Though we are a California based firm, through our membership association of over 190 independent highly-rated law firms worldwide, we provide clients with representation throughout the US and the world.
Representing Businesses and Their Owners
Since its inception, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP has focused its practice to provide a full range of services to businesses and their owners.
A Commitment to the Community
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP believes it’s not enough to merely provide exceptional service and advice to our clients. We also have a duty to serve the community.
We Have The Professionalism Of
25 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH OVER 100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP was established in 1994 by William H. Coleman and Darryl J. Horowitt.
Latest In The News
CART Law Lab Students Visit Coleman & Horowitt
Continuing the tradition, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP once again hosted a group of students for the CART Law Lab Job Shadowing day. This year’s visit was organized by Keith White, Kelsey Seib, and Stephanie Dunn. The day started off with a tour of the office and highlighted necessary requirements for a functioning law firm. After the tour, the students went to the conference room for breakfast and to listen to the scheduled speakers. First, Brady McGuinness spoke to the students about his work with real estate law and how he wears a variety of “hats” as a transactional attorney and real estate broker. Next, Sherrie Flynn spoke about Intellectual Property Law, including her work with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Sheryl Noel discussed current issues in employment law, workers compensation, and her work with debt collection. Stephanie Dunn discussed different undergraduate majors and the various paths one can take prior to attending law school, as well as, estate planning and transactional work. Kelsey Seib went over Bankruptcy law, her experience as a young lawyer, and what it is like to go to court. Darryl Horowitt spoke about running a law firm, the challenges that can arise, and the rewards that come with working with a great group of people, attorneys and staff included. Jennifer Poochigian spoke about her work as a litigator and the Appeals process. Paul Parvanian focused on his teaching experience and the differences between an attorney and a paralegal. During lunch Keith, Kelsey, and Stephanie opened it up to questions and shared memorable stories and life lessons. Coleman & Horowitt is happy to have been able to participate again this year and hopes to one day welcome the CART students into the legal arena.view the article
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The USPTO’s Fraudulent Trademark Problem is Receiving Attention
On December 3, 2019, Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, chaired the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee hearing entitled “Fraudulent Trademarks: How They Undermine the Trademark System and Harm American Consumers and Businesses.” The hearing focused on ways to address fraudulent trademark filings, which have increased, particularly fraudulent filings by companies in China. According to Professor Barton Beebe, one of five witnesses who testified at the hearing, the problem is so great that “[t]wo-thirds of the applications filed in 2017 in Class 25 (apparel) were fraudulent in nature, and yet 60% of those were approved for publication by the USPTO, and 39% proceeded to registration.” Although a rule change in August, which requires foreign trademark applicants to use U.S. Counsel, appears to have impacted the problem, it is not expected to go away. To further combat the problem witness Douglas A. Rettew of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabrow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, recommended that Congress implement a legislative fix to the erosion of the rebuttable presumption that the holder of a trademark faces irreparable harm and is entitled to injunctive relief from a trademark infringer. Since the decision in eBay v. MercExchange, the rebuttable presumption that federal courts afforded to holders of trademarks has declined – such that some federal courts no longer even utilize it. Mr. Retew argued that restoring the presumption would provide clarity to litigants and allow trademark holders to stop infringement by fraudulent registrants. Other methods discussed to address fraudulent registration were decreasing the standard to prove fraud, creating specialized examiners, and allowing the USPTO Director to initiate the reexamination of marks. Although no specific policy proposals have been championed, yet, this is the second hearing on the issue and legislative fixes appear forthcoming, especially given the current trade war. If you suspect that your trademark is being infringed by fraudulent marks, or desire to check a trademark prior to starting or expanding an enterprise, contact Sherrie Flynn, Jennifer Poochigian, or Craig Tristao to inquire about Colemen & Horowitt LLP’s intellectual property services.view the article
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Central Valley Regional Water Board investigating Manure Pond Depth to Groundwater for Certain Dairies
This blog is re-posted from the Milk Producers Council Newsletter. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Abernathy at the Milk Producers Council or Lee N. Smith or Craig Tristao of our office.. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) officials confirmed Thursday that they are in the process of contacting about 70 dairies to investigate whether their manure retention ponds are in direct contact with groundwater. Some dairies have already reported receiving the letters, which order them to submit technical reports to help determine whether their ponds intersect the water table. Regional Board officials said the effort is focused in an area of the northern San Joaquin Valley known for historically shallow water tables, near communities like Hilmar, Turlock and Merced. The targeted area appears to include parts of Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin Counties. Initial reports indicate that the Regional Board is giving dairies until July 31 to respond to their request for information determining whether the dairy’s pond intersects. The letters require affected dairies to have a licensed civil engineer or land surveyor prepare a “Groundwater Separation Study,” which would include the elevation of the land surface near the lagoon, the lowest part of the top embankment, depth of groundwater below ground surface, “highest anticipated groundwater,” and a comparison of the elevation of the bottom of the lagoon to highest anticipated groundwater. If the ponds intersect groundwater or highest anticipated groundwater, the Regional Board is asking dairies to respond by October 31 with a “remedial workplan” including a time schedule for “elimination of the threats to groundwater associated with this condition.” The October 31 deadline appears to be for submitting the plan, and the letters to not state a specific deadline for when affected dairies would have to fully implement the remedial workplan. However, they would have to propose a time schedule for doing so. Milk Producers Council has requested additional information and is closely monitoring the situation; and will provide updates as developments warrant.view the article
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If A Patent Is expired, Can It Be Used Freely By Everybody?
It is important to remember that a patent does not give anybody the right to do what the patent covers. For example, if I had a patent on a more effective delivery system for MDMA or LSD, having a patent doesn’t change the fact that those drugs are considered Schedule 1 and illegal under almost every circumstance — meaning that my delivery system couldn’t be used even though I had a patent on it. While a patent doesn’t give the patentee the right to practice the invention, it does give them the right to sue people to stop them from using the invention (or to recover financial damages). The expiration of a patent simply means that the owner of that patent can no longer sue anybody for using the inventions claimed in the patent. Those things together mean that the impact of expiration of a patent on the ability to freely copy what was patented is limited. Taking the game “monopoly” as an example, the game was initially covered by a patent, by copyright, and by trademark law (though it does seem likely that recent Supreme Court decisions may have rendered that game not patentable today). When the patent expired, the copyright and trademark in the game remained in place. So while a company could sell a game with the same game-play mechanics that were claimed in the patent without fear of being sued for infringing the patent, that company could still be sued if they violate the copyright to the game or call it “Monopoly”. The bottom line is that the expiration of a patent simply means that the patent is no longer in play (sometimes subject to revival for unintentional or unavoidable delay in paying maintenance fees). However, there are other intellectual property rights (copyright, trade secret, trademark, trade dress, state-level trademarks, rights of publicity, etc.) that can give rise to significant liability. The expiration of the patent will not impact those other rights. The mere expiration of a patent does not mean that anybody can freely practice everything in the patent until they are satisfied (preferably by a lawyer’s opinion letter) that what they intend to do is (a) legal, and (b) does not violate any other IP rights. The other thing about patents is that it is common for a single patent application to result in numerous patents. There is even a thing called a “terminal disclaimer” that is used when a second patent claims something not significantly different than the first patent. Because patent maintenance fees are expensive, infrequently a patent owner will allow one patent to go expired for non-payment of fees, counting on other patents in the family to cover the same material. You’ll want to go to https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair and look up the expired patent. First, make sure it is really expired. Second, check the “continuity” tab and see if there are other patents still in force (or pending applications) in that patent family. Perhaps most importantly, you need to seek proper legal advice. A good IP lawyer should be able to walk you through it. It is tough to provide a firm answer in the abstract, and the facts specific to what you want to do will be critical in having a lawyer give you the right answer.view the article
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U.S. Supreme Court Holds That A Copyright Claimant May Not File Infringement Suit Until The Copyright Office Registers A Copyright
Although an author automatically gains copyright protection for her work immediately upon the work’s creation, an author may not file an infringement action in court until “registration of the copyright has been made” in accordance with the Copyright Act. The Supreme Court was recently called upon to resolve a split amongst the circuit courts regarding when registration of a copyright is deemed made. Some circuits held that a registration of a copyright is made as soon as the claimant delivers the required application, copies of the work, and fee to the Copyright Office; other circuits held that registration is made only after the Copyright Office reviews and registers the copyright. The Supreme Court in Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com,LLCresolved the split by holding that registration occurs, and a copyright claimant may commence an infringement suit, when the Copyright Office registers a copyright. The Court further held that, upon registration of the copyright, however, a copyright owner can recover for infringement that occurred both before and after registration. Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation is an online news producer that licensed articles to Wall-Street.com, LLC, a news website. The license agreement required Wall-Street to remove from its website all content produced by Fourth Estate before canceling the agreement. Wall-Street canceled, but continued to display articles produced by Fourth Estate. Fourth Estate sued Wall-Street and its owner for copyright infringement. Because the Copyright Office had not yet acted on Fourth Estate’s registration applications, the District Court, on Wall-Street’s motion, dismissed the complaint. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal. The Supreme Court’s ruling of course has no effect on the statutory scheme that allows for preregistration infringement suits to be filed in limited circumstances. Claimants are still allowed to bring suits under those statutes, provided that they eventually make registration as required to maintain their suits. The Court’s ruling in Fourth Street means that many copyright suits currently in progress are not ripe for adjudication and can likely be dismissed on motion. It is also important to note that, while the Court’s ruling allows claimants to sue for infringement occurring prior to registration, nothing provides for the tolling of the statute of limitations while the Copyright Office processes registration. With a three-year statute of limitations for copyright infringement, and an average application processing time of seven months, parties should not delay in getting their applications on file.view the article