LegalZoom and Washington State Reach Agreement Over Unauthorized Practice of Law

By Gene Quinn
September 25, 2010

The State of Washington has just entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with LegalZoom relating to charges that LegalZoom is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The Attorney General of the State of Washington initiated an investigation into the business practices of LegalZoom, who offers certain legal forms over the Internet to consumers throughout the United States and including the State of Washington. As a result of this investigation LegalZoom offered and the Attorney General accepted an Assurance of Discontinuance.  The Assurance of Discontinuance is not considered a finding of fact or admission of any violation or the commission of any particular act, but the failure to comply with the Assurance of Discontinuance would constitute prima facie evidence of such violations.  Notwithstanding the unauthorized practice of law charges, LegalZoom was also investigated for turning over sensitive, privately identifying personal and financial information to third parties.

LegalZoom offers a variety of legal forms and, in my opinion, crosses the line from offering a passive form to actually engaging in the practice of law. The primary difficulty, although certainly not the only difficulty, for LegalZoom is that consumers call them and their customer service people provide answers to questions asked. The questions asked sometimes, if not frequently, are legal questions and the responses constituted the provision of legal services without a license to practice law.

The investigation initiated by the State of Washington did not deal with LegalZoom’s patent or trademark service offerings (see Patent Office Disciplinary Actions and Lack Thereof), but rather focused on their wills and probabe legal services. But the most egregious charge leveled against LegalZoom is that they sold, transfered or otherwise disclosed consumer information to third parties. So not only was LegalZoom offering to provide legal services to individuals without a legal license but they seem to have been collecting private information and giving away sensitive, personally identifying information such as financial information, information relating to real or personal property and information relating to family relationships. This screams for further investigation by other State Attorneys General and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Not only does LegalZoom’s advertising lull unsuspecting consumers to believe they are being represented, but what LegalZoom learns during such representation is given away to third parties? If an attorney did that they would lose their license. This is exactly why the unauthorized practice of law cannot be tolerated.

The other claims investigated by the Washington State Attorney General include:

  • LegalZoom comparing, directly or by implication, the costs of their self-help products and clerical services with those provided by an attorney without in close proximity to each such comparison clearly and conspicuously disclosing to Washington consumers that Respondent is not a law firm and it not a substitute for an attorney or law firm.
  • LegalZoom misrepresenting, directly or by implication, the costs, complexity and time required to probate an estate in Washington.
  • LegalZoom misrepresenting, directly or by implication, the benefits or disadvantages of any estate distribution document as compared to any other estate distribution document in Washington.
  • LegalZoom engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, specifically by providing individualized legal advice about a self-help legal form to Washington consumers.
  • LegalZoom failing to offer estate planning legal forms in Washington that conform to Washington law, and to provide information about community property agreements in the education center or similar area of the website for Washington last will and testament customers.
  • LegalZoom failing to have an attorney licensed to practice law in Washington review all self-help estate planning forms offered for sale to Washington consumers.
  • LegalZoom failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose that communications between them and Washington consumers are not protected by the attorney-client or work product privilege.

Again, LegalZoom did not admit to any of these things, but a casual review of their website and business practices suggests that there seems to be more than prima facie evidence to support each of these allegations. In any event, the Assurance of Discontinuance becomes effective on October 1, 2010, so it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are made to LegalZoom.com and to their business practices. If these activities continue then that would be a violation of the Assurance of Discontinuance which would be prima facie evidence of violations that could cost LegalZoom $2,000 per occurrence, which could add up quickly.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 40 Comments comments.

  1. Scott Daniels September 25, 2010 3:52 pm

    Point No. 5 involving ” failing to offer estate planning legal forms in Washington that conform to Washington law” would be especially unfortunate, if true — they are accused not just of unauthorized practice, but also of giving the wrong advise.

    I wonder whether there are any individual lawyers involved? Are there consequences for such individuals, or only for the corporate entity?

    Scott Daniels
    Westerman Hattori Daniels & Adrian

  2. Gene Quinn September 25, 2010 6:01 pm

    Scott-

    On the patent side there are attorneys involved, and I have heard rumors that the USPTO may be looking into those who are involved with LegalZoom. Nothing hard, no inside information, so take it as an unsubstantiated rumor. If it isn’t happening though it should be.

    I don’t think there are any attorneys involved in other LegalZoom services.

    I also know that a couple years ago they were giving erroneous information to trademark customers. I obtained a copy of an e-mail sent to a trademark customer that was advising them incorrectly. See: http://ipwatchdog.com/2009/02/03/legalzoom-continues-unauthorized-practice-of-law/id=1899/. So it doesn’t surprise me that they would be investigated for providing services/forms that are not in conformance with legal requirements.

    I have a suspicion that the end is nearing for LegalZoom. The ongoing class action in Missouri and Washington looking at what they are doing should lead more State Attorneys General to take an interest. Perhaps the USPTO will even become interested at some point, as they should.

    -Gene

  3. Stan E. Delo September 26, 2010 11:28 am

    Gene,
    Mr. McKenna’s going after them should definately get the attention of Commerce Director Gary Locke, who was formerly the Governor of Washington State. Since Locke and Mr. Kappos seem to be in close communication, things might hopefully change fairly soon. Many of the scam outfits will routinely offer *legal* advice, but they are usually careful not to send even an e-mail so they can apparently deny that they said what they did. I investigated a number of these scam outfits a while back, and was always amazed at how slippery they could be.

    Stan E. Delo
    Port Townsend, WA
    stand@olypen.com

  4. Gene Quinn September 26, 2010 2:34 pm

    Stan-

    I sure hope that Secretary Locke and Director Kappos will take an interest. The amazing thing about LegalZoom is they do have e-mail trails. I also suspect that if anyone wanted to confirm that they provide legal advice all they would have to do is call their customer service. Several years ago I did that and was amazed at the inaccurate legal advice given. I was actually told that it was unnecessary to apply for a patent before selling a product. Several different customer service representatives told me that selling had nothing to do with whether a patent could be applied for or obtained. Obviously, that is not correct. Selling before a patent is filed removes all possibility of any foreign rights, and if you sell more than 12 months before filing in the US you would forfeit US rights.

    As Scott says above, while it is alarming they are engaging in what appears quite clearly to be the unauthorized practice of law what is even more troubling is that their advice is incorrect.

    I hope all is well.

    -Gene

  5. Stan E. Delo September 26, 2010 7:23 pm

    Hi Gene,

    Besides Gary Locke being a two-term Governor here fairly recently, he has been an attorney for several decades before then, so LZ’s prior practices will probably offend him as much or more than it does myself. Maybe I can get a message through to him at the Commerce department, to alert him of it if he doesn’t already know. Rob and Gary were both in office at the same time if I recall it correctly, so they probably know each other very well. Come to think of it, maybe I will ask Rob to contact Gary about it if he hasn’t already, as it will be a Lot more likely that I can get through to Rob with an e-mail. Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention!

    Regards,
    Stan E. Delo
    Port Townsend, WA
    stand@olypen.com

  6. Pablo Edwards September 27, 2010 8:58 am

    Thanks for staying on this one for us. I, too, and interested to see what changes will be made in the near future.

  7. Brian Liu September 27, 2010 3:55 pm

    There you go again, Gene. Spreading more lies about our company. Let me take the time out of my busy day to correct some of your errors.

    To begin with, you correctly stated that the Agreement is “not considered a finding of wrongdoing or an admission of violation for any purpose.” Nevertheless, you go on and allege that we are selling or disclosing our customer information without consent. To be clear, we ABSOLUTELY ARE NOT. The company has never sold or otherwise provided any customer’s information to a third party for such third party’s use without a customer’s knowledge and affirmative consent.

    You write that our advertising “lulls unsuspecting customers” and that these “charges… scream” for further investigation. In fact, the Washington Attorney General never charged us with anything. They initiated this investigation and, by its own words, did not find any wrongdoing.

    This Agreement will not affect our business practices in the State of Washington in any material way. Despite your claim otherwise, at no time did the AG “charge” us with the unauthorized practice of law. We will continue to offer our legal document services to residents in the State of Washington after October 1.

    We entered into this Agreement because we want to engage in constructive dialog with state Attorneys General to better explain and clarify our business practices. In the absence of state laws regulating legal document services (such as those in California and Arizona), we welcome clear guidelines, and that is exactly what this Agreement provides. We hope all companies in our industry follow these ground rules.

    I hope that this time, you will have the courtesy to not remove this post.

  8. Brian Liu September 27, 2010 4:02 pm

    BTW, Gene, you should know that as a direct competitor, it’s not good practice to make untrue allegations.

  9. Andrey September 27, 2010 4:40 pm

    Brian,

    How could Gene, a duly called lawyer and patent agent, be your competitor if your company is only providing “legal document services”. He only could be your competitor if your company does practice law. This is “Logic and Reasoning 101”. You should not post this 4:02 message, Brian. It told to the world more than you wished to say.

    Andrey, http://www.pinskylaw.ca

  10. Brian Liu September 27, 2010 4:57 pm

    Andrey, if you look at the home page of IP Watchdog, you will notice that the site offers a do-it-yourself patent pending service. Here is a direct link to the offer: http://ipwatchdog.com/patent/invent-patent-system/

  11. Gene Quinn September 27, 2010 7:08 pm

    Brian-

    First, we are not direct competitors. I know this is a difficult concept for you to understand, but I am what is called “an attorney” and LegalZoom is not allowed to act as “an attorney” on behalf of “a client.” When LegalZoom acts as “an attorney” the company engages in what is called “the unauthorized practice of law.”

    Second, I didn’t say that you were selling or otherwise providing sensitive information, but that is what the State of Washington was investigating you for. Please read what I actually wrote, which says: “But the most egregious charge leveled against LegalZoom is that they sold, transferred or otherwise disclosed consumer information to third parties.” Whether you choose to believe it or not, that charge was leveled against you by the State of Washington, and it is in my opinion the most egregious one.

    Third, what is wrong with me saying that what you do screams for investigation? Please elaborate as to how that is untrue?

    Fourth, if your practices don’t change in the State of Washington then I think you are in for a lot of trouble. The Assurance of Discontinuance, as I read it, requires you do at a minimum modify your website. I suspect they will watch you, as will folks in Washington State, so I do hope you comply with what you promised.

    Fifth, you say you were engaged “in constructive dialog with state Attorneys General to better explain and clarify our business practices.” That isn’t exactly how I read the Assurance of Discontinuance. What LegalZoom did was promise not to do certain things moving forward, and it also seems pretty clear that the State of Washington was investigating.

    Finally, I have not intention of removing this post. If you want to quibble with the word “charged” we can have that discussion. I am always happy to speak with you or your legal representative. I am happy to change that word if you think it is inaccurate given that no criminal charges were brought, but it is clear to me that they were investigating you and there were allegations on the table that required LegalZoom to enter an Assurance of Discontinuance, which by its very name suggests you will discontinue what they were investigating.

    But if you want to pick a fight then so be it. You know as well as I do what is going on at LegalZoom and I suspect that you and your lawyers don’t want me and my lawyers poking around with discovery requests. So, in other words, either engage in dialogue about the word or words you don’t like and we can discuss them, or leave me alone. You aren’t going to bully me.

    -Gene

  12. Gene Quinn September 27, 2010 7:30 pm

    Brian-

    To address what you raised about the Invent & Patent System…

    Again, you seem to knowingly put your head in the sand. We have had this discussion before and it is really quite easy to understand yet it seems to confound you, so allow me to be as direct and easy to understand as possible. Hopefully you can follow along.

    What LegalZoom does is “say” they offer self help services, but then they go on to provide full service by doing everything for the customer, who then really is a client. Your advertising says you offer self help at the direction of the customer, and it also says that you review documents, make sure the proper documents are used and file them with the proper authorities in the proper way on behalf of the customer. That is, in my opinion, the practice of law. Since LegalZoom is not an attorney that would mean that if I am correct that LegalZoom engages in the unauthorized practice of law, which seems to be what the Washington State Attorney General believed as well.

    The Invent & Patent System is 100% self help. We do nothing. The system has been vetted by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline, who told me through an intermediary that if the assistance provided is purely passive, akin to a book or a piece of software, then there is absolutely no concern. Of course, for me there would be no concern because I have a license to practice law. LegalZoom could do what you do if all you did was purely passive, but as you told me several years ago you determined that people say they want to do it themselves but really don’t. So it seems LegalZoom has taken that philosophy to the next level and decided that they would act as the representative of the customer. That is “interactive” not “passive.”

    So the Invent & Patent System, which is purely passive, does not compete with LegalZoom. LegalZoom is not purely passive and that is why so many folks are looking into your business practices.

    The fact that you are willing to put these thoughts in writing for all to see is baffling to me. But please do feel free to continue to provide more rope.

    -Gene

  13. Stan E. Delo September 27, 2010 8:45 pm

    Brian,

    I see some statements that you made here that don’t seem to be even slightly correct in a legal sense. While it is true that the Washington State Attorney General is not charging you with violating the law, it is in fact an ^Agreement* not to violate the law here in Washington after October 1st. The impression I am getting is that it is sort of an out of court plea bargain situation, wherein if you agree not to continue violating the laws of Washington State, you might be able to avoid getting sued by said entity. For what it’s worth, Rob is a real pit-bull, so you might want to be a bit careful. I filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s office Sunday afternoon, and got a note from their webmaster this morning that it has been passed along to the proper channels. I sincerely hope it will find it’s way to the US Secretary of Commerce’s office, as an ex-Governor of mine is in close contact with the USPTO, and he and David might want to take a look at the OED with a critical eye in the next little bit. Otherwise the FTC might serve, on a more national level.
    Off to see what your web site looks like currently. BTW, there is No such thing as a *Provisional Patent*, only Provisional Patent Applications, but surely you knew that didn’t you?

    Stan E. Delo
    Port Townsend, WA
    stand@olypen.com

  14. New Here September 27, 2010 9:39 pm

    @Brian Liu September 27th, 2010 4:57 pm Re: #10

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
    I can print and file this (above) myself. There is also a link to do it online !
    Many things you can do yourself. And if someone wants to provide their knowledge in the form of information “kits”, those are all over the internet if a simple search is done.

    LegalZoom works too well, IMHO.
    You have a great service Sir.

  15. Gene Quinn September 27, 2010 10:20 pm

    New-

    Have you ever used LegalZoom?

    -Gene

  16. New Here September 28, 2010 10:02 am

    @Gene

    “Have you ever used LegalZoom?”

    Are you sure you don’t know anyone that has ?

    Could clients have used such services saving money, without your knowledge ???

    If you have answered no to the two questions above, then you should ask them first.

    Gene, what is so important that you ask ME that question ?

  17. Gene Quinn September 29, 2010 10:25 am

    New-

    I ask you the question because you praised LegalZoom and it is pretty clear to me that you know nothing about LegalZoom and have never used them. That makes me wonder why you praised them so much as if you have some familiarity with what they offer. So it is important because YOU are making definitive statements without any experience or information. That is reckless.

    Clients do use LegalZoom. Our firm and many other firms deal with the wreckage of LegalZoom. In the trademark area it is almost always cheaper for the client to start over with a new application than to fix the problems of a LegalZoom application, at least in our experience. On the patent side so many file 1 paragraph provisional patent applications without warning and then the filing date is really completely useless, sometimes they have compromised their rights to obtain a patent altogether. They answer questions via telephone giving incorrect legal advice that if followed would forfeit patent rights. They have in the past sent e-mails advising people to do things in trademark applications that are unnecessary. So if you want to praise them go right ahead, but realize that they are doing significant damage to many unsuspecting individuals. That is why the unauthorized practice of law rules are in place — the law is not something to be practiced by those without training or knowledge. Too much damage can ensue.

    So have you ever used LegalZoom? Why do you praise a company that you seem to know nothing about?

    -Gene

  18. patent leather September 29, 2010 11:33 am

    Legalzoom has a full page ad on page 3 of October’s issue of Inventor’s Digest that says, “inventor … has used LegalZoom to get his patent, trademark, LLC, seller’s permit, and DBA.” The ad also gives a pricelist which includes “Provisional Patent $199”

    How could Legalzoom have gotten this guy’s patent without practicing patent law? Also, as we all know, there is no such thing as a “provisional patent.”

  19. New Here September 29, 2010 12:12 pm

    @Gene
    It is an opinion Gene, and with all respect Sir, is very mush none of your business what I think about it or why. Is there a problem beyond my “praise” …oh please stop, that is funny ROFLMAO !

    Do a web search please Gene. You just may find that there are many with offerings no different.
    Try a search as ‘do it yourself LLC’ (without quote marks), and see what you find !

    Find out more information about what it is you are talking about first …do the search Gene and learn the hard truth that Americans have rights, (not saying you said they didn’t) and those rights that include the freedom of information on how to do many things yourself (that you can legally) without a need for a Lawyer every time.

  20. New Here September 29, 2010 12:16 pm

    @patent leather

    I can get a patent application, and file for a patent myself. It doesn’t mean I will get it, it just means I can do it without a patent Lawyer.

    Sorry to do this but… http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/index.jsp

  21. patent leather September 29, 2010 1:57 pm

    @new here,

    The ad said, “..used LegalZoom to get his patent…” Of course as you state one can file for one on their own, but if Legalzoom is “getting” a patent for someone that would presumably be the practice of law. Their services only offer “provisional patents” (what they really mean is provisional applications) so they do not get patents for people. So in my opinion I found their ad misleading.

  22. Blind Dogma September 29, 2010 4:27 pm

    sigh,

    New Here’s lack of ability with the English language evidently runs to reading as well as writing.

    New Here,

    Once again, I would ask that you think about what you post before you approach your keyboard. Your random ramblings are confusing those who look to the comments for intelligent thoughts.

    If you want to say something like “LegalZoom works too well, IMHO. You have a great service Sir.“, you might actually want to have a basis for that opinion and be ready to back up that basis. If you are just trolling for a response – congratulations you have gained that and more – additional confirmation that a review of the by line and skipping of anything written by New Here would save brain cells.

  23. Stan E. Delo September 29, 2010 5:12 pm

    New-

    Another point that has not even been touched upon in the comments here so far, is that LZ has been providing third parties with details of *cases* they have been *involved in* If a licensed attorney were to try a stunt like that, they would stand a very good chance of being disbarred for a shorter or longer length of time, or even kicked out of the ABA in especially egregious cases.

    As stated in the “Agreement” signed by LZ, just that alone might cost hundreds or thousands of innocent but ignorant folks many thousands of bucks, or cause them to get into extremely expensive legal hassles, as in probate or last will proceedings for instance.

    Stan~

  24. New Here September 29, 2010 9:41 pm

    @Stan

    My opinion stands.

    So if any such service is doing wrong ? then it is the job of the Law to deal with it. Please provide a ref of a Court case in the media, about LZ , would love to read it. So far, all I read really doesn’t provide enough for me to change my opinion.

  25. New Here September 29, 2010 9:51 pm

    @patent leather

    http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/types/provapp.jsp

    Attn: copyright(c) USTPO
    “A provisional application for patent is a U. S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. § 111(b) . It allows filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. It provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a later-filed non-provisional patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. § 111(a) . It also allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the description of the invention.”

    “Patent Pending” ~~~ provisional patent ?
    Agreed upon terms are not always available are they ?

  26. Stan E. Delo September 29, 2010 10:07 pm

    New Here-

    The document of the *Agreement* that LZ agreed to can be found here=>
    http://taxation-business.com/misc/2010_09_22_legal_zoom_consent_decree.pdf As you might be able to comprehend, it is very thorough and specific, and is just a sort of promisary note on LZ’s part, wherein if the *agreement* is not violated, the State of Washington will not sue them for past violations of the law. Otherwise all bets are off, and they might find themselves with a class-action law suit against them from several States Attorney Generals. I find it amazing that Brian L would come here and attempt to blindly defend their practices, about 6 days before they are potentially being sued by the State of Washington, and a few other states that I will not mention here. It sounds to me as if they have caused many millions of needless expense, but I suppose the principals will just walk away with their retirement funds already carefully tucked away somewhere.

    Stan E. Delo
    Port Townsend, WA
    stand@olypen.com

  27. New here September 29, 2010 11:15 pm

    @Stan

    You have my attention, I will read the agreement. Not really sure what you mean by comprehend it Stan, am I to find something ? or come to some conclusion ? Contracts are funny things sometimes, and I will wait for a result of this action, by a Court of Law to have a different opinion.

  28. patent leather September 29, 2010 11:44 pm

    @new here,

    You don’t have to send me a link to the USPTO site and quote irrelevant text from there, I am a patent attorney with 10+ years experience and I know the law. You obviously don’t understand the issue of why I felt LZ’s ad in Inventor’s Digest was improper and continuing a dialog with you is futile since you don’t understand and it seems you are here to just get a rise out of people. I am sure the rest of the readers here understand the issue (including the folks from LegalZoom who I hope will fix up this ad before they run it again)

    Now I completely understand why Gene at times has gotten annoyed with people and chased them off this board. Some posts are just a waste of everyone’s time.

  29. TP September 30, 2010 1:05 pm

    I wanted to get some of your thoughts on my thinking of this topic and LegalZoom.

    First off, if LegalZoom is filing provisional patent applications and trademark applications directly to the USPTO on behalf of customers, in my opinion that is clearly unauthorized practice of law. I may be wrong but I believe people have said in the past that this is how they do it. If this is true, it is very hard to argue that they are still providing “self help” when they are certainly playing a very active role in the filing of the application.

    With regards to their utility patent applications, however, it is written on their website that applications are filed by a named patent firm in Irvine, California. This firm appears to be fairly well established and they have a client base that includes some pretty big brands. If LegalZoom merely acts as a company to bring in customers who want to file a patent application and then subsequently hands the case to the patent firm, it is arguable if LegalZoom is actually practicing law.

    This discussion needs to branch into the two different involved parties. First, on the side of LegalZoom, one can certainly still argue that they are still practicing law or in violation of MPEP 11.5. One can argue that by handling documents, answering phone questions, and other tasks that they are practicing law. However, LegalZoom could argue that they are simply an intermediary, facilitating the process, and that their words are not legal advice as indicated in their disclaimers. Furthermore, they could argue that they are simply a marketing company, bringing customers in to the patent firm. I believe this is arguable from both sides. This is all assuming that LegalZoom passes the case to a licensed practitioner.

    It is then also interesting to discuss the other party involved being the licensed practitioner receiving cases from LegalZoom. The concern I see with the patent firm receiving cases from LegalZoom is the issue of commission. LegalZoom needs to be compensated and if they take $100 and give $50 to the patent firm, the patent firm is receiving compensation from another party other than the client. However, CFR 10.68 states that a licensed practitioner can receive compensation from one other than the client so long as there is “consent of the … client after full disclosure”. Assuming that consent is obtained by the patent firm, I don’t see any problems with the patent firm receiving cases from LegalZoom to be turned into applications.

    I may have some facts wrong or may be bringing the discussion in a different direction. However, LegalZoom directly filing applications on behalf of clients is in my opinion unauthorized practice of law. However, if LegalZoom passes cases to a licensed practitioner to be drafted, reviewed, and filed by that licensed practitioner, provided consent is received from the customer after full disclosure, I can’t see any wrongdoings on behalf of either party.

  30. New Here September 30, 2010 1:43 pm

    @patent leather

    The link was only a reference so that you would know where I got the information from. It wasn’t for you as if you needed it. I ended the post with a question mark.

    Gene can request for me to stop posting here, I will comply.

    “it seems you are here to just get a rise out of people”
    No, I stated the first day I posted here that I was not in Law.
    You should read my reply to Stan, I wasn’t looking for any “rise”, the man a good point and I am willing to follow his request to read the agreement because of that point. No rise !

  31. Blind Dogma September 30, 2010 5:36 pm

    New Here,

    Gene may in fact do that, but I think my request would be more fruitful for all involved.

    It is not too much to ask for you to think and compose an intelligent post.

    If you wish to post freestyle without thinking, I suggest that you try the Patently-O blog, where there is an abundance of such posting.

  32. Stan E. Delo September 30, 2010 6:09 pm

    New Here-

    I believe Blind Dogma is correct. What I usually do when I post a comment is to *Create Mail* in my Windows Mail program, so that I can spell check it and look for grammatic errors and etcetera, and then consider whether I should even send it at all. I then copy and paste it into the comment box complete and looked over at least once by myself before I inflict it upon the clever folks that seem have gravitated here. Also there are probably hundreds of fairly un-educated independent inventors that read what transpires here, so they might be fairly easily deceived by incorrect or biased information, which I don’t believe is a good thing at all.

    Stan~

  33. New Here October 1, 2010 10:45 am

    I have returned not to argue, just to say what my conclusion is about this.

    After doing some research and reading online about the LZ matter, in lieu of reading the agreement for now, I have decided that this whole issue isn’t a big deal at all. Its as normal as apple pie in businesses that cross State lines into different States Laws that doing business that way becomes problematic for both State and business.

    These and other issues for online businesses are common, and not often read about because it is part of doing business in the U.S. especially now online. In this case “we” don’t have a business that when confronted packs its bags and heads for Mexico. No. They are working with those States to resolve the issues.

    Once these issues are cleared up with all 50 States the road will be clear for not only LZ but others as well. This is how the Law works, nothing starts out “perfect” and the world is full of issues larger then this drop in a bucket.

    Thank everyone for the push to think, it has been a great experience.

  34. Blind Dogma October 1, 2010 11:17 am

    New Here,

    Are you aware that patents are a strictly Federal issue?

  35. New Here October 1, 2010 12:11 pm

    @Blind Dogma

    Yes.

    One read I did at a site has the title “(c) Washington Attorney General zooms in on LegalZoom’s claims”. From the pdf of the Assurance of Discontinuance, available at the site, seems to address the claims made.

  36. Gene Quinn October 1, 2010 6:12 pm

    New Here-

    Time for me to jump in. You are concluding that LegalZoom’s activities are not a big deal, and you admit you are uninformed, have not read the agreement and you have previously stated that you are not familiar with their services having never used them.

    You are dangerously close to being banned from IPWatchdog.com. If you want to side with LegalZoom that is fine, but your admittedly ignorant opinions will NOT be tolerated. You are bringing down the discourse here and that will not be tolerated. Comments need to keep it real, and admitting ignorance on an issue and being too lazy to read the relevant documents but still offer opinions that defy the facts is not the type of discourse that is deemed acceptable.

    -Gene

  37. New Here October 1, 2010 8:58 pm

    @Gene

    “You are dangerously close to being banned from IPWatchdog.com.” No, its done. !

    I hope now Gene, that you can start from a clean slate, with your discourse here.

  38. Stan E. Delo October 1, 2010 9:31 pm

    It’s not quite that simple. It was Not Gene’s discourse at all but yours. You can spend decades trying to create a good reputation, and completely destroy it with a few hasty or ill-considered statements. You only get ONE chance to create a good first impression. I am mistaken once in a while, but there are very clever folks here that will correct me if I will only listen to them. Now we have the dangling problem of trying to prevent you from leading unsuspecting inventors astray. Please promise me that you won’t change your moniker! I am an independent inventor that has done the hard part of trying to grok a very complex subject, and I have been trying to help independent inventors for more than 10 years. You are most definately not helping at all, and probably need to go find a reasonably local inventor’s group.

    Good luck!

  39. Blind Dogma October 2, 2010 8:01 am

    Stan,

    The sentiments are nice, but you are wasting your time.

    New Here has repeatedly shown that he is not interested in helping others. He would rather impose exile upon himself than take a minimal amount of time and effort composing an intelligent post. While in this instance, he directly offends Gene’s Holy Ground as listed at post 36, New Here has repeatedly and wantonly (and in my view just as irresponsibly and dangerously) posted his ramblings on a number of different legal topics without any regard or care as to the veracity of his statements. He has openly admitted that he uses language (in general) and this board (in specific) as a tool for his own ramblings to himself.

    I have politely, and not so politely, asked him to put his posts in some sense of order and logic so that both others can understand him, and actual legal points of order are not confused. He has consistently refused to do so and typically takes umbrage at anyone calling him to task.

  40. Stan E. Delo October 2, 2010 8:19 pm

    Fair enough Blind Dogma, but I want to be very certain that inventors that attend here are not led astray by somebody that doesn’t seem to get it at all in this or any other case. If one of my friends were to go for a bad ride because of this nonsense, I would like to fly out there and have a heart to heart disccussion with New Here, but he is probably too much of a coward to reveal who he really is. Interesting quote that I heard the other day, that averred that all Bullies are cowards, and all cowards are liars. Sorta rang true for me at least. But onwards and upwards to happier things!

    Ciao bella,
    Stan~ .