Blog

Step-up in Basis: Inheriting Property from Parents
What is step-up in basis and what happens if I inherit property from my parents? While this question frequently comes up on both the estate planning and trust administration side, specific California ballot measures and possible changes on the federal level make this a topic of particular interest today. Here’s where the law stands now: On the federal...
Three Common Objections to a Trademark Application
Congratulations, you’ve filed your trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)! You pat yourself on the back, and then turn your attention to other things while waiting for your application to process. A few months later, you are surprised to receive an Office Action from the trademark examiner, saying they have objections to your trademark...
Celebrity Horror Stories: When Estate Planning Goes Wrong
It’s October, the time of year when everyone loves to hear scary stories. In keeping with the tradition, I’m going to share several celebrity horror stories to show what happens when estate planning goes wrong.  These celebrities, for whatever reason, did not create a will or trust before they died (or if they did, did it wrong) and...
Trademark Frequently Asked Questions
Most of my trademark clients come to me with questions, even before they’ve decided to hire me. There’s a lot of confusion out there about trademarks and how they work. Here are some trademark frequently asked questions that I see on a regular basis: What is a trademark? There’s a fairly lengthy description in the law books, but...
Fair Use in Trademark
I’ve been talking a lot about fair use lately – fair use in copyrights, fair use in business…it’s time to move on to fair use in trademarks. When discussing fair use of someone’s trademark, it’s important to remember the purpose of trademark law. The reason trademarks are protected is two-fold: first, consumers want to know who they’re buying...

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