New York City Intellectual Property Law Blog

An attorney can help you secure a commercial lease in New York

Running a business means that you have to handle a lot of issues, often simultaneously. One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner or manager is the location of your company. The right location can make it easier for customers and clients to access you.

However, the most desirable areas in New York typically have incredibly high rental costs. In order to secure the rights to rent the right place for your business, you will need to spend time considering different properties and then reviewing the terms of the lease offered by the landlords for those spaces.

Do you need a trust as part of your estate plan?

Many New Yorkers believe they do not need to engage in any estate planning. Are you one of them? Maybe you trust your family members to wrap up the last of your affairs peacefully. Maybe you already set up beneficiaries on the accounts that matter most to you. You may have no dependents and would prefer not to make people feel as though you played favorites with specific items you own. None of this excludes you from the benefits of incorporating a trust into your estate plan.

According to CNBC, if you have a retirement fund, savings account, home or other assets, you need an estate plan.  Baby boomers are currently the wealthiest generation in America, but many of them are retiring, and consequently, passing away. Over the next three to four decades, this will lead to $30 trillion in assets passing to the next generations, presumably Generation X and Generation Y.

Common types of unfair competition

Small business owners work hard to maintain and grow their New York companies. Whether you sell online, have a brick and mortar location or are mobile, you rely on customers for revenue. If a competitor gains an advantage as a result of deceptive business practices, you may have grounds for a claim. At Codispoti & Associates, P.C., we often help clients secure and protect their intellectual property.

According to FindLaw, unfair competition encompasses business practices that harm consumers or other businesses. State and federal laws protect the creative, intellectual and economic investments businesses use in differentiating themselves and their products. They address the following types of unfair trade practices:

  • False advertising includes making unfair or untrue statements about products or services. Continuing to do so can affect an organization's long term profits and customer base.
  • Unauthorized substitution is also known as "bait and switch." It takes place when a company uses trademarked images to gain sales, with no intention of selling the correct item.
  • False representation of the quality, value grade or standard of products or services is illegal. It can include purposefully overstating product capabilities or exaggerating a warranty.
  • Misconduct regarding another's confidential information. This encompasses trade secrets and exclusive formulations.
  • Trademark infringement occurs when an individual steals intellectual property and uses it for monetary gain. It can happen in a broad range of circumstances, including unauthorized use of a slogan or logo.

Tips for investing in commercial real estate

For people in New York, commercial real estate can be a good investment strategy. However, for those who are new to the industry or have only dealt with residential real estate, it is important to understand that the commercial side is a whole different ball game. The following should help those who are considering investing in commercial property.

According to Forbes, investing in commercial real estate can be a good way to grow business interests, but that being patient is an important traitbecause of the longer sales cycle. It also takes longer to remodel, find tenants and for due diligence. However, on the plus side leases are usually longer as well. It is important to realize that risk varies based on the property type, so you cannot directly compare two properties that are close in location.

What is fair use of otherwise copyrighted material?

The concept of intellectual property confuses many people. Laws that allow people to own an idea or concept may seem strange on the surface. However, they serve an important purpose, as they incentivize innovation and creativity.

Without intellectual property protections, anyone who created something unique, beautiful or functional would likely have their ideas stolen by someone else who would make money on it. Intellectual property protections and copyright laws serve a great purpose by allowing creators to profit from their work. However, they also contain intentional leeway for those who create or provide commentary on works of art, science or business.

What are the steps to form an LLC?

If you are starting a small business in New York, you may want to consider forming a limited liability company. An LLC may provide unique benefits, including limiting your personal liability for business debts. The process to form an LLC in New York is fairly simple, but there are specific steps you must follow.

The New York state government defines an LLC as an "unincorporated business organization made up of one or more persons." You may form an LLC on your own or with others. The first step toward officially creating your LLC is filing Articles of Organization with the state. The state's website provides a form that you may fill out and file. It costs $200 to file your Articles of Organization.

Litigation and the future of your business

Business owners who are dealing with a lawsuit that is targeting their company may be worried about the case for many different reasons. They could have concerns about how the lawsuit will affect their finances, or they may fear that the case will bring unwanted attention to their business and shatter their good reputation. These are just some of the concerns that business owners have, and the outcome of litigation could have a major impact on the future of any business. When approaching a business-related lawsuit, it is important to keep this in mind and do everything you can to protect your company.

Sometimes, the financial repercussions of a business lawsuit can be intense, and they may prompt a business owner to make serious changes within their company and change the direction of their business. In fact, some lawsuits can be so damaging that business owners have no choice but to close altogether. If a former worker, current employee, business partner or competitor has decided to file suit for any reason, it is crucial for business owners to think about the potential long-term consequences of legal action.

Reviewing the benefits of special needs trusts

Creating a trust can be incredibly helpful, whether someone wants to gain peace of mind with the knowledge that their estate will be taken care of after they pass away or they want to ensure that those they love have assets that will help them tremendously in the future. For some people, however, estate planning can be particularly complicated. For example, some have a loved one with special needs, and they worry that passing down assets to this individual could make them ineligible for government benefits. Fortunately, special needs trusts can help people avoid this and they offer other perks as well.

By creating a special needs trust for your family member, you may be able to pass down your assets while they are able to retain their eligibility for critical government assistance that they count on. This can be very useful since some people with special needs depend on these government programs to help them through life. Moreover, those with special needs often face enough challenges as it is, without losing key benefits due to their inheritance.

Business litigation and health crises

When a business owner is facing litigation, they may be experiencing other hardships in their lives. For example, some may be struggling with a health crisis, which can make it even more difficult for them to focus on and deal with the lawsuit. From a cancer diagnosis to some other serious health concern, this can be an extremely difficult position for any business owner. Unfortunately, some are so distraught and even physically affected by the health issues they are going through that they are unable to do everything they can to protect their business, which can result in additional complications.

We understand how disruptive and emotionally draining health crises can be, but you should do everything in your power to defend your business in the midst of a difficult health issue. An unfavorable outcome with respect to the case could make life even harder and may even prompt you to close your business. Unfortunately, some business owners have found themselves in this position even though they may have been able to avoid these consequences if they would have prepared for the case more and taken every step to minimize the damage of the lawsuit.

Tom Petty's daughters and widow battle over control of trust

New York City residents may be reminded time and time again through advertisements, media and word of mouth exactly how important it is to see their estate planning while they still can. This emphasis may prompt the question of why estate planning is so important given that all it entails is ensuring that one's debts are paid and their remaining assets given to those they wish. Yet while that may be all that is needed in many situations, cases involving intangible properties (such as songs, art and writings) will often require continued management to ensure that they are not used without permission. If such scenarios, one will want to ensure that those managing the estate can effectively work together. 

That does not appear to be what is happening in the case of the estate of the late singer Tom Petty. His widow was made directing trustee of his trust upon his death in 2017, yet the terms of the trust also state that his daughters have a right to equal participation in the management of the trust. They have taken that to mean that they have equal say in how items such as Petty's music catalog are used. Despite one of the daughters claiming that she feels nothing but love towards Petty's widow, the pair have sued her in order to assume the control the are owed per the trust. 

  • NYSBA
  • Brooklyn Bar Association 1872 Justice Integrity Honor Courtesy
  • National Italian American Bar Association Representing The Italian American Legal Community
  • Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn
  • Columbian Lawyers Association of Rockland County
  • The Copyright Society of the USA
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