Monday, November 24, 2014

When Should You Use the “TM” or “®” symbols?

If you claim rights to use a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) symbol to alert the public to your claim of a “common-law” mark.  No registration is necessary to use a "TM" or "SM" symbol and those symbols put people on notice that you claim rights in the mark.  You may only use the federal registration symbol "®" after the USPTO actually registers a mark. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Client OM Yoga Studios & Wellness is Featured by the Palm Beach Post

Click below to learn more about my client, OM Yoga & Wellness Studios and its owner, Lourdes Sanchez.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trademark, Patent, or Copyright? What are the Differences?

The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.  A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.  Trademarks are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO").

When you hear or see the term patent, think of invention.  A patent is a property right relating to an invention for a limited period of time.  Patents are also granted by the USPTO and are in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

Copyrights protect works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.  For example, it protects the oil painting, operatic symphony, books, and poetry.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Differences Between an Assignment and Subletting Rental Space

There may come a time during a landlord-tenant relationship when a tenant would like to assign or sublet its space to a third party. While an assignment or subletting space may achieve similar practical results, there is significant legal difference between these two methods of allowing a third party to occupy the rented premises.

An assignment of a lease is a complete transfer of the right to be the tenant under the lease. As such, following the assignment, the new tenant pays the rent required under the lease directly to the landlord and is treated as the tenant under the lease for all intensive purposes. However, the assignor tenant, unless released from liability by the landlord, remains liable for the obligations under the lease if the new tenant defaults. Additionally, the landlord can sue the old tenant for back rent and other obligations imposed by the lease if the new tenant fails to pay or perform as required by the lease. 

When a tenant sublets their rental unit, there is a new lease agreement between the tenant as sublessor and a third party as sublessee for all or a portion of the leased premises. The original lease between the tenant and the landlord remains in place, unaffected by the sublease. In this case, the tenant remains liable for monthly rent under the original lease, while collecting rent from the subtenant under the sublease, which may be more, less or the same as the rent due under the main lease. 

In sum, whether you are a Landlord or Tenant, you should keep these differences in mind when deciding to assign or sublease rental space.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cobbe Law Announcement - Melody E. Cobbe Selected as a 2014 Florida Rising Star by Super Lawyers

Melody E. Cobbe has been selected to the 2014 Florida Rising Stars by Super Lawyers Magazine. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Melody E. Cobbe has been recognized by Super Lawyers since 2011.   

Monday, June 2, 2014

Naming Your Corporation

Before you decide to name your Florida corporation, you might want to consider that it must include "Corporation," "Company," or "Incorporated" or the abbreviation "Corp.," "Inc.," or "Co.," or the designation "Corp," "Inc," or "Co" as part of its name.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Your LLC: Is it Managers by its Members or Managers?

Member-Managed LLC

Essentially, a member-managed LLC functions similar to a partnership and the management and conduct of the LLC is vested in its members. An important consideration is that each member is an agent of the LLC for the purpose of its activities and affairs.  For example, a member’s act, including signing documents in the ordinary course of the LLC’s business, binds the LLC (unless the member did not have authority to act and it would be best to explain this in an operating agreement).

Manager-Managed LLC

A manager-managed LLC is similar to a traditional corporate model (i.e. president running a corporation). The management and conduct of the Company are vested in only its managers.  Each manager has equal rights in the management and conduct of the LLC’s activities and affairs.   As such, only the managers can bind the LLC.   To avoid confusion, you may want to consider giving appropriate titles to clarify the division of responsibility.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Did You Know You Can Download Your Old Tax Returns?

Now you can download your individual tax returns from the last few years directly from the IRS. This might be very helpful for all sorts of reasons, including applying for certain small business loans. To get started just go to

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What is an EIN?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number. An EIN is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN, for example, to open a business bank account.  You can apply for an EIN in various ways, including online.  This is a free service offered by the IRS.  For more information, see

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Forming an Entity?  What is the Difference Between the Principal Address and Mailing Address

When forming an entity, it is important to recognize the distinction between the “principal address” and “mailing address.” The “principal address” is the physical location where the company conducts business and must be physical Florida address (i.e. not a P.O. Box).

However, your “mailing address” does not have to be a Florida address or a physical location (i.e. a P.O. Box can be used).  Instead, the “mailing address” is simply a current and good address where you can be reached at any time.