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Law related articles writen by lawyers
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USPTO Launches Patents for Humanity Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the launch of another new pilot program. This program aims to incentivize the distribution of patented technologies to address humanitarian needs.

Hershey Benefits from “Sweet” Trademark Ruling

Hershey filed a trademark application seeking to protect the shape of its famous Hershey bar. The application describes it as “a configuration of a candy bar that consists of twelve equally-sized recessed rectangular panels arranged in a four panel by three panel formats with each panel having its own raised border within a large rectangle.”

Accidents Involving School Buses

A recent school bus accident in San Bernardino seems to back statistics that most school bus crashes are head-on collisions. Elderly couple driving a Jeep struck the bus after running a red light. Fortunately, no kids were on the bus. Unfortunately, the bus driver and the elderly couple in the Jeep were hurt.

Leaving an Accounting Practice/Closing an Accounting Practice

This article gives a very brief overview of how an accountant leaves or closes an accounting practice. The accountant can’t just walk away – leaving or closing an accounting practice is more complex than you think.

Buying and Selling an Accounting Practice

This article gives a quick overview of buying and selling an accounting practice. The author discusses the deal from due diligence, through deal terms, to the definitive deal documents.

Preparing to Sell a Solo Medical Practice

In this article, the author gives some thoughts on preparing to sell your solo medical practice.

Semi Truck Scares Interstate Drivers in Wrong Lane

The driver of a semi truck got lots of attention on the morning of March 18th, 2013 when he drove for about 10 miles in the wrong direction on an interstate. Police dispatchers were first alerted to the wayward semi a little after four in the morning, when motorists began calling in handfuls to report the truck, which many reported forced them to swerve in order to avoid a collision.

Employee Awarded Millions in Patent Infringement Damages

A former Sony Corp employee has been awarded $30.2 million in damages resulting from his claims that Nintendo infringed on his patent for 3D technology. Plaintiff claimed that the globally recognized video game leader used his technology in producing the Nintendo 3DS, a handheld, 3D capable gaming console. What makes the product and plaintiff’s invention unique is that it allowed the effect of 3D visuals without the need for 3D glasses - a major step forward in 3D technology.

USPTO Issues Report on International Patent Protections for Small Businesses

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a report on how to make international patents more available to small businesses. The report, prepared in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, was mandated by the America Invents Act. The goal was to determine how best to defray the costs of filing, maintaining, and enforcing international patents for small businesses.

New Pregnancy Leave Obligations and Rights FEHA PDLL

The California Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., No. B237761, will have a significant impact employment law and the way employers handle employees requiring pregnancy leave.

Copyright Law FAQ: What Is a Compulsory License?

Digital music companies often rely on compulsory licenses to stream copyrighted content. Section 115 of the Copyright Act provides a compulsory license for most copyrighted musical compositions (with the exception of soundtracks) that have been released to the public.

Why Slip and Fall Cases Often Settle

Retail giant Target has settled a slip and fall claim that was filed in 2012 and based on an injury sustained in 2010. The injury was allegedly caused by a soda spill in the aisle of one of Target’s stores. The claim also named several “John Does” who may have been to blame in creating the hazard.

Do We Need Specialized Intellectual Property Courts?

The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examined the use of specialized intellectual property courts around the globe. After reviewing the intellectual property laws and regulations of over 190 countries, the “Study on Specialized Intellectual Property Courts” concludes that although intellectual property rights (IPR) courts may vary worldwide, they all offer the distinct advantage of an informed and capable judiciary.

Motorcycle Victim's Rights

A motorcycle rider was killed on Thursday, March 7th, when the driver of a car attempting to make a turn entered the rider’s path - the rider, who was wearing a helmet, was just 21 years old and died later of his injuries. This accident occurred in Bradenton, Florida and is the second fatal motorcycle accident that the city has experienced in a week.

Semi Truck Driver's Liablility

A speeding trucker is responsible for causing a chain reaction that caused traffic to back up for hours. According to reports, the at fault semi truck driver was navigating a ramp too fast when the truck tipped onto its side and slid across the highway, blocking every lane on that side of the expressway.

An IRS Criminal Investigation at a Glance

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division serves the American public by conducting criminal investigations regarding alleged tax violation and various money laundering statutes. The IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code. There is a long, complicated investigation process involving many levels of personnel that goes into prosecuting these types of criminals.

VBAC – Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

Most women who have had a previous C-section birth can deliver their next baby vaginally. However, some women will be in danger of a birth injury from VBAC. This article discusses the risks and what women contemplating VBAC need to do to prepare for a safe delivery.

What is “At Will” Employment?

“At will employment” means that employers and employees have a wide range of freedoms in terminating their work relationship. "At will" states allow the firing of employees with good reason or for virtually no reason at all; however the termination must not violate the terms of a written contract, or break state or federal laws. Employees who are hired under these circumstances generally have little job security, and very few legal opportunities to fight for their job if they are fired.

Wrongful Death Liability in Accidental Shootings

Eugene Collier, a long time hunter well into his 60s, was recently acquitted of manslaughter charges in the accidental shooting death of Marine Reservist Christopher Ochoa, 20 years old from California. According to testimony, Collier believed he was shooting at a bear when he pointed his rifle at Ochoa and pulled the trigger from about 100 yards away. Collier admits to shooting Ochoa, but calls the incident a “tragic accident”.

Criminal vs. Civil Charges

A cab driver was taken to the hospital after being assaulted and battered by a customer who didn’t want to pay his fare. According to reports, the driver of the cab had just finished dropping off four customers when one of the customers pulled a handgun and used it to strike the cab driver in the head.

Oral Promises as Contracts

The former CFO of Sterne Agee Group, Inc is suing the Alabama based investment bank for breach of contract, among other allegations. According to court documents, former CFO Brian Barze worked as the CFO of another company which was grooming him for a CEO position when Sterne Agee approached him about the CFO position at its own company.

California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act

On September 21, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 323. Specifically, section 20 of the Bill replaced the Beverly-Killea Limited Liability Company Act (Beverly-Killea) with the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA) to govern the formation and operation of limited liability companies (LLCs).

The Rise of Uninsured Motorist Collisions and What You Need to Know about Your Coverage

It is estimated that one in seven drivers in the United States are consistently operating motor vehicles without insurance coverage. This article discusses the rise in uninsured motorist accidents and the need for people to review their insurance coverage to determine that they would be able to receive monetary compensation from their own carrier in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.

California School’s Duty to Report Abuse

In California, the responsibility of school employees to report suspicion of child abuse is not only a component of a person’s moral compass, it’s the law. Communities rely on places like institutions of education to provide an element of safety for children, and teachers and administrators are assumed to uphold that expectation.

Prenups Aren't Only for the Wealthy

The number one misconception about prenuptial agreements is that they are only for the wealthy. In truth, anyone who has anything before tying the knot, or even plans to acquire anything, should consider a prenup. A prenup is a contract signed prior to marriage that determines how the couple's assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.

Are You Planning to Hire an Invention Promoter?

Unfortunately, there are countless companies that are looking to take advantage of an inventor’s eagerness to bring his or her ideas to market. Therefore, if you or your company is planning to hire an invention promoter, it is important to understand how to discern a legitimate marketing company from a scam.

Restitution Award in DUI Case Reversed and Vacated Because Trial Court’s Calculation Not Rational

In the following 2009 case, a DUI matter, O.M. was driving his car when hit by DUI Defendant R.P. on Beach Boulevard in Orange County. O.M. sustained broken ribs, back fractures and a serious knee injury.

Trademark FAQ: Can You Trademark a Sound?

Sound trademarks have been in the news lately as the Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently announced that it will now allow sounds to be trademarked. The decision comes after a twenty-year legal battle with movie giant MGM, which sought to trademark the lion’s roar heard at the end of its films.

A Principal in Disturbing the Peace May Be Sentenced to 25 Year-To-Life for Attempted Murder that Follows

A reasonably foreseeable consequence of two rival gangs disturbing the peace, in confronting each other is a weapons discharge, as did occur. Consequently, as a principal in disturbing the peace, the attempted murder conviction was proper. Therefore, the 25 years-to-life sentenced was proper.

Court May Not Commit a Mentally Retarded Person Without Showing Violence is Related to Retardation

A court trial was then held on the petition. The evidence was that he was diagnosed shortly after birth in 1966 with being mentally retarded, but not mentally ill until 1992 when he had a violent outburst at his family home and threatened to kill himself. In 1999, he began hearing voices, he said, and also began calling people on the phone incessantly. In 2010, police were called to R.C.’s home in response to an alleged criminal threat made by R.C. over the phone.

High Risk Pregnancy, Birth Injuries, and Birth Defects

High risk pregnancies include risk types such as women with abnormal weight, multiple pregnancies, premature birth, etc. Doctors need to pay close attention to a woman and infant with a high risk pregnancy.

How to Press Charges After a Car Accident

Its estimated that every 17 years, we will be in a car accident severe enough to report to our auto insurance company.

USPTO Announces New Rules for Derivation Proceedings

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently published final rules governing derivation proceedings. The new patent proceedings are designed to ensure that a person will not be able to obtain a patent for an invention that he or she did not actually invent once the new first-inventor-to-file system launches.

Former Employee Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Motorola Trade Secret Theft

A former Motorola employee has been sentenced to four years in prison for trade secret theft. Hanjuan Jin’s sentence is one of the harshest in the history of criminal trade secret theft prosecutions.

Medical Negligence in Hospitals and Doctor’s Offices

With 225,000 people in the U.S. dying each year from medical malpractice and 1.5 million injured from medication errors in hospitals, doctor's offices, and nursing homes, medical negligence is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Bringing a New Partner into an Accounting Practice

This article gives an outline of how to bring a new accountant into an accounting practice. The author goes from common sense to legal advice, from the accountant’s purchase of ownership to the parties’ exit strategy and unwinding of the relationship.

May an Accountant Compete against His or er Former Practice?

If you are in a group accounting practice, you might wonder, “Can I or another accountant in this practice set up a competing practice?” “Will a non-competition agreement prevent it?” These questions are crucial both to the existing group and the accountant who would set up the competing practice.

Shareholder Buy-Sell Agreements for Accountancy Corporations

In this article, the author explains shareholder buy-sell agreements for accountants and accountancy corporations. A buy-sell agreement (also called a shareholders agreement) protects the corporation from the accountant/shareholders, specifically their death, loss of license, disability and dispute.

Hazardous Road Conditions

As motorcycle attorneys, we have been confronted with virtually every type of motorcycle accident imaginable, including those that arise from hazardous road conditions. Many times these motorcycle accidents are reported as driver error which is not always the case.

California Patent FAQ: What Are the Conditions for Obtaining a Patent?

Under U.S. patent law, an invention cannot be patented if: "(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent," or "(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States ..."

Erbs Palsy and Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Children with Erb's palsy often have partial or total paralysis of their hand, arm, or face. The most common cause of Erb's palsy is dystocia, which happens from a brachial plexus injury during a difficult childbirth.

Supreme Court Remands Myriad’s Human Gene Patent Case

On the heels of its decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., the Supreme Court has remanded another controversial patent case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent litigation.

Oracle v. Google IP Lawsuit: Who Won the First Round?

While the jury delivered a partial verdict in the copyright infringement phase of the Oracle v. Google trial, there is arguably still no clear winner. Because the jury did not decide the issue of fair use, Google is seeking a mistrial.

Is Social Media Putting Your Company’s Valuable Trade Secrets at Risk?

With the explosion of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it is likely that many of your employees use social media for both personal and business interactions. While these tools can be a great way to spread the word about your company’s products or services, they can also compromise proprietary information, including trade secrets.

Sex Crime- Defendant Has Right at Trial to Present Evidence of Alleged Victim’s Prior False Claims

A victim may motivated by revenge or spite or even offering to dismiss charges with bribery.

Resentencing of a Three Strikes Sentence Often Involves Difficult Document Gathering Challenges

Proposition 36 amended the state's Three Strikes Law due to overcrowding of state prisons.

Steps to Take if You Are Being Denied Overtime from Your Employer

  By Grey Law
In regards to overtime hours for employees, the United States Department of Labor in conjunction with the Fair Labor Standards Act have created stringent laws to protect workers throughout the nation, as well as enormous penalties for employers who don't abide by the regulations.

Supreme Court Brings California Closer to the Federal Expert Witness Admissibility Standard

In a unanimous opinion, the California Supreme Court clarified that trial courts may use either California Evidence Code Sections 801(b) or 802 to admit or exclude the expert’s testimony. Potentially, the Opinion widens California judicial authority to exclude expert testimony by placing California closer to the federal Daubert standard and the majority of other states that follow such standard.

2 Steps to Take When Served with a Summons and Complaint

Owning a business is not without certain legal risks. Businesses are vulnerable to the perils of being served with a business litigation summons and complaint at any time. Customers can think of all kinds of reasons to bring a lawsuit against a business.

Obama to Use Trademark Law to Protect Veterans

To help crack down on for-profit colleges and universities using fraudulent tactics to enroll military veterans, President Barak Obama is turning to trademark law. The White House recently announced that the President will sign an executive order that, among other things, orders the Department of Veterans Affairs to register “GI Bill” as a trademark.



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