A NY-based web company put something cool on the web and I thought “it must be fun to work with those people, I wonder who does their TM work.” Some research suggested that perhaps no one was yet.
Now, if this was a year ago, I could send an email to the GC or CEO and say ‘I liked what you did, etc, When it comes time to consider trademark and copyright counsel, I hope that you will consider our firm,’ and provide a link to the Blog.
However, under the new rules for lawyer advertising in NY, electronic communications to people who are not clients, or friends and family, are prohibited (1200.8(a)(1).
Sending this message on letterhead has two drawbacks. From a marketing point of view it’s less effective because if they read it while not at a computer, they can’t immediately click through to the website. And a copy of the letter would have to be filed with the NY State discliplinary committtee. (1200.8(c)(1))
I could send a professional calling card which states my firm’s emphasis (1200.7(a)(3) (you can’t call it a speciality), but then I’d have to pick out paper stock and font style, it would take several weeks, and a calling card wouldn’t be a personalized message.
So I’m left with the website, which is OK as long as I indicate on the website that this is lawyer advertising (1200.6(f)), use a domain name that reflects my name (1200.7(e)), don’t use a nickname that imples an ability to obtain results (i.e. “The Enjoiner”)(1200.6(c)(7) and archive the site (1200.6.(g)).
But it’s unlikely that anyone at the prospect reads the Blog.
So what I can do is put a coded message in this post and if you can figure out which company I’m talking about, and you’re friends or family with them, drop them a line and tell them what a great firm this is. However you can’t be a paid because 1200.6(c)(2) prohibits (undisclosed) paid testimonials, and you can’t be an actor pretending to be my client (1200.6(c)(4).