Legal News

Breach of Real Estate Contract – A Broken Promise

Breach of Real Estate Contract: A Broken Promise If you have ever purchased real estate property, and certainly if you invest in commercial or residential real estate as a business, then you know that the time between signing a real estate contract and closing on the property can be a stressful period. While many closings are completed without issue, some real estate contracts are not performed or are anticipatorily breached which can prevent the closing from occurring or result in a different outcome than the parties bargained for. Under California laws, a contract for the sale of real estate must be in writing. When the parties sign the real estate contract, they are agreeing to all of the terms contained in the agreement. Violating one or more of these terms means results in a breach of contract. If you are buying or selling real estate, particularly as a commercial [...]

April 3rd, 2019|

United States Supreme Court Ruling Requires Copyright Registration Prior to Lawsuit

United States Supreme Court Ruling Requires Copyright Registration Prior to Lawsuit Registration Requirement and Retroactive Protection Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States held that once a registration of the copyright occurs, a copyright owner can recover for infringement. This is affirming Section 411(a) under the Copyright Act of 1976 (“Copyright Act”), which states a copyright registration is required before the copyright owner may file a lawsuit against any infringer(s). The case, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street, further established that a “copyright owner can recover for infringement that occurred both before and after registration.”  Thus, while individuals will no longer be able to immediately file a lawsuit upon filing a copyright application, they will still be able to enforce all rights that were violated before the registration was obtained. Preregistration in Limited Circumstances There are, however, limited circumstances in which an individual may sue [...]

Is Your Website ADA-Compliant?

Many of us see the Internet as a tool for making life easier, allowing us to perform necessary life functions from wherever we have Internet access. We can apply for jobs online, manage our bank accounts online, order groceries online, and even decide what we want to eat before we get to a restaurant by looking at their menu online. As more and more businesses advertise and offer goods and services online, their websites have gained almost the same level of importance as their brick-and-mortar stores, and the ability to access business websites unencumbered has become integral to being able to navigate the world as independently as possible. Recently there have been a slew of lawsuits filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), targeting companies with websites that are allegedly inaccessible to the disabled, such as the visually impaired and the deaf. These types of [...]

Filing a California Cannabis Trademark Application: Do’s and Don’ts

Filing a California Cannabis Trademark Application: Do’s and Don’ts On January 1, 2018, the State of California began allowing registration of cannabis and cannabis-related trademarks. However, registrations are limited to products and/or services that meet federal classifications. To guide you with the registration overview, look at the breakdown below of the do’s and don’ts for filing a successful California cannabis-related trademark application: DO’s: Do confirm that your company has the appropriate state license. Do make sure that your mark is lawfully in use in commerce within California Do review your list of goods and/or services and confirm they fit into one of the existing classifications offered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).* DON’TS Don’t file a trademark application for cannabis or cannabis related products if you are not already using the mark in commerce within California. Your application will be denied. Don’t file until you are [...]

Is Your Independent Contractor Really an Employee?

There have been disruptions in California barbershops, salons, tattoo shops, yoga studios, dance studios, and the like, after the recent California Supreme Court case, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, reclassified who can work as an independent contractor. The court imposed a new test, known as the ABC test, which determines whether an individual is an independent contractor, and includes the following: whether the worker is free of the control and direction of the hiring entity in the performance of the work (under contract and in fact), whether the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and whether the worker customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity. Free of control and direction of employer: If an employer requires and individual to perform certain [...]

Filing Cannabis Trademarks: How The Farm Bill May Affect You

The President signed the “Farm Bill” into law on December 20, 2018.  The law provides important agricultural policies, including a change that involves the cannabis plant.  Below is a breakdown of the law and how it may affect companies that produce, process, or sell cannabis or cannabis-related products.   Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L) production, processing, and sale will be legalized with restrictions: The hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC (delta–9 tetrahydrocannabinol). Cultivators are required to obtain a license. Hemp farmers will be recognized as a farmer under the Federal Crop Insurance Act. Cannabidiol (CBD) will only be legal under specific circumstances: The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if a licensed grower produces that hemp in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, federal and state regulations. All other cannabinoids produced in any other manner will [...]

Is Your Start-Up Safe from Cybersecurity Breaches?

Do you intend to start a new business venture in 2018? Are you developing a fantastic product with some business associates that you are keeping secret for the time being? What steps are you taking to get your start-up business off on the right foot? If you handle your finances, share documents and store files electronically, you are in danger of getting hacked. Every business -- including your start-up -- is a potential target. In fact, sending emails and storing information on the Cloud has already exposed you to the dangers of cyber-attacks. How to help protect your business from hackers Data security can no longer be just a portion of your business plan; it needs to be your No. 1 priority. What can you do, and where do you start? Urgency: First, understand that hacking is not a matter of "if" your information will be compromised; it is a matter [...]

September 17th, 2018|Tags: , , |

Copyright Issues, Like Nightmares, Can Keep You Up At Night

Did you watch your favorite horror movie this Halloween? "It: Chapter One" is the most recently released horror film. Based on a Stephen King novel, It (as it is commonly known) hit the big screens last month to wide success. Some claim it is one of the scariest movies in recent history. Before It came along, another nightmare began brewing. Conjuring up a serious lawsuit A little background: Gerald Brittle is the author of The Demonologist, a book he wrote in the 1980s about real life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Brittle claims that at the time the book was written, the Warrens signed an agreement granting Brittle the exclusive rights to their paranormal case files. This means that his permission would be needed in order to produce films based on those files and on his book. Starting in 2013, film studio Warner Bros. has produced widely-successful horror films based on the Warrens' lives [...]

September 17th, 2018|Tags: |

Can I Register a Service Mark for My Cannabis Business?

On behalf of The Myers Law Group posted in Trademarks on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Cannabis business owners in California can now register their trademarks and protect their intellectual property rights. This is a welcome sign for those who provide cannabis-related goods or services in the state. With the passage of the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) -- cannabis products became legal in California commerce. As a result, recreational use cannabis businesses have been growing like weeds (no pun intended) since January 1. Obtaining intellectual property protections Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not accept service mark applications for cannabis products, individual states may do so. Once California got the green light, business owners began submitting trademarks applications. You have worked hard to create your business brand. If you have a cannabis-related business, you will want the protection that the California Secretary of State provides. Protect your [...]

May 8th, 2018|Tags: , |

Trademark Infringement Claims Involving a Non-US Company

On behalf of The Myers Law Group posted in Trademarks on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Sometimes potential trademark claims aren't always what they seem. The grocery chain Trader Joe's is appealing after losing a lawsuit to enforce its trademark against a Canadian individual who operates a store called "Pirate Joe's." For the past three years, Michael Hallatt has operated a grocery store that sells thousands of dollars of Trader Joe's goods in Vancouver. Mr. Hallatt opened his store in 2012, and Trader Joe's immediately contacted him to stop his operation. When he refused, Trader Joe's sued in federal court in the state of Washington. In the 2013 lawsuit, Trader Joe's claimed that the Canadian store was infringing on its trademarks and harming its business. Trader Joe's alleged that Pirate Joe's was arranged too similarly to an actual Trader Joe's store and that the store's display of products created consumer confusion. Trader Joe's argued [...]

May 5th, 2018|