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Tip of the Day Don't Use Insurance As An Investment Vehicle

Don't Use Insurance As An Investment Vehicle - For the most part many of us carry insurances that we don't need to. You should never use whole life insurance...

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Q:Just wondering a few things and thought with the brain trust here, it'd be a perfect place to ask... 1. Can you incorporate online? If so, where? 2. Where can I find out more information on investors? Angels? Individuals? 3. How do you go about doing an IPO on the web? Any resources? 4. If you are in the process of getting a business name trademarked (the TM office says it's 2 years behind currently) what happens if you are using the same name as someone else? Will you have to change it after 2 years?

A:The precedent for Trade mark filing is the person who files first, receives the Trademark rights. This of course is only what I heard, and certainly is not speaking for the ruling in your particular case. I would definitely seek legal council on this, specifically a Trademark Attorney. Otherwise, you may wish to check out the government sites available to find your answer. The broad spectrum of resources given for you should get you at least in the right direction. If not, repost with more particulars (e.g. trade or product type) and a more finely tuned answer could be generated from that. Let's be pedantic, or we'll stay lost. Trademarks acquire value from use in commerce. There is a registration process available at the federal level, and in some 40 states. The process is not "getting a name trademarked" it is "getting an existing common-law trademark registered". Could be a BIG problem if you're using a confusingly similar name (where somebody else has the first hostile call at labeling it "confusing"). Could be no problem at all. There are a lot of factors to be considered aside from similarity of the mark. This is certainly a possibility, as is getting clonked in 5 years. You can't completely avoid it, but you can minimize your risk by: A) searching for similar marks used for similar products (there are subscription databases that let you get at the registered marks, but an estimated 80% of marks that are in use are not registered; B) Using multiple marks in a way that allows you to drop one in a hurry if you have to (Think of your car: Company name, "Marque", model, trim series ,4 names); C) If you think you're even vaguely close to some established entity, take all the details to a lawyer who does trademark work in your state. Same name for the same product or service and you probably would. Even using the same colors as a direct competitor is not a good idea. If it's in a different category it's not a problem. Example: Cadillac cars and Cadillac dog food (yes - it's a real brand). Using your name as you do now, you'd be OK if there were others. If you plan to stick with Firebaugh and add an ", Inc." that changes as the business becomes a separate (and new) legal entity.

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