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Law related articles writen by lawyers
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Setting Up an Ongoing Franchise Compliance and Housekeeping System

Your work never ends as a franchisor. It is a real achievement to get your franchise system in place, and then make your state registrations and sell a few franchises. But that is just the beginning – now you have to maintain your franchise system. A franchise system requires a large amount of ongoing legal compliance and housekeeping work.

California Passes Bill to Help LGBT Senior Citizens

California recently passed legislation that will help LGBT elders to receive respectful care in their twilight years.

Trademark FAQ: Why Is a Trademark Search Necessary?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office conducts a search for conflicting trademarks as part of the official examination of an application. Therefore, a pre-application search is always a good idea.

DuPont Awarded 20-Year Ban in Trade Secrets Case

DuPont Co. was recently awarded a 20-year permanent injunction in a trade secrets misappropriation case involving its Kevlar technology. The court order bans Korean textile maker Kolon Industries Inc. from making a competing high-strength fiber.

Whistleblowers Programs Could Help Regain Funds From Tax Dodgers

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, the state is owed more than 6.5 billion dollars in tax revenue. Some contend that implementation of a whistleblower rewards program could help to bring in some of that lost revenue.

Patients Abandoned By Caregivers at Castro Valley Assisted Living Facility

A Castro Valley assisted living facility was shut down by state social services last month. Patients were left with minimal staff to attend to their needs.

Why License Video Games?

Generally speaking, the underlying code of a video game is protected as a literary work, and the artwork and sound are protected as an audiovisual work. While the work (video game) does not have to be registered to be covered by copyright law, there are advantages to registration.

Whistleblower Comes Forward to Talk About Experience at SunFirst Bank

A whistleblower recently spoke at a conference in Las Vegas to discuss her experiences. She was the compliance officer at a bank where gambling funds were processed. She cooperated with federal regulators and exposed the illegal operations at the bank.

Attorney Allegedly Commits Financial Elder Abuse, Steals $3.5 Million From Elderly Doctor

A San Francisco attorney allegedly committed financial elder abuse when he defrauded an elderly doctor. The defendant in the case has been disbarred for his actions.

Dispute “Brewing” over Alleged Trade Secret Theft

When an employee leaves to join a competing business, the security of trade secrets and other proprietary information is always a concern. Fears of trade secret theft recently prompted a legal dispute between two iconic breweries located on opposite sides of the country. The Boston Beer Company (maker of Sam Adams beer) is suing the Anchor Brewing (maker of Anchor Steam beer) over allegations that Anchor illegally poached one of their executives in order to steal trade secrets.

Landscape Contractors, Does Your Work Satisfy the Industry Standard of Care?

Do landscape contractors understand how the legal term “standard of care” applies to their profession? The legal implications of Not performing to the industry standard of care may have serious consequences

Private Investigator Busts Long Beach Restaurant for Copyright Infringement

A private investigator walks into a bar… This is not the start of a bad joke, but the crux of a recent California copyright infringement case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers filed the lawsuit against the owners of a popular Long Beach restaurant and jazz lounge after discovering that it was playing copyrighted music without a license.

California Medical Equipment Supplier Found Guilty in $11 Million Medicare Fraud Case

The owner of a California durable medical equipment firm was recently found guilty of Medicare fraud. The scheme resulted in more than $11 million dollars in fraudulent Medicare charges. Los Angeles false claims attorneys say that Medicare fraud is a problem that is continuing to grow, at the expense of taxpayers.

Identifying and Preventing Elder Abuse

Senior citizens across the nation are being taken advantage of. Physical elder abuse and financial elder abuse have become commonplace.

TV Streaming Service Hits Roadblock Under U.S. Copyright Law

In a major victory for broadcasters, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a preliminary injunction against ivi, Inc., a company that streams television programming live and over the Internet. The appeals court ruled that its service likely infringes the copyrights of major broadcasters like NBC, ABC, and FOX, which had filed suit to keep the new technology offline.

Copyright FAQ: What If I Want to Use a Pseudonym?

Sometimes, authors want to their true identity to remain hidden from the public. For instance, popular author Dean Koontz has written under at least eleven pen names. Many often wonder if authors who use pen names or pseudonyms can still copyright their work.

Can Innovation Really Drive the U.S. Economy? USPTO Releases New IP Report

A new report released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office demonstrates that innovation is a key force behind U.S. economic growth and national competitiveness. In fact, the report, Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus, concludes that the entire U.S. economy relies on some form of intellectual property (IP), because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.

Christian Louboutin Wins Partial Red Shoe Trademark Victory

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the distinctive red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are entitled to trademark protection. However, it limited the mark in such a way that the defendant did not infringe.

California Franchise Registration

California requires franchise registration. You must register with the California Department of Corporations if you want to sell franchises in California. In this article I give you a brief overview of the process for registering a franchise in California.

Exit & Succession Planning (Long Version)

Exit Planning, as I practice it, is a system and a process to help business owners exit their business with maximum tax efficiency and with maximum legal security.

Buying and Selling Private, Closely Held Businesses

Buying or selling a business is a complex process. Legal, tax, accounting, valuation and psychology issues are all involved. This seminar and this outline only introduce certain basic matters to you.

San Diego Business Law - Important Considerations in Selecting a Business Entity

Welcome back to our San Diego Business Law blog series! In this week’s blog we are going to address some things you should consider when selecting the appropriate form for your new San Diego business.

Patent Expirations Creating Opportunities for Biotech M&A

With patent expirations large pharmaceuticals are facing, there has been a tremendous opportunity for growing biotech companies.

Why Plea Bargaining?

A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty in return for a concession by the prosecutor. The defendant is presented with the maximum charge or punishment that the defendant would be held to if he or she goes to trial. Subsequently, the prosecutor presents the defendant with an opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to the original charge with less than the maximum sentence.

DOJ Monitoring Antitrust Implications of Patent Transfers

The U.S. Department of Justice continues to monitor the potential antitrust implications of patent portfolio transfers, particularly in high-tech industries like wireless. In recent remarks at the Fordham Competition Law Institute’s 39th annual conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, Acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland discussed how the DOJ is working to “balance patent rights, competition and innovation in the information age.”

A Better Method: Collaborative Divorce

What is collaborative divorce and how does it work? It is an alternative dispute resolution process which resolves divorce issues outside the courtroom.

Tips for Protecting Your Intellectual Property in a Social Media World

Many companies and organizations are changing their business strategies to address the growing importance of social media. Protecting your intellectual property should be part of this process.

Expert Thrown Out after Claiming Major Report “Typos” on Cross

A recently affirmed decision to grant judgment for the defendant as a matter of law highlights the importance of expert testimony that is consistent with previously-disclosed opinions presented in a Rule 26 report. In Rembrandt Vision Technologies, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., the expert’s testimony was struck because of critical discrepancies, leaving the plaintiff with no basis for claimed patent infringement.

The Temptations Latest to File Suit over Royalties for Digital Downloads

The number of copyright lawsuits over royalties for digital downloads continues to grow. Motown giants The Temptations are the latest artists to file a lawsuit claiming that they are being cheated out of revenue from sales of their songs on platforms like iTunes.

Online Video-Sharing Site Not Liable for Copyright Infringement

California’s Ninth Circuit recently ruled that Veoh, an online video-sharing site, is not liable for any copyright infringing content posted by its users. Specifically, the Court found that the company's efforts to combat infringement warrant protection under the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Copyright FAQ: Can a Copyright Owner Transfer His Rights?

As with any other property right, any or all of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights may be transferred. In fact, it is quite common when a copyright owner wants to commercially exploit the work covered by the copyright. Of course, there are certain rules and requirements that must be followed to ensure that a transfer is legally enforceable and protects the rights of the parties involved.

Multilateral Treaty Will Address Audiovisual Performances

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are praising a new multilateral treaty that will bolster the international intellectual property protections for audiovisual performances.

Copyright FAQ: What Is a Work for Hire?

If a copyrighted work is considered a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was made is deemed the owner of the copyright unless there has been a written agreement to the contrary signed by both parties. Therefore, it is important for employees and consultants to understand the meaning of a “work for hire.”

Want to Test Your Intellectual Property Knowledge?

If you want to see how your intellectual property (IP) knowledge stacks up, you can check out a new web-based IP Awareness Assessment Tool recently unveiled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). It is designed to help manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent inventors easily assess their IP knowledge.

Can You Patent Happy Hour?

Yes, you can patent happy hour, but it is not what you think. A patent was recently granted for a “virtual happy hour” that offers discounted products on gaming and social networking sites at designated times.

Can You Trademark a Highway Sign?

Highway signs for famous roadways are increasingly popping up on a variety of consumer merchandise from home décor to t-shirts. But can companies who use these logos obtain trademark protection?

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

There are four main areas of intellectual property that any company or individual must protect because it is so easy to do so and can save you a great deal of money and time on litigation.

Patent FAQ: Is My Invention Patentable?

A patent is a valuable property right because it excludes others from “making, using, offering for sale, or selling your invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a certain period of time. However, before embarking on the patent process, the first step is to determine if your invention can indeed be patented.

Is The USPTO Trying to Phase Out Paper Trademark Applications?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allow trademark applicants to conduct much of their business electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Copyright FAQ: Is a Copyright Notice Required?

U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice. However, prior law did contain such a requirement, and the use
of a notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.

Does a California Copyright Case Spell Doom for Karaoke Lovers?

If you feel strongly about karaoke (most either love it or hate it), you should keep a close eye on a recently filed California copyright infringement case.

The Types of Business Entities Available in California

Building a business is both an exciting and extremely stressful time and selecting the appropriate legal form for your business can be a difficult choice. In California you have five different types of business entities to choose from and forming the correct business entity at the beginning will save you both time and money.

Transformers at Center of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The latest Transformer battle doesn’t involve Autobots and Decepticons. Instead, it involves two powerful companies and one famous trademark.

Income Loss from a Motorcycle Accident

A person who is injured in a motorcycle accident may lose a small amount of income; on the other hand, his or her ability to earn a living may be seriously impaired for life

What’s the Difference Between a Franchise and Seller Assisted Marketing Plans, Business Opportunities...

In this article I quickly explain the difference between franchises and seller assisted marketing plans, business opportunities, multilevel marketing plans, salespersons, licenses and distributorships.

Buy-in and Buy-out of Accountants to an Accounting Group

Accountants come and go from larger accounting groups. When an accountant enters a practice as a shareholder or partner, the practice should prepare for the accountant's exit. The exit is inevitable. In this article, I give one simple rule for structuring the accountant’s buy-in to a practice and the later buy-out of the accountant's shares from the practice.

Buy-in and Buy-out of Veterinarians to a Veterinary Group

Veterinarians come and go from larger veterinary groups. When a veterinarian enters a practice as a shareholder or partner, the practice should prepare for the veterinarian's exit. The exit is inevitable. In this article, I give one simple rule for structuring the veterinarian’s buy-in to a practice and the later buy-out of the veterinarian's shares from the practice.

Trench Coat Worn By Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca Subject of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Social media posts featuring an image of Humphrey Bogart wearing a Burberry trench coat in the final scene of Casablanca were not “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” between the fashion retailer and the award-winning actor. Burberry Group Plc. and representatives of the late Humphrey Bogart have filed dueling intellectual property lawsuits over the rights to the image.

Domestic Violence: California Penal Code 273.5

California domestic violence law has changed a lot over the years. The author explains how things have changed as well as the influences that spurred changes.

Tips to Help Your Car Accident Lawyer Obtain the Best Possible Settlement

Clients probably don’t think about how they can help their car accident attorney achieve the best settlement on their case. But they should. The attorney can’t do it all alone. The attorney and client work as a team on the case, and the client’s case is only as strong as the documentation contained in the attorney’s file. A client can help by making sure the attorney has all of the information.



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