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Questions Answered by John Espinosa

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Massachusetts on

Q: If I have a Service Mark under an LLC can this be considered a "business name" to add to a business bank account?

I have an events LLC producing different types of events. I would like to have two brands under the main LLC to do business as. If I trademark or service mark the 2 event brand names, would that be enough to do business as and add the name to a business bank account? Or would I also need to open... Read more »

John Espinosa answered on Aug 10, 2019

It isn't one or the other, they have different purposes. The short answer is that you should probably do both in order to accomplish everything you describe, and likely other things too. Hire a business attorney to give you specific advise on all of this.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Are online contracts enough legally to guarantee a business share ? .

I run a software related website with good amount of users , I was approached by another website owner who has the business registered as an LLC in Boston Massachusetts,We figured out the details of the merge and all is fine .

When i asked how we move forward with the process of making me a... Read more »

John Espinosa answered on Jul 4, 2019

No, not at all. Before you agree to anything, you need to hire a law firm that has experience working with non-citizens in your situation to properly advise you on both the legal and tax implications of what you propose.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Massachusetts on

Q: What do I need to know about insuring my home if my new startup employees are going to work here with me?

John Espinosa answered on Aug 24, 2018

You need to work with both an experienced attorney and insurance agent to protect yourself here in all aspects. For both, the details of your business will dictate what you need. For insurance, at minimum you need a commercial general liability policy and also workers compensation policy since you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on

Q: What are the tax implications of renting out parking spaces out of my driveway in the city of Cambridge, MA ?

John Espinosa answered on Aug 10, 2018

For tax purposes, any income received from renting space on your driveway would be taxable likely as rental income on Schedule E. Consult a tax professional to go over your options with this kind of income. Seperately, the city or your real estate title documents may have restrictions that prevent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Massachusetts on

Q: What does a lawyer do when creating a partnership agreement?

John Espinosa answered on Jul 6, 2018

First have a conversation with all proposed partners to determine their legal needs and goals. Then advise on the best way to form the entity and draft the appropriate documents to accomplish same.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for North Carolina on

Q: I'm a self-employed blogger and would like to know what business expenses I'm legally allowed to deduct?

John Espinosa answered on Jul 5, 2018

Schedule C has the broad categories of business expenses you can deduct: https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/schedule-c-form-1040-profit-or-loss-from-business

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Georgia on

Q: My ex-husband and I purchased a home that I lived in 2 years after our divorce. Home was in his name only but it was

my primary residence for 4 years. We sold this year and he gave me 1/2 of the proceeds. How will I be taxed on this money according to real estate law?

John Espinosa answered on Jul 2, 2018

This is a question for your accountant.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Formation, Business Law and Intellectual Property for New York on

Q: What are the legal steps to start a brand for and copyright the creative works of an artist?

I am an artist. I create paintings, I do customizations, and also design merchandise and apparel related to my art. I want all of these entities of my work to operate under one brand, named after myself, as subsidiaries.

John Espinosa answered on Jul 1, 2018

It sounds like you are currently operating as a sole proprietor, where there is no legal separation between you and your business. Your first step might be to form a separate legal entity, such as a single member LLC, with its own tax ID number and bank account for all of your business activities... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Gaming, Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on

Q: Making money from video games in public places.

Hello,

I want to make some arcade like machines and then put those in public places where kids can drop some coins in and play. but here's the problem, the games that I would like to run on those machines are not actual arcade games, those are games released for the gaming consoles from... Read more »

John Espinosa answered on Jun 24, 2018

The owners of the legal rights of those games would probably not take kindly to you infringing on those rights and profiting from it. Their rights are enforceable internationally. Your best bet is to reach out to the owners and ask for permission to do this.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Nevada on

Q: Hello, I would like to create a stranger things eyeshadow palette and wanted to know how to go about it?

The palette does not have stranger things on it. It is not called stranger things. It only has a fanart photo for the cover of the characters but does not have the wording stranger things anywhere on it. Can I get into trouble for it?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 24, 2018

Yes you can still get into trouble for it.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Nevada on

Q: Hello, I am trying to come out with an eyeshadow palette that is themed stranger things. Can I get into trouble?

I cannot find anything online about their copyright or how to even contact somebody to see if I could get approval to do this project. What would happen if I created this pallet without permission?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 24, 2018

If you are marketing it as a stranger things theme then you can expect legal action for infringing on their rights. The right to use the name is covered by trademark law. Here is the trademark ownership info for stranger things: https://trademarks.justia.com/867/68/stranger-86768141.html... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on

Q: We are creating a line of makeup colors named after famous artists. Can we name the colors "Picasso" or "Van Gogh"?

Can we use those names without copyright infringements?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 24, 2018

This isn't copyright as copyright law does not protect the use of names. This is covered under the right of publicity and possibly trademark law as well, which means you would need permission of their estate to use their name in your product. Here is a resource that helps explain more about the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Florida on

Q: Do I own the copyright on content I post on social media?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 24, 2018

No. Read the terms and conditions of those social media sites.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Massachusetts on

Q: How does a subchapter S corporation differ from a standard S corporation (if at all)?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 18, 2018

To become an S corporation requires specific action under particular circumstances in exchange for some possible tax benefits. Here are some helpful resources that explain more:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/s-corporations...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on

Q: Hello, do i need a license to sell t-shirts with rick and morty characters and quotes printew on them ?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 9, 2018

Yes, you need both a copyright and trademark license from the owner.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan on

Q: Can I use an abandoned trademark name / Make money doing so without repercussions.

What are my options?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 7, 2018

Not necessarily. An abandoned could be revived, and could already or still be in use in commerce so is not necessarily available for use https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/overview-final-rule-revivals-reinstatements-and-petitions-director

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on

Q: I wrote a book. In it, characters say “it’s a trap” & “ i’ve got a bad feeling about this “. Is this infringing

I heard characters in Star Wars say the same things but these quotes are such general statements that I can’t quite tell if it’s copyright infringement

John Espinosa answered on Jun 4, 2018

Those are both examples of general statements that are not unique to those characters or to the work in question. Now if your characters had similar names to the other characters or other similarities then there might be copyright infringement.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Business Formation for Texas on

Q: How should I legally start structuring a record label business, register trademark and copyright?

Id like to start it with two other people, get an estimate for how much it would cost to trademark, copyright and would you be able to give me some steps to start with the structuring?

John Espinosa answered on Jun 1, 2018

This is a very complex and specific question that cannot be fully addressed on here. As a starting point, this government resource explains the basics of copyright and trademark in the music industry:

https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/ip-policy/musicians-and-artists-profile...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Tennessee on

Q: can I buy decals from graphics printer on line then apply to corn hole boards for resale? Their logos of college,MLB,etc

One of the graphic printers says that as long as I don't market and sale them as license sports boards, I'm fine. They say they have copyright license. I only display them on Craigslist and Facebook.

John Espinosa answered on Jun 1, 2018

Selling online is still selling, and selling them with the decal on gives the appearance of being a licensed product when it is not. What you describe is using someone else's brand for commercial purposes without their permission. The printer may have the license to sell the decals, but that does... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on

Q: Do I need licensing for printing and selling t-shirts that have a celeb's name, a phrase related to him, or his lyrics?

I have a print and media company and we customize tshirts, caps, coffee mugs and other stuff... I wanted to start taking up orders from a celebrity's fandom for selling customized merchandise online. I will not be using the celeb's photos, official fonts or logos but just use his song lyrics and... Read more »

John Espinosa answered on May 31, 2018

Yes, here is a helpful resource that addresses your question:

https://www.thelaw.com/law/are-song-titles-lyrics-protected-by-copyright-or-trademark-law.317/

As far as who to ask for a license to the rights, it would be the music publisher of the song.

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