Nashville Business Law Blog

What's In A Name?

Do you know the laws and legal steps you must take in order to change your name? In Tennessee, it's actually pretty simple, but you do have to follow certain steps and check a few boxes. All these rules can be found in Tennessee Code Title 29 Chapter 8. This statute sets out the procedure of what to file where and the requirements you must meet. We will explore some of the nuances below.

Pardon My Impeachment

With the recent developments concerning the impeachment of Donald Trump, what better time for a refresher course in Constitutional Law and the parameters surrounding the process of impeachment, and the validity of the President's claim that he would simply pardon himself if he were to be impeached. We're here to unpack all of it . . . right here in the Blink Tank. 

Express Easement

An easement is a non-possessory interest in land owned by another. The holder of the easement interest has limited use or enjoyment of the land without interference form the property owner. The holder of the easement (the person or property benefiting from the easement) is known as the dominant estate. The property owner whose land the easement is on is the servient estate.

Nashville real estate developers are using outdoor space wisely

One of the goals of any development is to bring in as much traffic as possible. The more attractive a real estate project is to the target market, the more likely they are to frequent it and use the facilities it contains whether they be retail, office or some other type of property. For this reason, Nashville real estate developers are beginning to pay more attention to the outdoor, public spaces of their projects.

Giving people a reason to remain at an establishment longer than they ordinarily would may increase business. Putting in places to sit and enjoy a beverage, browse their social media, make calls and respond to emails, and watch their children play could mean people will linger and revisit the establishments inside. With mixed-use buildings and communities on the rise, a developer may not have the luxury of neglecting this space.

Would your company benefit from environmental insurance?

Few things are guaranteed in life. Some would say this is the primary purpose behind insurance policies. They provide protection from those events in life for which there is no guarantee of escaping unscathed. Nashville business owners know this, so they purchase policies that pertain to their industry. If a company could experience events that cause contamination to the air, water, soil, animals or people, then environmental insurance might help mitigate any losses associated with it.

No matter how carefully a piece of property is assessed for environmental contaminants, there is no guarantee that an issue will not arise at some point in the future. Even remediation and cleanup may not be done in a way that rids the property of 100% of the contaminants. Having an insurance policy to help cover the costs of cleanup, business interruption and more could make the difference between keeping a business on a successful track and closure.

Holiday Parenting Time

Tis the season... to fight over your kids. When going through a divorce or custody proceeding, one thing parents must decide is how they wish to share time during the holidays. This means that you have to know how you want to spend every holiday and school-free day well out in advance - and then you're stuck with that schedule until your child is 18 years old.

Commercial real estate: Scrutinize what's included in CAM fees

Most commercial tenants end up paying at least some common area maintenance fees whether they rent space here in Nashville or elsewhere. However, that does not mean that a commercial tenant should not scrutinize that portion of the commercial real estate lease prior to signing it. Since these costs make up part of the rent, it is important not to pay more than necessary or to pay for something that may not ordinarily be considered a common area maintenance item.

CAMs, as they are commonly referred to, commonly include items such as routine maintenance, repairs and insurance, but landlords may attempt to include other items as well. The property owner may require tenants to pay a portion of the buildings insurance and taxes, for example. Sharing these costs with tenants may seem reasonable, but without fully understanding what it is a commercial tenant is supposed to help pay for, the property owner could include just about anything relating to the ownership and upkeep of the building.

Drycleaners must take care to comply with environmental laws

Before the rise of the home washing machine, many people hired their washing and laundry out to a professional. While it is now much easier to handle laundry at home than it once was, the wet washing process you rely on from standard laundry washing machines, as well as the forced air heat of most dryers, can do irreparable damage to some kinds of clothing or fabrics.

People often still need to use professional cleaning services, such as dry cleaning services, to handle heirloom, luxury or specialty clothing. Even small towns can usually support one or more professional dry cleaning companies, making them a solid business investment. Whether you already own a dry cleaning business or want to purchase or open one, you need to be aware of the environmental laws that guide dry cleaning companies.

Intellectual property matters: The provisional patent

Nashville inventors spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their prototypes. Once they reach a certain point, they may require the assistance of third parties, but want to protect their intellectual property rights. Whether the issue is money or the need to perfect an invention first, a provisional patent could provide some form of protection during this process.

Sometimes, the key is to get there first, and this can be especially true when it comes to patents. Filing for a provisional patent could secure a filing date for when the inventor is ready to go through the nonprovisional filing process. Specifically, if the patent application is filed within a year of the provisional patent application, he or she receives the benefit of the PPA date.

Protecting intellectual property in the video game world

Nashville gamers will more than likely recognize the name Riot Games. Part of why they recognize the name is due to its trademark, which the company says is under fire from an esports group called Riot Squad. Riot Games decided to take steps to protect its intellectual property by filing a trademark infringement claim against Riot Squad. 

The crux of the lawsuit centers around the use of the word "riot" in the esports group's name. Participants compete in events relating to video games. It appears that Riot Games believes it should have exclusive use of the word riot, which is integral to its branding. However, when looking at the two logos for the companies, there is no blatantly apparent similarity other than the use of that word.

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