My Business Name Changed. How Do I Notify The IRS?

My Business Name Changed. How Do I Notify The IRS?

Business Formation, Entity Formation, Start-Up, Trademark
While rare, it is not uncommon for startups and even more established business to change their name. When this occurs, how does your business notify the IRS of a change in its business name? Recently, a startup client which had incorporated under a prior name before hiring our Phoenix law firm ended up deciding to re-brand themselves under a new name. Turns out the old name was either used by (and even Federally registered as a trademark by other parties) and, as such, didn't stand the best chance of being registrable or, at a minimum, carried a good amount of legal risk with it. So they changed their name and decided to re-brand. Problem was, they already had a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned to them in connection with…
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Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Trademark, USPTO
You applied for trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and, after many months and maybe an Office Action letter or two, you have finally received your fancy Certificate of Registration in the mail. Nothing more left to do but enjoy the spoils of your trademark rights under the Lanham Act, right? Not exactly. Even though you've been granted registration, there are still some critical dates and tasks which, given their length of time away, can be easy to overlook, possibly jeopardizing your registration as well as rights in your mark. For those with a newly granted Sec. 1(a) "use in commerce" registration on the Principal Register, the following chart explains the critical filing periods during which a mark owner must file certain documentation in order…
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Intellectual Property Protection for Secret Recipes

Intellectual Property Protection for Secret Recipes

Copyright, Craft Brewing, Intellectual Property, Restaurants, Trademark
As a Phoenix business lawyer that represents more than a few clients in the food industry, I'm often asked by restauranteurs, craft brewers, and aspiring sauce/dressing tycoons how to best protect their secret recipe for...well, you name it.  As with most things in the law, the answer is rarely one-size-fits-all and depends on a variety of factors and the client's objectives and business strategy.  This article summarizes a few of the most common questions I'm asked on the subject, as well as my general answers: Why not patent my recipe? Patent laws are commonly used to protect inventions and processes and usually are not the best approach for protecting your secret recipe. First off, as there are really only so many ways you can formulate spaghetti sauce or brew a…
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The Handmaid’s Fail: Can Trademark Dilution Exist in Lingerie?

The Handmaid’s Fail: Can Trademark Dilution Exist in Lingerie?

Trademark, Trademark Blurring, Trademark Dilution, Trademark Infringement, Uncategorized
One of my favorite things on premium television is streaming network Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's bestselling dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”. After a highly acclaimed (13 Emmy nominations, 8 wins) debut season, the online series had its much-anticipated Season 2 premier last week. For those who have not yet seen the show or read the novel, THT tells the story of Offred (played by the always fantastic Elizabeth Moss), a “handmaid” living in a future totalitarian, theocratic state that has replaced the good 'ol USA.  For reasons neither the show nor novel get into, the wives of Gilead’s ruling elite (all men, naturally) have been rendered barren and, as a result, fertile women like Offred (who is married with a young daughter of her own) are kidnapped and forced…
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Trade Names and Trademarks and Why Your Business Should Know The Difference

Trade Names and Trademarks and Why Your Business Should Know The Difference

Trade Names, Trademark, Trademark Infringement
"I've already registered my trade name, I don't need to register my trademark..."  These words, or similar ones, are something I hear often from small business owners.   While the two terms may sound similar, they are definitely not the same thing legally and confusing or ignoring the difference could set your business up for bigger (and far more costly) problems down the road. What's In A (Trade) Name? A trade name (also sometimes known as a "d/b/a", a fictitious name, or an assumed name) is simply the official name you have chosen to call your business.  Trade names usually come up in the case of sole proprietors (and sometimes informal partners) who prefer to market and operate their business using a name other than their own personal ones. For example,…
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