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Frank A. Natoli
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Frank Natoli’s Answers

6,138 total


  • I started my own company while working for the competition. The busines is growing so i quit. They sent a cease and desit ?

    Saying i have to close my company?

    Frank’s Answer

    As noted, more specific facts would be needed before anyone could offer a truly helpful answer here. But in general, you would not be prohibited from starting a competing business unless you are under the terms of some written contract that prohibits it like a non-compete agreement.

    State laws vary regards to issues like non-solicitation, trade secret violations, non-compete law, etc. So I would first want to understand exactly what they allege here. Are they claiming you breached a contract?

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your best course of action in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • What business license do I need in the state of California to start an Ecommerce Website that sells tobacco pipes?

    Will an LLC be sufficient enough? Also, can I sell my products in other states?

    Frank’s Answer

    Unless a lawyer has dealt with exactly this issue, there is no way to know for certain without doing the homework. Usually, we handle the compliance due diligence at the time we create the entity and look to see what if any permits or licenses are required.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Someone trying to hide their home asset from creditors by setting up a dummy corporation.

    I know someone who has run up more than $150,000 in consumer debt including $40,000+ to their attorney. This person has just formed a corporation, one not doing nor ever will do any business. She sold her home (which is paid off) to that corpora...

    Frank’s Answer

    I agree with the answers you received. If all the facts are correct this would be considered a fraudulent transfer and while not something law enforcement will get involved with, the person can certainly be held accountable civilly.

    See question 
  • Can you sue a business for false advertising their business name?

    I currently work for an employer who: doesn't follow OSHA violations, lack of sensitivity (if I were to say I got arrested last night but i'll be in tomorrow - everyone in the shop would know the next morning), he is overall a TERRIBLE business ow...

    Frank’s Answer

    The question connotes several aspects. Whether a customer would have a cause of action would depend on whether they were damaged in some way on account of a misleading moniker or tagline. I also think that in some cases the FTC could bring violations if egregious enough.

    If this is a serious concern, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Lawyer for insurance company threatening to sue for overpayments and fraud

    An insurance company I have been billing under workmanship comp for a massage client of mine has been paying the entire amount billed for a year and a half, they are now turning around and saying that they should only have been paying Illinois w/c...

    Frank’s Answer

    Criminal fraud requires intent. We do not have enough facts here to make that determination because we just do not know what goes on those claim forms exactly and whether they could show a purposeful deception in an effort to enrich yourself. I suspect however that at a min, they could sue you civilly to be made whole under the theory of unjust enrichment.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Can I use the name and logo of a discontinued product that is no longer on the market and was not even trademarked?

    The product I want to use the name and logo of was marketed by a MLM pyramid type company and I was a "distributor". They launched the product in 2013 and discontinued the product in less than a year. I spent a lot of money on sales and marketing...

    Frank’s Answer

    Trademark rights come from using a mark in commerce NOT just from registering that mark. So the fact that they never registered anywhere does not mean that it was not used as a trademark or that it might not be use now. You may very well be able to use it, but you will have to clear it first like you would with any trademark.

    Your trademark will be one of if not the most important and valuable business assets you will have and you will ultimately spend more money in support if it than you will anywhere else (advertising, marketing, PR, branding, packaging, etc.). So you owe it to your business and yourself to make sure you handle this properly upfront and the first order of business always starts with a proper and comprehensive clearance.

    Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence upfront and before you start spending any money in support of it or submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property. See the link below for a brief article from Fox Business News on the importance of the due diligence process and our overview guide.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Need to know if we need to change the name of our publication or if we can just print a disclaimer.

    I have a small group of weekly tabloid newspapers in several communities. All of them are editions of the publication same name, with the community is smaller type above the name, i.e. The Gloucester Independent Sun, The Salem Independent Sun, etc...

    Frank’s Answer

    With little doubt the name is confusingly similar and UNLESS you have garnered common law rights that precede this other publication or get their consent to use the name through a written co-existence agreement I think they have a very good legal argument to make. Using a disclaimer will not help you if in fact you are infringing. Given that we do not have all the relevant info here, you should absolutely discuss this with someone in private before doing anything assuming you take this business seriously.

    The onus is on the mark holder to make sure the brand they promote is not infringing. This is what a proper trademark clearance is suppose to ensure against.

    Your trademark will be one of if not the most important and valuable business assets you will have and you will ultimately spend more money in support if it than you will anywhere else (advertising, marketing, PR, branding, packaging, etc.). So you owe it to your business and yourself to make sure you handle this properly upfront and the first order of business always starts with a proper and comprehensive clearance.

    Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence upfront and before you start spending any money in support of it or submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property. See the link below for a brief article from Fox Business News on the importance of the due diligence process and our overview guide.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Can I use a well known actor's vocal lines from a movie for a humorous parody I'm creating on my website with no permission?

    I can add a disclaimer of actor's not having any knowledge, and give credits to the actor and film company, etc. if necessary.

    Frank’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. If in fact what you end up with is a true parody, then it would fall under the realm of fair use. Fair use, however, is a legal defense and the copyright holder is always free to drag you into court and force you to prove out your use as fair if they believe you are infringing. So if you plan on relying on that defense you better be right and that rightness better be obvious.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail BEFORE you make any investment. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Withdrawing ownership of a trademark I filed jointly with another person...

    Hello, my friend and I jointly filed a trademark application (we are each listed as individual owners). I have moved on an no longer want to be listed on the application or affiliated with it in any way. What is the right name of the document that...

    Frank’s Answer

    As noted, I too would be keen to understand exactly what you mean, but in any case it certainly be transferred or assigned over to another person or entity entirely.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation (and they can be located anywhere as you have many options today), get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question 
  • Are there any intellectual property attorneys that can help me with creating my Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions page?

    Privacy Policy, Terms & Condtions, and Contract development

    Frank’s Answer

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation (perhaps those that responded here), get some insights then pick the best fit to work with. You also have many options and are not relegated to only lawyers in your backyard. So take some time to call around first before making any commitment and as noted you can broaden your search by using the Avvo "find a lawyer" tool.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    See question