Skip to main content
Bruce Leonard Beal

Bruce Beal’s Answers

22 total

  • Register trademark in my name now, or in LLC's name after formation?

    I'm in the process of starting a clothing line and pursuing trademark registration. I have not yet formed my LLC. For priority purposes, I would like to register the trademark to be used for the clothing line ASAP. My intent is to register the tr...

    Bruce’s Answer

    Both lawyers above are correct. This is just to make it clear that "first to use is first in right" under US trademark law. You don't need to register to have a trademark. So, I would recommend that you rule out as best you can any potential pre-existing, similar, and significant trademarks used in your industry prior to using your trademark.

    Proviso: The above information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us.

    See question 
  • Creating a co-sole proprietorship in California?

    How do I go about adding my wife to my existing California sole proprietorship, to create a co-sole proprietorship?

    Bruce’s Answer

    Actually, in California a husband and wife can be classified as a sole proprietorship for state tax purposes, although registered domestic partners must be classified as a partnership. Similarly, the IRS (Revenue Procedure 2002-69) officially states that you can treat your husband and wife business as a sole proprietorship for federal tax purposes.

    As a result, you can report all your business income and expenses on Schedule C of your Form 1040, rather than a complicated 1065 with Schedule K-1s. There are other tax advantages, so consult your tax advisor.

    You don't need to file legal forms to obtain a sole proprietorship, other than a locally required business license or a fictitious name, if you do not use your real names.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    See question 
  • We are considering changing from a General Partnership to an LLC. What advice can you give?

    We just started and have no income to date. We have minor expenses up to this point, 2-3 K. We started 12/1/09. We are concerned for liability, but we also are concerned with the costs of starting the LLC, namely the $800 fee in CA. It is just two...

    Bruce’s Answer

    To answer your last question first, as it seems to be the overriding issue, each partner in a general partnership is jointly and severally liable for all of the liabilities of the partnership, i.e. your personal assets could be taken for the acts of your partner in the partnership in the extreme case. Your business may not involve significant risks, and even if so, much of these risks (except contractual) can be insured. Having said the above, corporations and LLCs in California involve significant additional costs and activities, e.g. an annual minimum franchise tax of $800, whether you make any money or not. You should discuss this issue in detail with a business attorney.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    Contact: If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided through Avvo or through my firm’s website located at BealBusinessLaw.com.

    See question 
  • Can I sue someone for a royalty (or just in general) for creating a business with my name in it and who never asked me?

    There really are no specifics. I know the person very well and he never asked me if he could create a business name after me, so I'm wondering if I can get a royalty out of it, or at least sue for a lot.

    Bruce’s Answer

    You probably have no right to royalties or claim of infringement, unless you are a public figure. A person will be held liable for infringement only if he or she has a "bad faith intent to profit from the mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark, e.g. the name of a Hollywood celebrity whose name identifies his or her performances.

    If you are a professional, and the other person is a professional, then use of your name may be unlawful. Rules and regulations of a profession may restrict the name style of the
    corporation. For information about name style requirements, contact the California board or agency having jurisdiction over your profession.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    See question 
  • How do i change officers of a corporation?

    How do I change the president to vice president and the vice president to president of the comany?

    Bruce’s Answer

    Another option, if your bylaws allow, and all directors agree, is to draft a directors resolution by unanimous consent to appoint certain new officers, signed by all of the directors.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    See question 
  • Someone has posted pics of my kids on facebook with there names without my permission what can i do.

    i went on facebook and someone popped o0n my page to add as a friend. I was surprised cause i really am not friends with this person. i checked out her page and noticed she had pics of my kids with ther name posted on her facebook page. what shoul...

    Bruce’s Answer

    Generally, subject to you state's law, one can photograph and publish people, including children, in public places without consent with some exceptions, e.g. if the people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms, or if the photos are used for commercial purposes without your consent. Assuming the latter, you could employ a PCMA takedown notice to your internet service provider and/or the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA). For ISPA instructions in this regard, please visit the following link: http://www.ispa.org.za/code/how_to_request_takedown.shtml

    If this person truly wants to be your friend, he or she should immediately take down any images you have concerns with.

    Also, review the Facebook Terms of Service, which may have a provision assisting you on this issue.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    See question 
  • Is it legal to use images of products taken from other web sites?

    I'm starting an online business, and I'm wondering if I can re-use images of the products I'm selling, which I found on my drop-ship sites, on my business site. Is this legal, or do I have to first purchase all the products and take individual pic...

    Bruce’s Answer

    Images are works for copyright purposes, owned by the creator and/or employer and/or assignee of same. As such, they should not be used for commercial purposes without the permission or license of the copyright holder. Although there is probably an alignment of interests from an infringement perspective, the product owners may prefer other images for various reasons. Ideally, one should always obtain permissions or licenses for all copyrighted works used for commercial purposes, or as you suggest, make your own positive images of them.

    Proviso: My response does not constitute legal advice, as I do not know all of the relevant facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult an able lawyer who can learn the unique details of your case more completely in a confidential relationship to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    Contact: If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided through Law Guru or through my firm’s website located at BealBusinessLaw.com.

    See question 
  • Where can I find a Lawyer in Orange County, CA who specializes in Start-Up Companies; specifically Fashion Industry related?

    I am a young Entrepreneur starting a Fashion Retail Company based in Orange County. I am seeking consultation in Trademarks,Sole proprietorship, LLC, Licensing etc. pertaining to the the City and State of California

    Bruce’s Answer

    For licensing and permitting information, please visit http://www.calgold.ca.gov/. For establishing trademarks and business organizations, please visit http://bealbusinesslaw.com/.

    See question 
  • Is it illegal to use my school's wifi on my iPod touch during the school day?

    A sudent's relative somehow hacked into the system and got the password info including port and server.

    Bruce’s Answer

    As usual, the law has not yet caught up with this recent technology, and as usual, it may depend upon the state you live in. There is a most educational webpage treatment of this subject, produced by Cybertelecom, an educational not-for-profit project focusing on Federal Internet law and policy, which I commend to you and all to read in this regard:
    http://www.cybertelecom.org/broadband/wifisecurity.htm

    I do not know all the facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult a lawyer who can learn the details of your case more completely, to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    See question 
  • Hello I'm looking for an atorney to file a trademark for my business

    I have the name and it;s been used for 10 years but i would like to file a trademar for my shoe business Thnak you

    Bruce’s Answer

    While you have trademark rights through use ("First in use is first in right"), there are several advantages to registering a trademark with the US Trademark Office:

    1. Once a mark is registered (principal register), there is a presumption of trademark ownership and validity in any subsequent litigation involving the trademark.

    2. Trademark registration also creates what is called "actual notice" or "constructive notice," which informs all parties that the trademark is the exclusive property of the trademark owner, and which also allows the owner to recover profits or damages for trademark infringement.

    3. Judicial remedies are broader. A trademark owner can be awarded treble damages against an infringer whose infringement was deemed to be "willful". In addition, there is the possibility that the court would award attorney fees in exceptional cases where the infringement was deemed malicious.

    4. Registration (principal register) usually provides the trademark owner with rights in the mark for a larger geographical area (i.e. nationwide) than is otherwise possible.

    5. The scope of protection for a federally registered mark is usually much broader in that it encompasses related products or services, rather than a specific product or service.

    6. Your mark may become "incontestable" after 5 years.

    You should look for an experienced trademark attorney who does work on a fixed basis. An example of this is http://BealBusinessLaw.com/fixedfees.htm under "Intellectual Property".

    I do not know all the facts of your case, and I do not legally represent you. Although I strive to make sure the information I provide is generally accurate and useful, you should promptly consult a lawyer who can learn the details of your case more completely, to ensure that the information I provide, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided by my blog or through my firm’s website located at BealBusinessLaw.com.

    See question