When Your Trademark Becomes Generic

I encourage clients all of the time to trademark their business name, slogan or logo.  Last week, I came across a story that made think about my clients and their marks.  Besides the examples included in the story, I am sure that we can all think of other (Think Aspirin.  Kleenex.  Thermos.)  These company or product names either at one time were or are trademarked.  The names all have one thing in common; they have become “generic.”  In order words, … Continued

State vs. Federal Trademark Registrations

Should I register my trademark at the state or federal level?   Businesses often ask the above questions when they are concerned with trademark protection for their name, logo, or brand.  The answer depends on a variety of factors. In the United States, trademark rights are conferred by use of the mark.  Registration is a formal acknowledgement of pre-existing rights.  Registration at both the state and federal levels provides public notice of the businesses claim of ownership of the mark. … Continued

Can you apply for both SSD and VA Disability Benefits?

While the VA and SSA disability programs differ in their primary purposes, it is possible to receive both social security benefits and VA disability benefits at the same time.  It is important to remember that receiving one does not necessarily mean that you will receive the other. VA Disability Benefits Purpose VA disability benefits are a compensation program to pay benefits to veterans who incur an injury or contract a disease that is service-connected.  In other words, the injury or disease … Continued

The Poor Man’s Copyright: Fact or Fiction

I often have authors tell me that they do not need to register their work and obtain a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.  The authors rely on what is often referred to as a “poor man’s copyright.” This is a method of using a registered date by the post office, a notary public, or another highly trusted source to establish a particular date that the work existed on.  The “poor man’s copyright” is, however, a work of fiction. There is … Continued

The Dependency Tax Exemption: Are you eligible?

With Christmas over and New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, noncustodial parents who pay child support are probably not thinking about whether they are eligible to claim the dependency tax exemption.  But they should. First, Look to your Divorce Decree or Paternity Order Since 2011, Indiana law has required that the Court specify in a child support order which parent is entitled to claim the child or children for dependency tax exemption purposes.  The court considers a number of factors in fashioning … Continued

Social Security disability application been denied?

After you file your Social Security Disability application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) carefully reviews your application and claim.  The SSA looks at your work history, current work activities if you are presently working, and your medical conditions.   The SSA  then makes a decision to either approve or deny your social security application and notifies you of their decision. Social Security Disability claims may be denied for a variety of reasons.  A denial does not necessarily mean that the … Continued

Trademark Protection: What they call you?

W.C. Fields’ famously said “[i]t ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”  To a business, what customers and consumers call you is important as a business’ name or trademark  are one of its most important assets. Trademarks allow businesses to protect their name.  A trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies certain goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company.  It is a symbol of quality and a certain standard the company has established … Continued

When does the SSA consider someone to be “disabled”?

When considering applications for Indiana Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) strictly defines “disability” to mean: You cannot do work you did before; You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical conditions; and Your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least one year. If you are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Social Security Income (SSI) and wonder if you fall into the SSA’s definition of disabled, contact us now.