View Full Version : www.legalzoom.com?
11-20-2008, 10:18 AM
Does everyone trademark their haunt name? Has anyone used www.legalzoom.com to trademark their haunt name? Is there another company that would be better or are they pretty much the same? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
11-20-2008, 03:36 PM
Never used legalzoom, but if they make the process easy I'd say it's worth it. I haven't trademarked my haunt name because I don't have a haunt, haha. But if I did, it'd be high on the list of things to do. It may not actually stop someone from using your name, but then you have legal recourse should someone decide to. I think technically if you can prove you used it first it's considered your intellectual property and you don't really need a trademark....but having a trademark can sure back you up. A lot of people will back down at the mere mention of a lawsuit. This also helps if someone decides to squat on your haunt's domain name and force you to buy it. If it's your trademark, there are legal ways around this. Remember you're not just trademarking the name but the logo as well. This can also prevent people from making merchandise with your logo on it and selling it.
11-20-2008, 03:51 PM
We used it to incorporate. We're small by comparison to many of you folks, but we didn't want anyone to break their little toe on something and end up with our home and everything else, either (ugh! now THAT'S scary!)
We had some friends recommend legal zoom, and the process was painless and easy. We had to pay a little more for our state's fees, etc. but it was more affordable than a visit with a lawyer. I was able to find out that our paperwork was well prepared and seemed to cover everything for our business.
We went LLC, to protect our personal asses (um, sorry! assets)
Hope this helps in some way! We got on the ball after another friend of ours in the maze biz had a customer break her pinky finger on a slide, sued his insurance for $95,000 and WON! He was LLC, and was protected from the suit she filed.
11-20-2008, 04:54 PM
Such a discussion on here in the past came up with the news that not every state or every judge thinks LLC's are protection and can just throw out such a defense.
11-20-2008, 08:55 PM
Back in the day, we worked for PHDs Proffessional Engineers and so forth, everyone had all kinds of letters behind their names so, we cut out little diplomas out of Reader's Digest Magazine for restaurant management, drafting, computer sciences, automotive tech, hair stylist and so forth, everyone picked the ones they liked and put them up on the wall.
Behind my name for years were the letters SOE. Maybe 5 years later someone writing a report called to clarify. Is that Systems Operations Engineer or what? No dude, it's Scum Of the Earth. It's been on my reports for 5 years. It has gotten all the way to the congressional record. People were laughing so hard on the speaker phone for half an hour unable to breath.
I fear that legally, something obtained on the Interweb is about as powerful and recognized as something cut out of Reader's Digest.
11-20-2008, 10:10 PM
The last Reader's Digest I had needed an operation, it had a tumor of thicker papers stapled inside it advertising alot of crap.
"Cut it out! Cut it out!"
I guess it was all from something it couldn't digest?
11-21-2008, 09:01 AM
They only do a search, prepare the paperwork and submit the application. Only the government can give you the Trademark. I used them for my trademark application and forming an LLC. Much cheaper than lawyers and great service from my experience. The trademark takes forever to come through once it's in the government's hands, you can track it's progress through the government's system online. I think mine took something like 13 months. I have an official document issued from the United States Patent and Trademark office not from Legal zoom.
Here is their website and will tell you all you need to know.
Good luck if you go that route.
11-22-2008, 02:42 PM
A judge cannot just throw out he legal protection an LLC provides btw. Typically when it happens it because the managing partner(s) used/treated the business like their piggy bank. Co-mingling assets, funds etc without clear lines of delineation between personal assets and business assets could cause your opposition to argue that it really wasn't a business and therefore you should not be afforded the protections of an LLC. It can also happen with an S-Corp mind you. Its just that the characteristics of an S-corp tend to provide some separation innately.
Bottomline, make sure you keep good records and run your business like a business and your LLC should be fine.
12-01-2008, 08:12 PM
It's been a while since I took a course on trademarks and copyright, but from what I remember, you cannot trademark generic type words like "Haunted House" or "Scary Haunted House" or "Haunted House of Terror" or "Terror Manor" or even "the haunted mansion". After all, those words were public domain before you tried to protect them. However, if you spell it differently and make it unique, you can protect it, so "Hauntville" or "Frightland" could get protection. I know a non-sports magazine called NonSports Update that got a trademark for their magazine, but then they tried to stop other people from using the term "nonsport", they couldn't. Just as Xerox can trademark their name, they cannot trademark the term "photocopy". Web domain names are another matter completely, whowever asks for it first gets it.
12-03-2008, 01:00 PM
That's where Legal Zoom helped me. They put a special disclaimer saying I was seeking no claim to the word "Haunted". Only when used in conjunction and in front of the word "Overload" could the name be trademarked and it worked. Without that wording I would have been denied by the trademark office and lost all my money.
You're right though, two common words like Haunted Mansion wouldn't fly with them.
12-03-2008, 02:48 PM
"Stinky Underware" is too common to do this with, but maybe "Haunted Stinky Underware" would be a "Go"?
"Underware haunted by stink?"
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