This month, we consider a little known trademark designation know as Geographical Indications. What exactly is a Geographical Indication (GI), how are they protected and how do they differ from ordinary trademarks? We turned to WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization
, for some answers and also share some common GI examples.
What is a Geographical Indication?
A geographical indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.
If you have, or are starting, a business, there are several legal documents and contracts you may encounter in the early stages of your company. Having the appropriate agreements in place will ensure your interests and property are protected as you delve into the business of building relationships with co-owners, employees, contractors, third-party vendors and possibly, investors. Here are a few of the most common documents and contracts new business owners should consider in their legal arsenal.
Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC) Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is the governing document for a Florida limited liability company (LLC). It is a comprehensive company agreement covering ownership interests, voting rights, adding or removing members, selling or transferring interests, and succession planning, to name a few.
Florida Corporation Shareholders’ Agreement
A Shareholders’ (or Stockholders’) Agreement is the governin...
One of the basic principles of trademark law in the United States is that the first party to adopt and use
a mark has the right to continued, exclusive use
of that mark in connection with their goods and/or services, and as such, they may prevent others from using the same mark or something similar that may cause confusion among prospective customers. However, the Lanham Trademark Act contains a provision under which an eligible trademark applicant may request issuance of a registration concurrent
with the registration of a conflicting mark. This is known as a "concurrent use
What makes a city a great entrepreneurial hub? What does it take to attract top talent, incubate home grown technologies and launch innovative new ideas into the business stratosphere? These are the kinds of questions considered at StartUp City: Miami
, hosted by Atlantic Magazine and the Knight Foundation and held at the fantastic New World Center on Miami Beach last week. I keep telling everyone I meet and everyone who asks me "why Miami?..." Miami is on the cusp of becoming the next great American city. We have beautiful weather and the beach, but there's something else truly exciting going on here. In the years since I've called South Florida home, there's a new energy, a buzzing entrepreneurial spirit that's taking hold of the city like never before. Sure, Miami has always had an extremely high concentration of small businesses and entrepreneurship. But this is different. This is 21st century entrepreneu...
What is an Intent-to-Use Trademark Application and is it worth your while (and money) to file one?
Trademark owners who are not yet using their trademarks in commerce or who do not have proper specimens showing use of their trademark may file an Intent to Use trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Intent-to-Use application is based on Section 1(b) of the Trademark Act. The applicant must include a sworn statement of their bona fide intention to use the mark and must begin actual use of the mark in commerce before the USPTO will allow trademark registration.
Once the applicant makes actual use of their mark in commerce, the Applicant must notify the USPTO of such use. An Amendment to Allege Use may be filed any time between the filing date of the application and the date the USPTO approves the mark for publication. If an Amendment to Allege Use is not filed and the ITU mark passes the USPTO Examiner's initial review and publicati...
Selecting the proper corporate entity is the first procedural step when you are ready to start your own business or take over an existing one. The most appropriate corporate entity for your business depends on the number of owners and their objectives regarding ownership. There are four types of business entities most commonly used to operate a business.
- Profit and Non-Profit
2. Limited Liability Company
3. Sole Proprietorship
4. General Partnership
This post considers the Corporation form of corporate organization.
There are two types of corporations - profit and not-for-profit. Both are formed by filing articles of incorporation with the State and are distinguished by the name endings “Inc.” “Corp.” or “Co.” Corporations are also subject to an occupational license requirement and must apply for a FEIN. A corporation owned by one person, who is the sole shareholder, director and officer, pr...
When a trademark application is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is subsequently assigned to an Examining Attorney who reviews the application for errors, omissions or other substantive issues that may bar registration. One of the most common issues that may block your trademark application at the USPTO is a likelihood of confusion with another mark.
If the Examining Attorney finds that the applied-for trademark is confusingly similar to a registered or pending trademark, he or she will issue an Office Action setting forth the basis for that determination. In short, the Examining Attorney is of the opinion that the trademark sought to be r...
Minott Gore attorney and co-managing partner Serena Minott was recently invited to attend a roundtable dinner hosted by Atlantic Magazine and Bank of America at DB Moderne Bistro in Miami, Florida.
The single-table dinner event brought together a small group of leading small business owners and advocates to discuss business trends in Miami, as well as the tools and resources business owners need to succeed in today's competitive economic market. The discussion focused on the tech entrepreneurship boom currently underway in Miami, the challenges of doing business here, and ideas and solutions for change or improvement. Other guests included senior leaders from the Miami small business community - technology entrepreneurs, a private equity attorney, CEOs of national corporations and organizations, venture fund directors, leaders from local chambers of commerce and one member of the press.
Attorney Minott practices in the areas of business law, entrepreneurial advising and tradem...