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Questions Answered by Allison Higgins
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: House rental lease ends jan 31 realtor wants to show house now with covid spikes can they legally show the house
Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

This is a question coming across a lot of lawyer's desks, but there doesn't seem to be a strict answer yet. Maybe you and your landlord can agree to only do virtual showings. Check your contract to see if it says how and when they can show the house.

You may want to hire an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: I would like to trademark some words.

Edited details. Didn't know it was shown on public forum.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

You can reach out to a trademark lawyer on this site or search for one on another site. I would be more than happy to give you a quote for trademark registration services.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Texas on
Q: I do not want to pay high business taxes in New Jersey - can I open a new LLC in Texas without a physical address there?

I would like to operate worldwide with partners and employees remote and distributed worldwide. We will be a staffing agency and IT advisory consulting firm. I want to headquarter it in Texas but have no physical office.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

Yes, you can use a registered agent instead of a physical office address. You'll have to pay a small fee, usually around $50/year for the registered agent. Many people do this when they run a business from their home.

3 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: What is the status of applications and databases developed without an intellectual property assignment agreement?

I have been working for the same company for the past 17 years. Over that time I have developed several applications and databases to make both my and my coworkers jobs easier. These systems were mostly done without direction from management, who took a hands off approach to development, though a... Read more »

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

You should definitely speak with an attorney about your situation before signing anything. My guess is they're asking you to sign the assignment because they don't know who really owns it and want a quick way to get it over with. As Marcos said, you may or may not have a work for hire... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Georgia on
Q: Is it legal to use brand names in a book?

In a fictional book, what is the protocol for mentioning brand names? I'm referring to situations in which the particular company / brand is not being represented in a negative way, but only mentioned casually. For instance, can an author write a book in which their characters are eating... Read more »

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

First let's get the lawyer answer out of the answer: it depends. However, if you look at any book, you'll see brand names sprinkled throughout. There are several things to take into consideration such as how the name is used, how often, etc. It may be allowed under the fair use doctrine.... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Oregon on
Q: There's a company called "xtrafun kid products", if I create a company called "extrafun" am I infringing ?

Actually, there's a trademark on "xtrafun kid products". So if I create a company called extrafun, is this bad?

how close does it have to be ? Will people be confused by the spelling differences, and is that sufficient ? Both companies are in the same product space

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

I agree with Kathryn. If both companies sell the same products, there is a very very slim chance that your business name would be allowed to register.

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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark on
Q: If I am using the words spark joy in a sentence, as in "Want to spark a feeling of joy" is that permitted?

This is for my balloon company. Thank you for your help.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

This will be a tricky one because of how popular the phrase has become over the last year or so. You should contact a trademark attorney to determine the risks of the mark.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: How much would it cost to buy the Brown Hornet trademark?
Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

Buying a trademark that is already in use is not as simple as buying something like a domain name. It is a fairly lengthy legal process that involves valuation, contracts, etc.

If the trademark is not currently being used or registered, you would need to pay the USPTO filing fees, plus...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Illinois on
Q: Can we call our men’s group at out church “Tool time-Equipping God’s Men.” Thanks for anything you could share. Ed
Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

You can do a search for yourself using the USPTO's site called TESS. This tool can be difficult to do a complex search but it is a starting point. Also, just because the exact name/slogan isn't registered does not mean that it's available.

Like Marcos said, your best bet is...
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3 Answers | Asked in Trademark for New York on
Q: I have an LLC registered and I want to launch a product line under that LLC. Should I trademark LLC or product line

Registered in NY

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

Trademarks are like a fortress around your business. You will likely add more and more to your portfolio over time that make your brand stronger. I would suggest consulting with a trademark attorney directly to determine which marks you should register and in what order.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Intellectual Property and Education Law for Texas on
Q: If someone retypes my contract, different font same words then signs, is this legal and his property, not mine?

Have determined this is not a print program in my issue. I haven't signed it yet. Misrepresentation of fact? An attp to defraud me by his creation of intellectual property?

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 22, 2020

I'm not totally sure what you are asking here. But it doesn't seem like there is a clear cut answer. Did you write the original contract from scratch? Did you give the contract to them for some reason? An attorney would need more information to determine how to proceed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Texas on
Q: The word Kool-Aid is trademarked but if I were to use the username koolaid without any caps or dashes

If i were to use koolaid for a website like twitch (without caps or dashes) and I started broadcasting with the name like "koolaid person" would I be subjected to copy right and could I get sued for that because I don't want to get into any troubles!

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 10, 2020

Here's some quick information for you. First, you wouldn't be dealing with copyright. This would be a trademark issue. Second, capitalization, spaces, dashes, etc. do not make a difference. The USPTO uses phoenetics to determine if a mark is similar or not. So they would sound identical.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Trademark on
Q: FrogFur is trademarked and legal action will be taken as of today’s date 7/12/20 LuLu publishing vs Standford Baits LLC

Upon research the registration has had several declines which can be subject to court. These proceedings will take as long as our coming designs for the nature of publishing rights via lulu publishing.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 7, 2020

Hi, you may want to edit your posting to include a question. But remember, lawyers on this site can only give general legal information, not legal advice for your specific situation.

Contact one of us directly if you would like to become a client.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: Hi, I would like to publish a book for kids titled "I Spy Christmas Book For Kids". It's trademark infringement? thanks

The book contains letters that kids have to associate to related images. I would like to know if 1) the trademark "I Spy" related to children's books is still active and, in case, if I use the formula "I Spy Christmas Book For Kids", still I risk a copyright... Read more »

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 7, 2020

First, it is important to know that trademarks and copyrights protect different thing. And while you may need both protections for your book(s), they are not the same. There are multiple active and cancelled trademark registrations for "I spy" regarding educational materials including... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Trademark, Copyright, Business Formation and Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: Broke dad trying to help broke college daughter file for a trademark

My daughter is an artist, photographer, craftswoman, woodworker and a very creative person. She has been selling by word of mouth. She creates and re-purposes many different items putting her flair on them and is attempting to build a brand. She came up with a "company" name and wants to... Read more »

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Dec 7, 2020

Many places have pro bono legal trademark services for artists. (I've participated in them in both Louisiana and Texas.) I would search around and see if there is one in your state. That way she can get accurate legal representation at low or no cost.

Best of luck with her endeavors!

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark on
Q: Hi, would the use of the word « Glencairns » (plural) in a brand would be against this trademark ?

The brand would mainly be selling luxury cigar ashtrays but in the future could also be selling coasters, custom whisky glasses from the Glencairn glass brand themselves, merchandising, etc .. (always touching to cigars and whisky but never directly producing own whisky glasses)

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 30, 2020

Hello. Thanks for the question. Generally, only adding an "s" to an already existing trademark will be considered trademark infringement, especially if the goods or services are similar. Coasters would certainly be considered a similar good, and ashtrays may be as well. You may also run... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Texas on
Q: I was taken advantage of by the large businesses the time line tells the story, I want to be able to make something

they robbed me

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 29, 2020

Hi there. This forum is for general information and legal questions. We cannot contract you directly without you reaching out to one of us. If you want to speak to a lawyer directly, you will need to contact one of us through our Justia profile.

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Texas on
Q: I own my condo that is controlled by an HOA. They have a restriction of no dogs over 25 pounds. Is that legal?

I want to purchase a standard poodle and asked for an exemption. They denied it.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 28, 2020

Yes, these kinds of rules are typically allowed (except for true service animals). Many HOAs have rules restricting the number of animals, weights, breeds, etc. even if you own the property. When you purchased the condo, you likely signed a document saying that you would agree to the HOA rules,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Criminal Law for Louisiana on
Q: Is it a ticket or a what I have n clue what it is
Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 28, 2020

Hi there. You would need to provide more information for an attorney to answer this question.

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark on
Q: Hi, i registered company with the Shopify in business name. I want to know is it legit to work.

We provide IT services for clients. We are building Shopify stores and themes.

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 28, 2020

This will almost certainly result in a cease and desist letter from Shopify. While you may be able to use "Shopify" in explaining the services that you offer, you will not be able to use it in your business name. I would highly suggest consulting a trademark attorney to come up with a... Read more »

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