Erie Business Law - October 2020 814-315-9255

October 2020

OVERCOMING FEARS OF THE UNKNOWN The Key Rests With Knowing and Preparing

Boo! Halloween is coming up. It’s time for ghosts, goblins, and delicious candy corn! Halloween has me thinking about fear. Fear is something we experience in our lives, intentionally or not, and it has been on my mind. When I was about 15 years old, I went to a haunted house that was so terrifying that I ran out the fire exit halfway through. It occurs to me now, as an adult, that the whole reason haunted houses are scary is because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Your imagination gets the best of you and contemplates what horrible things could happen to you as you’re walking through. Of course, even knowing this, as you round the corner, flashing lights, loud noises, and something jumping at you all overwhelm you with fear. That’s why I ran out of the building — I thought I was going to get murdered regardless of all the evidence to the contrary. (Has it occurred to you that dead people can’t leave Yelp reviews?) Something I think about quite often is, what would happen if I had a tour guide leading me through that haunted house? Even before entering the building, they would tell me what to expect in the first room, and what to expect in the room after that, etc. That tour guide would eliminate the unknown factor. All the lights, noises, and unexpected surprises would still occur, but because I would know what was coming next, the fear would go away. It’s the same when you’re running a business. Being a business owner involves many unknowns, especially making important decisions about your company. However, if you know and prepare for what’s heading your way, those decisions are not as daunting.

At Erie Business Law, we are the tour guides for business owners. We try to walk people through the process, explaining what we think will happen and what they can do to prepare for it. The people we help don’t have to run looking for the nearest exit in the middle of their trip. As trusted advisors for business owners, we pride ourselves on using our experience in business to help others. Our team knows what it’s like to face these unknowns and overcome the fears that come with them, and our success is evidence of that. In the last month or so, we’ve added three team members to our team despite being in one of the most uncertain times in our lives. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we continue to grow by 25%–30%. At Erie Business Law, we know how to face overwhelming fears and conquer them. If you feel trapped in a haunted house with nowhere to go but the fire exit, call our office. We can help you get a better idea of what lies in wait in the rooms ahead.

“What would happen if I had a tour guide leading me through that haunted house?”

–Adam Williams | 1

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CATCHPHRASE! 6 Things Celebrities Tried to Trademark — and Some Who Succeeded

Blue Ivy was already using the name. Plus, Jay-Z mentioned to the media that their intention was to prevent others from using it. The trademark was denied. Kylie This generic trademark was filed by Kylie Jenner (of the Kardashians and Jenners). Her intention was to use her trademarked name for marketing purposes. The trademark was denied, and Jenner even ended up in a brief legal battle with singer Kylie Minogue. ‘Let’s get ready to rumble!’ One of the most well-known catchphrases of all time was successfully trademarked in 1992 by its creator, boxing announcer Michael Buffer. Even better, it’s made Buffer a very wealthy man. To date, he has made nearly $500 million dollars by licensing the trademark. ‘Rock Star From Mars’ Back in 2011, actor Charlie Sheen had a very public meltdown. During the episode, he

rambled off countless phrases such as “Duh, winning,” “tiger blood,” and “rock star from Mars.” In the end, he tried to trademark a total of 22 phrases, but all were rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. ‘You’re fired!’ Donald Trump is known for many things, including emblazoning his name on everything he owns. Long before he was president and while host of “The Apprentice,” he filed a trademark on the show’s catchphrase. It was denied because it was too close to a preexisting (and trademarked) board game called You’re Hired. ‘BAM!’ TV chef Emeril Lagasse was a pioneer in the world of cooking shows. He popularized cooking on TV and captivated audiences by exclaiming one simple phrase every time he added an ingredient to whatever he was making: “BAM!” Naturally, he trademarked his signature phrase, but he doesn’t discourage people from using it as long as they keep it in the kitchen.

Celebrities love to trademark all sorts of things for one simple reason: People associate certain words with the celebrity’s brand, and the celebrity wants to protect that. It makes sense from a business perspective, but sometimes, it can get a little silly. Read on to see what the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office gave its blessing to and which trademarks it outright refused to create. Blue Ivy Carter Just days before their first daughter was born in 2012, Beyoncé and Jay-Z filed for a trademark on her name. The problem was that a wedding planning company called

3 Great Apps to Maintain Your Mental Health at Home

MoodMission ( If you’re struggling with mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, you may feel like this free, evidence-based app was designed just for you. MoodMission asks you a series of questions to assess how you’re feeling, then suggests a series of “missions” you can complete to help you get into a better state of mind. Missions are short, achievable tasks, like taking a walk around the block or cleaning up a room in your home. Of course, like all the apps listed here, it is not a replacement for professional mental health care, but it offers evidence- based exercises and a level of support that’s not often found in smartphone apps.

When you lead a busy lifestyle, mental health often takes a back seat to other pressing matters. Thankfully, there are a number of easy-to-use apps to help address this concern. Even if you’re pressed for time, these apps can help you maintain your mental health. And if you’re just looking for some simple resources to guide you through mood-boosting exercises, they’ve got you covered there too. Moodfit ( Think of this app as a fitness tracker for your mind. The mood tracker allows you to record your moods and thoughts and follow trends and changes over time. You can look at these trends yourself or set the app to monitor specific areas of your mood. This highly customizable app is packed with tools and resources to help you with your mental health. In addition to the mood tracker, Moodfit offers a range of breathing exercises and a guide to mindfulness meditation.

where you schedule an appointment and meet in person, Talkspace allows its user to communicate with their therapist through the app’s encrypted messaging system. It also allows you to request a check-in from your therapist and provides a place for them to upload your therapy notes. Talkspace is more costly than some other apps, but depending on your specific needs, it may be worth it.

Talkspace ( While this app contains a number of

mental health tools, its primary purpose is to connect you quickly with one of the company’s thousands of licensed and experienced therapists you can message on a regular basis. Unlike traditional therapy

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Orson Welles Recounts ‘The War of the Worlds’

On the evening of Oct. 30, 1938, an eloquent voice graced the airwaves in New Jersey:

“We now know in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man’s, and yet as mortal as his own. We now know as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns, they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water …” And so began Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast, a retelling of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.” Peppered in the retelling were fictional news bulletins informing the public of an alien invasion. Martians had arrived in New Jersey! Some listeners, who had missed the fact that this was a retelling of “The War of the Worlds,” assumed the news bulletins were the real thing. Frenzied, they called local police, newspapers, and radio stations hoping for more information about the invasion. What were they supposed to do? Higher-ups at the CBS radio studio where Welles delivered the live reading called and told him he needed to stop and remind listeners that this was a work of fiction. The panic, it seemed, was growing as the Martians “approached” New York. A little later that night, police showed up at the studio with the intent of shutting the whole thing down.


Inspired by

These adorable chocolate-dipped strawberry ghosts will be the stars of your Halloween party!


The next day, the story broke

• 1 package mini dark chocolate chips

• 16 oz white chocolate, chopped • 24 strawberries

across the country —

newspapers reported on mass hysteria and stories poured out


that the nation had erupted in panic. However, as we now know, the extent of the panic was exaggerated. In fact, the program didn’t even have very many listeners that night, and most who had tuned in were aware they were listening to a radio play rather than a news broadcast. American University media historian W. Joseph Campbell, who researched the broadcast in the 2000s, found that while there had been some panic, most listeners simply enjoyed the show. It turns out the person who was the most frightened was Welles himself who thought his career had come to an end.

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate at 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove it and stir, then repeat the process until melted. 2. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper. 3. One by one, dip the strawberries into the melted white chocolate and set them on the parchment. Allow the extra chocolate to pool to form a “tail” effect. 4. Before the chocolate coating fully cools, add three mini chocolate

chips to each berry to form two eyes and a mouth. 5. Let chocolate set, then serve your spooky snacks! | 3

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814-315-9255 425 West 10th St. Erie, PA 16502 INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Don’t Run for the Fire Exit

The Weird Things Celebs Tried to Trademark The Best Mental Health Apps You Can Use From Home


Spooky Strawberry Ghosts What Really Happened the Night Martians Invaded New Jersey?



False Halloween Myths Perpetuated by the Media


of a child being poisoned. In 1974, a father hid cyanide in his son’s candy in Texas, leading to the child’s death. It was discovered that the father was attempting to collect life insurance to ease his $100,000 debt. THC THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and it’s the chemical that makes people high. In more recent years, there have been an increasing number of stories spread on social media about THC-laced candy or edibles being found in kids’ candy bags. There are also news stories of THC-laced candy being found during warranted searches. However, that’s as far as the story goes, at least when it comes to Halloween. In 2019, police in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, warned parents to be on the lookout for THC-laced candies after they found some

For many people, Halloween is the time of year when certain spooky myths and superstitions come alive. It’s when we hear stories of black cats and bad luck or ghosts in the attic. But there are some recent myths that often get perpetuated by both mainstream and social media — stories that frighten parents and create an anxious, fearful atmosphere. Razor Blades and Poison For a long time, the “razor blades in candy” has been a go-to media story. Every year around Halloween, you’re sure to see your local news running a segment that encourages parents to check their kids’ candy for tampering so their children don’t swallow razor blades or poison. There have been zero substantiated cases of any child or parent finding a razor blade hidden in the chocolate and nougat. There has, however, been one lone case

in a bust. While the warning was certainly valid, nothing ever came of it.

Should you check your child’s candy? Most definitely! It’s always good to check just in case, though the danger is negligible. That said, kids should never take unwrapped or homemade treats while trick-or-treating. This has less to do with hidden razors and more to do with simply not knowing what’s in those items, such as potential allergens.

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