LegalZoom Blog

Legal news and small business tips.

What If Someone Is Already Using the Name I Want to Trademark? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 12/20/11

no comments yet

Bob: Interstate copyright infringement case w Ca plaintiff. Can you sue for small claims limit in small claims, or does it have to be in Fed court? And can small claims awards be recognized in other states?

Joe Escalante: If you are willing to accept damages that are within the limits of small claims jurisdiction, you could try it, even though technically the small claims court would not have jurisdiction over a federal claim. The judge may rule on it and award a judgment. Or the judge may say, “copyright is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts.
If you win, the defendant might bring that up on appeal, but he would be risking a lot because if it gets re-filed in federal court, he would be subject to much more damages. Since it is so cheap to file, it might be worth a try.
Once you get a judgment, you can get a writ of execution and put a lien on the defendants property or get a wage garnishment in any state.

Ginger: does the state of Wisconsin have a self defense law?

Joe Escalante: Every state gives you the right to defend yourself.

Ginger: is there any laws that can help you get a job if you are a felon and have a criminal record in the state of Wisconsin?

Joe Escalante: Yes, all the laws help you. By choosing not to break them, you increase your canches of getting a job. That’s one of the ways I use them. I know that’s not funny. I apologize. Seriously, you can explore getting your record expunged. Speak with a criminal attorney to help you do this.

James: Hey Joe, I have a CA. Living Trust and have moved to NV. Do I need another form to make it completely legal if I now live in NV? Do I need another form to Homestead the Trust? Please let me know exactly what forms I need to purchase. Thx.

Joe Escalante: At the very least, you should have a local attorney look at your California trust. There are often subtle differences in requirements like whether things have to be notarized or not. If you did your trust with Legalzoom, they will help you figure out what you need to do to update it. Regarding homesteading, you really need to talk to an estate planning attorney in your new state. Click below for some suggestions.

LegalZoom: Here you go, James:

Ka: I have a friend in Utah that may lose house. I have several other friends with some money saved up, but not one with enough to buy the house. Could those friends gift me the money so that it would all be pooled together and I could buy the house? Or could all those friends go together on the purchase of the house?

Joe Escalante: There’s no law against several people buying and owning a house. Or all the friends could form a trust, and the trust could buy the house.

Ross: Hey Joe, what kind of Tax Classification does a Social Network come under? I set mine up as an LLC (thinking I should’ve done an S-Corp instead), but I wasn’t sure which classification it fit under. As the NAICS codes I chose 54199 – All other professional, scientific, and technical services. Not sure here. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks Joe and LegalZoom!

Joe Escalante: For tax issues, speak to your tax pro. An LLC or S-Corp can be set up for any lawful purpose, but only your tax pro can determine which is right for you.

Patrice: I want to know what I can do about getting Visitaton to see my grandaughter..I been in my grandaugjters life since she was born a year ago and now her mother wont let me see my grandaughter..She has been putting me through this all the time..she only let me see her when it benefited her and now that she no longer goes to school she wont let me see my grandaughter..

Joe Escalante: In New York, I believe you may petition the court for visitation if you are a biological grandparent. You have to put forth that it is in the best interest of the child to be visited by you. Perhaps just informing the daughter that you could possibly get a court order to demand formal visits might soften her up.

Shayla: Hey Joe! Trademark question! I want to trademark my legal name for branding purposes but someone is using my name on twitter. Can I send a cease & decist if the name was used before my trademark is granted? I want to be able to use the name on social networking sites. The name IS NOT trademarked yet.

Joe Escalante: There are a few problems here. 1st, you can’t just trademark your name because you want to. A trademark must be identified with a particular service or product. 2nd, if someone is using that mark for the same product before you, they can challenge your attempt to get the mark registered. You should go to, click “contacts” and put your question in there. I will get it answered in more detail on my radio show. This is all we talk about there. Thanks.

Jonathan: Hi Joe, is there any kind of lemon law on commercial trucks. I bought a 2006 freightliner and have had to have about $10,000 worth of repairs done to it in less than 6 months. Thanks in advance for any advice. Jonathan Heun Sr.

Joe Escalante: Most used car sales are without a warranty unless it is expressly provided. In other words, they are “as is.” Unless there is fraud involved, it’s buyer beware. It would cost you close to $10,000 to have an attorney tackle this problem. Time to unload it.

Tania: Is it better to be an LLC or an S corp…what are the pros/cons?

Joe Escalante: There’s a lot about this on the internet. I made a chart to help my radio listeners. Click the link “Business Entities” on my page:

However, don’t make any final decisions without speaking to a tax professional. Good luck.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Sign up for the LegalZoom newsletter!

Written by

December 22nd, 2011 at 6:08 am