An Introduction To Wills

Whether you have dependents or are just getting older, then you should really consider writing a will. However, the process is not quite as simple as writing down your wishes on a piece of paper. To help you understand how the process of creating a will works, here is a brief overview of the subject:

What is a will really?

The popular perception is that a will is just a piece of paper that explains how the estate of someone will be distributed upon their death. While this is generally true, the legal definition of a will is a little more precise. A will is pretty ineffective until it has been given something known as probate.

What is probate?

Once an individual dies, their will is not immediately executed. First it must be judged by a court in a process known as probate. If the will is found to be valid by the court, then probate will be granted and the will may be executed.

In some cases, wills are found to be illegitimate for one reason or another. Perhaps the will was written while in an unsound state of mind or perhaps part or all of the will was forged. In these cases (and others), the will may not be granted probate or may be contested. In some cases, the court will hear claims from both sides and the executor may determine which interest most closely aligns with the intent of the deceased. 

Do you need a lawyer to write a will?

A will may be created without the help of a lawyer, but it is recommended that you at least consult a lawyer during the process. If you write a will without the aid of a lawyer, then you may accidentally use imprecise or incorrect language. This might result in your estate being distributed in a manner that goes against your wishes or may result in the government taking a cut. In other cases, the will not be signed correctly, which means that it won’t be executed. It is fairly easy to contest wills that were created improperly.

A lawyer can also help you protect your will until you die. If your will is written on a piece of paper that you keep somewhere in your house, then it might get lost or it simply might never be found after you die. By using a lawyer, you ensure that your will can be executed. Contact a company like Wilson Deege Despotovich Riemenschneider & Rittgers for more information.

How To Write A Patent Description

One of the most important parts of your patent filing is the description. The description is going to be what the courts are going to base any patent infringement cases on should there be an issue, so you need to make sure that your description is complete. You are also going to make sure that you follow the correct format in order to make sure that your paperwork is accepted the first time and so that you won’t have to redo it. Follow these steps. 

1. Have a Title

The top line of your description is going to need to include the name of your idea or invention. This name should describe your idea and invention and what it is able to do. 

2. Be Clear About the Field Your Invention Falls Into

Next, you are going to want to label the field in which your invention falls. Write an explanation of each field that you think that it could fall into. For example, you might create an invention that uses computers, so it would fall into the Manufacturing field, as well as the Technology field.

3. Write Background

The background information should include any information that a person will need to find your invention in a search engine’s database. You will also need to include any information that people might need to examine your invention, such as photographs.

4. Complete the Prior Art

You are also going to have to write a short passage about any problems that past inventors or thinkers might have had with your particular idea. For example, one of the main obstacles that people ran into when they were building the airplane is that they didn’t know how to get enough fuel on board for a flight without sinking the airplane due to the large amount of weight. This statement is called the prior art. Once you have written out all of the potential obstacles to your idea or obstacles that scientists and other inventors might have had in the past, you will want to write how your invention solved these problems and avoided the obstacles.

5. Write the Description

Finally, you are going to want to write a detailed description of how your project works. You want to include how each of the pieces fit together, the precise amounts of any chemical compounds that you might have used, and a description of the materials that you used to make each piece. You want to provide a detailed enough description so that someone else would be able to recreate you invention. This will provide you with a greater level of legal protection. 

For more information, talk to a patent attorney, such as one from Hamilton IP Law PC.

3 Reasons Your Home Business Needs a Corporate Attorney Now

When you’re just starting out with your home business, getting a lawyer might be the last thing on your mind. However, a good corporate attorney can save you money and help you avoid problems with your business. Here are some reasons to consider getting a business lawyer right away.

Determining Business Entity

You may just want to sell your products, but you will eventually have to file taxes for your business. A lawyer will likely not advise you on the particulars of your tax returns, but they have a critical role in establishing your company as the right kind of business entity. Should you operate your business as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability corporation? A corporate attorney will be able to provide you with the benefits and drawbacks of each option, so that you can structure yours appropriately.

Entering into Contracts

Even as a new home business, you are going to have to enter into contracts with suppliers and other companies to get your work done. A good corporate attorney can help you look over any contract before you sign it, and will make sure that there are provisions in the contract to protect your interests. That way, more established companies don’t take advantage of you, and you can be sure that you are fairly treated.

If you decide to take on a partner, a corporate lawyer will help you draw up papers to keep things fair and equitable between you. The lawyer will also make sure that you and the partner have a clear exit strategy, should you ever need one.

Dealing with Employees and Independent Contractors

Even if you are the only person working in your business, if you plan to be successful with your business, you will soon be hiring employees or independent contractors. A corporate lawyer can help you work up agreements for them to sign when they first start working with you. These agreements can protect you and your company in the event of a problem. You may not think there will be any problem if you hire a friend, for example, but if your friend becomes hurt while doing a task for you and wants you to pay their medical bills, having a signed arrangement to rely on may help you avoid high court and medical costs.

Now that you have some idea of how a corporate attorney can benefit your home business even as you’re just starting out, talk to a few corporate lawyers like Strauss Troy. You will soon find one that can work well with you and help you with your business.

5 Somewhat Outlandish Claims For Trademark Rights

A trademark can be defined as many things, including a symbol, name, word, or mascot. It is something that distinguishes your products, services and goods from competitors. While most people tend to think that companies request to trademark crucially important things, such as company names and logos, the truth of the matter is that there are some truly bizarre requests for trademark rights. Here are four of them:

Paris Hilton – “That’s Hot”

Pairs Hilton, a popular former reality star and heir to the Hilton hotel chain, used a very popular phrase on her TV show: “That’s hot”. She ended up applying to trademark this phrase. Surprisingly, it was approved. Her current trademarks are for multi-media entertainment, clothing and alcoholic beverages. She pursued a lawsuit against Hallmark after they used her trademarked phrase and her image on a birthday card. She won.

Boise State University – Blue Football Field

Boise State University has had a blue football field for years. They decided to pursue an application for trademark rights of their blue turf, which is commonly known as the Smurf Turf. Boise State University had their application approved to trademark their unusually-colored football field. By owning the trademark rights to a blue football field, the university can maintain its uniqueness. Now, schools wanting a similar blue turf must request permission from Boise State. 

Nicole Polizzi – “Snooki”

Even if you don’t watch much television, you are probably aware of the reality show Jersey Shore. One of the main stars in the show, Nicole Polizzi, who goes by Snooki, decided to try and get rights to her nickname. Her application was rejected. Apparently, the name is already trademarked – even though it is spelled differently – by a cartoon cat in a kid’s book who is called Snooky. In these situations, it’s possible to appeal and change the classification for the trademark.

Anthony Davis – “Fear/Raise the Brow”

Most people who watch basketball are very familiar with Anthony Davis and his very popular unibrow. This is particularly true if you were watching college basketball back in 2012 – specifically the Kentucky Wildcats. The catchphrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” were very popular at that time. After his success, he filed an application with the U.S. Trademark Office for exclusive trademark rights to these phrases. He said that his unibrow is unique and he doesn’t want anyone else making money off of his brow. 

If you have invented something and you want to secure the rights to it, it is crucial that you visit with a trademark attorney as soon as possible.