. Ads should clearly show that a mark is associated with particular services being sold. Package products in containers that clearly show the mark. Include the mark on labels and point-of-sale materials.

Do license carefully and keep track of your licensees.
Exercise control over how your marks are used by licensees. Make sure they follow your trademark guidelines.

Do use your marks continuously.
Lack of use may lead to an argument that you’ve abandoned your trademark (another way to kill a trademark). A specified number of years of continuous non-use in some countries may make a trademark registration vulnerable to cancellation proceedings. In the U.S., three years of continuous non-use may be taken as evidence of abandonment.

Do enforce your trademarks.
It’s all part of reinforcing the associations between your company and your trademarks, and protecting your hard-earned rights.

Do periodically audit your trademarks.
The bottom line in all of this? Use your trademarks in a way that fits your branding strategy and creates an association with your company. Then your branding really will have teeth.