Monthly Archives: November 2012

Internet Domain Name Disputes And How To Handle Them

There are thousands of Internet domain names that are being registered each and every day, and many of such registrations result in internet domain name disputes, such as Cybersquatting Continue reading

Legal Marketing Issues for Today

It is safe to say that most, if not all, potential customers utilize the Internet during their shopping process. This includes locating businesses, their products/services and customer reviews on the Internet after watching, hearing or viewing targeted advertisements.

In targeting potential customers, today’s modern businesses have invested heavily in their individual websites and virtual billboard advertisements such as pay-per-click and banner advertisements. Today’s businesses have also used Internet-based communications such as e-mails, instant messaging and Tweets™ to advertise their products and services, and have paid particular attention to the way Internet users locate the products/services in which they are interested.

With today’s new marketing opportunities come new risks as the changing law adapts to the evolving use of technology for commercial transactions. This article is intended as an overview of the many legal marketing issues the Internet raises for the modern business, and identifies new areas of law that Business Wealth Lawyer can provide advice and counseling.

Advertisement in the New and Evolving Media

As a modern business, you are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in your print, radio, television and online advertisements. Additionally, your investment in advertising naturally has developed your “branded” identity. As a result, all forms of your advertisements, website content and brands are your intellectual property, and they can be protected by obtaining federal copyright and trademark registrations. Not only do such Intellectual Property registrations add value to your business’ net worth, but they also can prevent, or quickly resolve, unfair and deceptive practices by a competing dealership that utilizes your copyrighted ad content or trademarks to compete against you. If you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in television, radio, Internet or print advertisements, a Business Wealth Lawyer can assist you in securing your intellectual property rights in order to add value to your business’ net worth and deter your competitors from unlawfully using it to compete against you.

Keyword Advertisements

As a modern business, you are also targeting your potential customers by using the same search engines those potential customers use to find information about their desired products/services and your business on the Internet. Internet search engines, such as Google®, bing™ and Yahoo!®, assist vehicle buyers in locating specific websites that have information about their desired products and services by displaying a list of sites that contain search terms or “keywords” entered by the potential customer. The order in which the listed websites appear takes on particular importance in light of the view that only the top few sites on the first page of the search results will be visited by potential customer. As a result, today’s modern businesses are utilizing online search marketing techniques that focus on increasing the likelihood that their specific websites will appear near the top of generated search results.

Used properly, online search marketing techniques can directly increase the number of visitors to, and sales by, your business. However, when these techniques are used improperly, they can cause your business to lose sales or impose liability upon it. This occurs when a business or competitor, utilizes another trademark, slogan or “catch phrase” as a keyword in its online search marketing techniques. Such unclean online search marketing techniques can result in liability for trademark and copyright infringement, unfair and deceptive business practices, fraudulent misrepresentation and intentional interference with contractual and business relations.

This unlawful activity typically happens in pay-per-click advertisements where one of your competitors pays Google® a fee each time their ad is displayed as a search result when the potential customer was searching for your business. If you believe that you are a victim of this type of activity, or similar unfair and deceptive practice, a Business Wealth Lawyer can assist you in stopping it and address the damages that you suffered as a result of such unlawful activity.

IF YOUR BUSINESS IS FACING ANY OF THE ABOVE IDENTIFIED LEGAL ISSUES, OR IF YOUR BUSINESS DESIRES TO BE PROACTIVE AND IMPLEMENT STEPS TO AVOID AND/OR MINIMIZE FUTURE RISKS, PLEASE CONTACT A BUSINESS WEALTH LAWYER.

Call our office today to schedule an Online Assessment of your business, and if you mention this article by name, we will waive our customary initial consultation fee. Be sure to use this opportunity to ensure that you are receiving the maximum benefit of your online advertisements. Call (919) 468-3266 or email mark@ishmanlegal.com. For additional information on this topic as well as other related topics, please visit www.IshmanLaw.com and www.IshmanLegal.com.

Does Your Estate Plan Address Your Digital Assets?

Each day new technology is introduced and adopted into our daily lives. For example, it is hard to imagine that the iPhone® was first introduced to us in 2007. Five years later, most of us have either adopted it, or a like android cellular phone, into our daily lives.

This should make you wonder what other technology have you adopted into your daily lives:

Facebook®, Twitter®, MySpace® and other like social media websites;
LinkedIn® and other professional media websites;
iTunes® and other digital media online retail accounts;
GMAIL® and like e-mail accounts,
Flickr® and other like photo websites
Online bank accounts;
Online trading accounts;
Online medical accounts;
Online insurance accounts.

With all of these digital assets incorporated into your daily life, you should quickly realize that you do embrace technology, and that it is highly certain that you will continue to do so in the future.

This should also make you realize that your digital assets should be incorporated into your family trust and estate plan. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is to tell your loved ones where to find your assets. In our digital world, we are accruing a large volume of digital assets that we should address in our estate plan. Otherwise, your digital assets may be permanently deleted or frozen. For example:

Facebook® is the most popular social media website today. Did you know that upon your death, Facebook will not provide your login information to your account to anyone.

eTrade® is one of the most popular online trading websites. Did you know that when you open an eTrade account, you are required to notify eTrade immediately upon your death. Otherwise, eTrade may freeze your account.

Gmail is one of the most popular free email accounts. Did you know that it is Google’s policy to rarely grant access to a deceased person’s Gmail account.

Flickr® is the most popular photo sharing website. Did you know that upon your death, Flickr can immediately delete your account and all of your photos.

If you are like most people, you have at least one of the above accounts. After reading this article, you know that you need to discuss your digital assets with a family wealth lawyer who is aware of these digital legacy issues so that your loved ones will not be at a lost upon your death. In today’s digital evolution, your estate plan must now include your user names and passwords to all of your digital assets. Otherwise, as noted above, most companies will not share your user name and passwords to your loved ones after your death. If you do not address your digital assets in your estate plan, then your digital assets may be frozen, and in some circumstances, deleted permanently.

If you do not have an estate plan, addressing your digital assets should be one of your many priorities when implementing it. If you already have an estate plan, then it probably does not address your digital assets. Under either scenario, we can assist you in addressing your digital assets into your family wealth plan. We draft custom documents for you and do not use outdated forms like traditional estate planning attorneys. Use this opportunity to ensure that your family can locate and access all of your digital assets, including your online bank, credit-card and investment accounts, important documents, such as your will, websites and blogs you use, online bills, email accounts and business documents. Call our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session, and if you mention this article by name, we will waive our customary fee. Call (919) 468-3266 or email mark@ishmanlegal.com. For additional information on this topic as well as other related topics, please visit www.IshmanLaw.com, www.IshmanLegal.com and www.NCestateLawyer.com.