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Law related articles writen by lawyers
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Business Joint Ventures

In this article, I explain business joint ventures. A joint venture exists when two or more businesses team up to engage in a limited activity, for example, one business has customer relationships in a particular market while the other has back-end personnel, so they team up to offer a vertically integrated service in that market.

Professional Service Agreements for Hospital-Based Physicians

In this article, I outline Professional Service Agreements for hospital-based physicians. I cover the fundamental terms of the contract, namely, (1) defining the medical services to be provided as against the payment of compensation, (2) exclusivity, and (3) term & termination.

Copyright FAQ: What Can’t Be Protected?

Under U.S. copyright law, protection is only given to “original works of authorship.” As we have previously discussed, this means ideas and concepts cannot be protected by copyright. But what else can’t be copyrighted?

How Much Does IP Theft Cost the U.S. Economy?

A new government report sheds light on the impact of intellectual property theft on the U.S. economy. Counterfeiting and piracy erode the returns on innovation and slow economic growth because of the negative impacts on companies, consumers and governments, according to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

Bipartisan Bill Looks to Crack Down on Rogue Websites

A bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced legislation intended to combat the illegal distribution of counterfeit goods via rogue websites hosted overseas. The proposed bill greatly expands protections for intellectual property (IP) and, if passed, would bring sweeping changes to copyright law.

Update: Twitter Finally Lands Coveted “Tweet” Trademark

James Eliason, CEO of Twittad, indicated that Twitter’s battle for ownership of the “tweet” trademark may finally have come to an end. According to Eliason, Twitter would drop a trademark lawsuit it filed against his company that sought to nullify Twittad’s registered trademark of the word “tweet.” In return, Twittad would transfer its registered trademark of “tweet” to Twitter, he said.

Trademark FAQ: Does a Trademark Last Indefinitely?

A trademark can last indefinitely, but it will require some action of the part of its holder. In general, you must file the appropriate maintenance filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and adopt certain business practices in order to keep your trademark alive.

Should China Overhaul Its Patent System?

A European business group is calling on China to make big changes to its patent system. The European Chamber of Commerce in China argues that the current Chinese patent system hinders the country's ability to innovate and may be detrimental to foreign companies. The group released a report recommending a total of 52 changes.

The Obama Administration Wants Your Input on IP Policy

The Obama Administration is working to develop a new strategy for intellectual property enforcement and is asking for the public’s help.

5 Tips for Bicycle Accident Victims

As a cyclist and bicycle accident victim advocate, the author has learned several lessons over the 20 plus years he has been riding and practicing personal injury law. On this article, you will find some of the tips he would like to offer to victims of bike accidents.

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). Trademark applicants can file an initial application form online, as well as submit other documents including a response to an examining attorney's Office action, a change of address, an allegation of use, and post registration maintenance documents.

Too Drunk to Fly? Federal Blood-Alcohol Limits for Pilots

In January 2013, a pilot was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test in the cockpit. The pilot was about to take off with more than 50 passengers aboard the plane.

Motorcycle Hit-and-Run Accidents: The Devastating Impacts on Victims and Their Families

Hit-and-run has become epidemic in our country and especially in California. According to a recent article, California has the highest hit-and-run accident rate of any state in the Union, and many of those are motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle crash attorneys represent the victims of these accidents and help them recover damages for their injuries, pain and suffering.

Five Most Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices

First party bad faith deals with claims made by policyholders and covers a wide range of transgressions. Here is an overview of the five most common.

Is the U.S. Copyright Office Changing Its Stance on Jailbreaking?

Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office reconsiders exclusions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s provisions prohibiting the circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.

Patent FAQ: Can I Protect My Intellectual Property Overseas?

Unfortunately, the rights granted by a U.S. patent or trademark can only be enforced in the United States and generally have no effect in a foreign country. Therefore, a company who wants to safeguard its intellectual property rights in other countries must take additional steps to ensure international protection.

How Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media for Evidence

Social media users beware. What you post online can be used against you.

April Marks Important Milestone for Patent Law

The U.S. patent and Trademark Office celebrated an important milestone earlier this month. April 10 marked the anniversary of the first U.S. patent law, which was enacted on April 10, 1790.

Classifying a Physician as an Employee or a Contractor

Most medical practices want to classify their hired physicians as contractors not employees. Contractors are cheaper and easier than employees. You don’t withhold taxes for contractors, nor do you pay benefits, workers compensation or unemployment insurance, nor must you comply with the wage & hour laws (including overtime) for contractors.

Classifying a Worker as Employee or Contractor

Most businesses want to classify their workers as contractors not employees. Contractors are cheaper and easier than employees. You don’t withhold taxes for contractors, nor do you pay benefits, workers compensation or unemployment insurance, nor must you comply with the wage & hour laws (including overtime) for contractors.

Reduce Personal Liability from Your Business

Here is a quick outline to help you avoid personal liability from your business. You’ll see that most of the authors advice derives from an informed use of corporations and corporate law, which is why…

Guidance for Collecting Life Insurance Death Claims

This article provides real life guidance on how to prepare for submitting a life insurance death claim and examples of what can cause a claim to be denied. Use these tips to ensure you will receive your life insurance death claim with as little hassel as possible.

Are U.S. Companies the Most Innovative?

U.S. firms are indeed among the most innovative. The report, published by Thompson Reuters, examined a series of patent-related metrics to come up with a list of the top 100 leaders in innovation.

Trademark FAQ: Selecting the Proper Format

If you have done any research into filing a trademark application, you know that there are some decisions to make. One of the most important choices is the depiction of your mark.

Patent Infringement Damages Under Fire

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner is one of the foremost legal scholars in the United States, particularly on economic matters. He has written numerous influential opinions and almost forty books on law and economics, teaches at the University of Chicago Law School, and is widely respected in the legal community. And two of his recent damage rulings will have a signification impact on the patent litigation process, or more specifically reduce it.

Fathers Rights in California and What Every Dad Should Know

Fathers concerned about their California custody rights get a lot of bad information. This article will take the confusion and myth out of this area of family law and get dads who are going through custody cases off to a good start.

Copyright Practice Tip: Failing to Follow Up Could Impact Your Rights

If you have correspondence from the U.S. Copyright Office sitting in a pile of paperwork on your desk, we urge you to read this post. Many communications from the Copyright Office set forth specific timelines for replying. If you miss these deadlines, you could be putting your intellectual property rights at risk.

Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News: Dr. Pepper Settles Trademark Lawsuit

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is parting ways with its oldest bottler, after a trademark dispute soured the business relationship. According to a joint statement, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has bought all of the bottler's sales and distribution operations under the terms of a settlement agreement.

Offshore Tax Havens and Bank Accounts- Are They Legal?

Following Mitt Romney's run for election and the more recent fall of Cyprus, tax havens have become increasingly scrutinized by the public eye. But are they always illegal?

Liability in Bus Collisions

A freeway accident on March 27th, 2013 involving an SUV and a bus injured 11 people. Only minor injuries were reported from the crash, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Reports indicate that a municipal bus and an SUV collided on an on ramp in Riverside, CA - further details as to the cause of the crash remain unknown. The bus was carrying a total of 29 passengers.

The Different Types of Workplace Discrimination

Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on everything from race and sex, to religion and physical ability. A growing body of law also seeks to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment.

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”.

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