Can a Hashtag Be Registered As A Trademark?

Talking to a colleague today, we both came upon an interesting legal question: is a social media hashtag a trademark that one can register? For those who are not familiar with hashtags, it is a word or phrase preceded by a “#” that accompanies text. Hashtags are used to categorize

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New NLRB Labor Rules Negatively Impact U.S. Franchises

Revised federal rules from the National Labor Relations Board that give employees more leverage in settling workplace disputes are negatively impacting franchisors and franchisees, leaving them with higher costs and forcing them to scale back plans for future expansion. The new policy adopted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

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Filing a DBA Name In New York

If you want to conduct business under a trade name that is different from the name used to form your New York business, then you need to file a DBA, or a “doing business as” name, in New York. DBAs are useful for a number of reasons. They allow a

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NY Agency Law Basics: Obtaining an agent to distribute your products in New York

New York Agency law deals with the relationship between an “agent,” and a “principal.” An agency relationship forms when a principal asks an individual to act on behalf of the principal and the action of the agent may bind the principal in some way.  Agency, in short, is a fiduciary

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Federal Trademark Basics: What You Can Learn From The “New York Fashion Week” Trademark Controversy

A growing controversy over the use of a widely-known phrase in the New York fashion industry is a perfect example of why you need to protect your trade names and marks immediately. If you are fashion-forward, or a New York resident, then you have probably heard of the phrase “New

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Authenticating International Documents for use in New York

If you want to enforce a judgment in New York, or any other international document, headed to or coming from another nation, you should understand the process by which those documents are authenticated. An American court will not take a foreign document at face value. It must be authenticated before

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Revised New York Court Rule for Submitting Confidential Documents in Commercial Litigation in NY

New changes in how New York Court’s Commercial Division will have litigant file confidential documents submitted takes effect today.  The changes are part of an amendment to the division’s Standard Form of Confidentiality Order that establishes a more formal process for submitting confidential documents in an e-filed case in New

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NY Franchising Red Flags

If you are thinking about entering into a franchise agreement in New York, please consider these New York Franchise Warning Signs.  All of the laws in New York that are intended to protect potential investors in franchises are not meant to act as a substitute for good business sense, so be

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IRS 501(c)(3) Organizations vs. IRS 501(c)(4) Organizations: New York Non-Profit Law Basics

We have clients at our law firm in New York operating non-profit businesses in New York that require advice on IRS 501(c)(3) vs. IRS 501(c)(4) organizations. We hope this and a few other articles we have will be useful for the reader. Whether your New York nonprofit should apply for tax

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New York May Make Airbnb Short-Term Rentals Illegal: New York Rental Law Updates

New York may pass legislation by the end of the week making it illegal for New Yorkers to list short-term rentals on Airbnb. In a rare show of bipartisan support, a bill to ban Airbnb-style posts for short-term sublets could get floor votes on the floors of the New York

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Protect Your NY Company’s Confidential Information

Every NY business keeps confidential information that it must protect from three common occurrences in the course of operations: Accidental Disclosure The most common way a NY business will lose protection of confidential information is through accidental disclosure. This is most likely because NY businesses fail to outline to employees,

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Definition of a Franchise in New York State: New York Franchise Law Basics

New York has a broad definition of a franchise, thus, leading to a broad range of mere “licensing” and “agent/distributor” relationships as franchises.  Any business organization that is deemed or may be deemed a franchise by the State of New York should, immediately, retain a New York-based franchise attorney with

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A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy May Save Your NY Business: New York Bankruptcy Law

With news that Gawker is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing a $140 million dollar judgment to Hulk Hogan for defamation, now is a good time to introduce New York businesses to what a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is, and how it may save your NY business. Chapter 11

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Enforcing a New York Judgment Abroad: Service under the Hague Service Convention

We are presently working on a case where a New York law firm obtained a judgement against a Korean debtor in a New York court and the attorney in New York failed to serve the defendant under the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil

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Are NYC Rent-Controlled Tenants Using AirBnB Breaching Their Leases?

AirBnB may be an answer to homeowners and property owners looking to supplement income, but if you are a New York City landlord of a rent-controlled property – beware!  Your tenants may be breaking the law!  For the uninitiated, AirBnB is an online marketplace where prospective guests look for a bed

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A Good Business Plan May Turn your New York Startup Into Dollars

Recently, we wrote about the two main tools available to small businesses to stir interest in and investment in your business – the business plan and the private placement memorandum.  While this blog is, mainly, for New York businesses, the following article can apply to business throughout the world. A

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Vital Business Agreements Before Starting a Business in New York: NY Startup Basics

The following is a list of the basic business agreements that we advise prior to operating a New York business. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and some types of NY companies require specialized business agreements that are unique to the specific industry. Basic New York Corporate Agreements

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New York S Corp vs. LLC Basics: Choosing your Corporate Entity in New York

Many of our New York law firm clients considering establishing a business entity in New York, often, are conflicted whether they should choose to establish a New York S Corporation (“S Corp”) or a New York limited liability company (“LLC”).  Choosing whether to establish as a New York S Corporation

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New York Partnership & Joint Venture Due Diligence Checklist

We, regretfully, see too many New York, New Jersey and Connecticut companies entering into business relationships with foreign nationals & corporations with little foresight.  Often cultural and divergent business ethics leads to immediate issues.  The following Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Checklist is intended as a guide to vetting a prospective

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Proving Civil Fraud In NY

Fraud comes in different forms in New York, which recognizes both common law fraud and statutory fraudulent behavior. In business, as in life, people are not always as reputable and they appear. Unfortunately, there are less than scrupulous business actors who will resort to fraudulent misrepresentations to gain what you have

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