Business and Industry Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Business and Industry.
Do I really need a lawyer to do that? Strictly speaking, no. Anyone can apply to register a trademark, although the mark being applied for must satisfy the requirements of the Trademarks Act 1995. Registered trademarks can be valuable intellectual property assets, and can be dealt with in similar ways to other forms of property.
In Australia, there are many benefits to registering your valuable brand as a trademark. Trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use your registered trademark in a geographical area and in the market for goods and services covered by your registration.
There are many benefits to registering your valuable brand as a New Zealand trademark. Trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use your registered trademark in a geographical area and in the market for goods and services covered by your registration. A registered trademark gives you the exclusive right to license other people to use your trademark (and pay you a fee).
Are you a potential franchisee or even a current franchisee? Do you really need a franchise lawyer? That depends on your experience and appetite for risk. We say “yes” and we are biased, but that bias is based on considerable franchising experience gained over many years.
Most of us have heard all the dire warnings about the future of the Social Security retirement program. Some analysts tell us that the program will cease to exist within just a few short years. Others tell us that beneficiaries are certain to see reductions in benefit checks while still others tell us not to worry--a solution is just around the corner.
Who Watches the Watchmen?" has become a modern classic line. In case you don't know, The Watchmen are a fictional group of superheroes. In their story, they originally protected people, but then things broke down and people asked the famous line. It stands for the idea that no one should have complete and total power. It corrupts and thus, power needs to be watched.
You have undoubtedly heard the old axiom "Life's not fair." We all know that it's true. We would like to believe that on some level, things even out and that as society progresses, things will get fairer. Maybe it will someday. But, that day is not today as most LGBT couples know all too well.
Many people are surprised to hear that Medicare will not pay for residence in an assisted living community or a nursing home. This is a pretty bad news because simply writing a check would be painful at best, and impossible at worst.
There are individuals who are naturally more exposed to potential legal actions than others, and for these people asset protection should be a priority. You have to act in advance to preserve your assets because your hands are tied once a suit is initiated.
Many of us remain unmarried by choice or by necessity. Maybe you are paired up but cannot legally marry because of laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, or maybe you’re on your way to marriage. You may also be choosing to live with another person instead of choosing marriage for personal reasons. Whatever the reason may be, you should carefully consider your future property rights together as unmarried cohabitants.
Between email and texting and IM and social media messaging in its varied forms, the number of ways to communicate without ever actually speaking is astonishing. And it can lead to big problems when combined with continuing contract discussions. If your life is anything like mine, you were forced into text messaging kicking and screaming.
An article in Forbes recently highlighted some of the important financial issues that those who have been diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening condition should consider. Though financial questions may be the last thing you want to think of if you are facing this situation, ignoring these issues won't make them go away. If you face them now, your family and loved ones may have an easier time of it later on.
Relationships generally are going to unfold step-by-step, and when you have already been married before you may be in no hurry to actually tie the knot in a legally binding manner. In fact, census statistics are indicating that people are not remarrying as much as they used to, but this does not necessarily mean that they are not getting involved in committed relationships.
Retirement planning attorneys are going to tell you that it is important to accumulate financial resources in anticipation of being able to put your working years behind you someday. This is however just one thing piece to the puzzle.
A recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress found that a federal program designed to combat Medicaid fraud has resulted in cost greater than the amount of fraud the program identified.
A recent article in Forbes points out that the terminally ill face several financial and estate planning questions that, though not often spoken about, are very important. If you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s important to speak to an estate planning attorney as soon as possible so you can begin addressing key concerns that will not only affect you, but also your family.
Of all the issues that arise after someone dies, it's often the financial ones that pose the most difficulties. If a spouse or family member passes, you may be unprepared to deal with the specific details of handling the decedent's financial affairs, including any debts left behind. It’s important to understand that family relatives are only rarely responsible for paying the decedent's debts. Here’s what you need to know.
For many senior citizens, the cost of medical care and services is a big concern. Often, healthcare plans that were in effect while working are no longer available or are financially out of reach. Many elderly Americans turn to the Medicaid program for assistance. Qualifying for the program can be difficult for an individual who has even minimum assets.
Most people have heard of the concept behind a Will contest, yet most have never been involved in one. A Last Will and Testament cannot be challenged simply because a potential beneficiary is not happy with what he or she received under the terms of the Will.
President Obama issued another round of proposed financial budget measures that would affect the 2013 fiscal year. On February 13, 2013, the President’s cabinet presented his plan to Congress. Focusing on permanently rebuilding a national economy, the President’s 2013 Budget Bill seeks to slash government spending and increase the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.
This brief gives insights on taxes applied to corporate income and corporate capital gains. Corporate Income Tax - Congolese companies are taxed on the territoriality principle. As a result, companies carrying on a trade or business outside the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are not taxed in the DRC on the related profits.
Statistics indicate that the majority of people who reach the age of eligibility rely on their Social Security benefits to provide most of their income. This can be either grossly inadequate or perfectly acceptable depending on two factors: The exact amount of your benefit and the financial responsibilities that you have when you enter into retirement.
The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has re-affirmed the distinction between segregated portfolio companies (“SPCs”) and their segregated portfolios and the insolvency implications for each. In ABC Company (SPC) v J & Co. Ltd (CICA Unreported, May 2012) the Court of Appeal re-affirmed that the insolvency of one segregated portfolio in an SPC will not impact the other segregated portfolios in that SPC so as to require a winding up order to be made over the SPC as a whole.
Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys are always reminding their clients to stay in touch because the initial estate plan is like a snapshot whereas estate planning as a whole is an ongoing motion picture of sorts. As things change, the estate plan that you previously constructed may need to be updated – something to keep in mind every step of the way.
You have to think things all the way through in order to find the motivation that you need to stop procrastinating and finally start making preparations for the future. If you asked a random sampling of individuals about the things that are most important to them, “family” would probably be at the top of the list for the majority of the respondents.
When you evaluate the basic anatomy of a revocable living trust you see that there are three principal players. We would like to break it down in a very rudimentary manner for you here.
The mining code of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] provides for a possibility of leasing and assigning mining and quarry rights. Since mining and quarry rights, as expressed in mining and quarry permits, are real and exclusive property rights, it is possible to lease and assign these rights, although under the restrictions set out in the Mining Code.
When you think about a Last Will, the act of stating your wishes in writing is probably the thing that comes to mind. However, there is more to it than simply letting everyone know how you would like your resources to be distributed after your passing.
Keeping your fingers crossed while hoping for the best is no substitute for intelligent planning when you are considering the eventualities of aging. As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age, studies show that a high percentage of them are unprepared.
In 2008, the federal government launched a Medicaid audit program designed to curtail the estimated $60 billion a year that Medicaid loses to fraudulent claims and overpayments. Since its inception, the program has performed about 1,550 audits, resulting in the identification of about $20 million worth of Medicaid overpayments and fraud.
The idea of having to move into an assisted living community or nursing home environment is not appealing to a great many people. However, it’s estimated that about 43% of everyone age 65 and over will use a nursing home at some point in their lives. Paying for nursing home care is often very difficult, and these expenses are not covered under Medicare.
Medicaid, the joint state and federal health insurance program designed to provide health care to the poor, needy, disabled, and elderly, loses billions of dollars in losses every year. Soon, that number may soon increase when the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid coverage to millions more Americans. Of the $400 billion spent on Medicaid last year, it’s estimated that about 8% of it was lost to fraud and abuse.
A natural segue from our last article regarding conviction records is to briefly touch on background checks and the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). For the truly ambitious, the you can read the complete FCRA text. Background checks are most commonly encountered during the hiring process. For that reason, we will focus on a scenario involving an employer and an applicant.
A new regulation published on 03 July 2012 dated, 28342 numbered Official Gazette amending the Regulation for Implementation of Foreign Direct Investment Law. By thus, liaison offices are subject to new regulations both in in permission and operation proceedings. According to the article 6 of the new Regulation, Ministry of Economy is authorized to give permissions as the governmental body.
This article gives an outline of how to bring a new physician into a medical practice. I go from common sense to legal advice, from the physician’s purchase of ownership to the parties’ exit strategy to unwind the relationship.
If you are in a group medical practice, you might wonder, “Can I or another doctor 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 physician who would set up the competing practice.
In this article I explain shareholder buy-sell agreements for physicians and medical corporations. A buy-sell agreement (also called a shareholders agreement) protects the corporation from the physician / shareholders, specifically their death, loss of license, disability, divorce and dispute.
In this suite of articles, I explain the basic corporate, business and contract law issues for medical corporations and group medical practices in California. I explain things from both sides, that is, the perspectives of both the individual physician and the group practice. The articles in this suite are:
Environmental Audit, One of the Conditions for Mining Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Mining is a key sector and continues to grow in several part of the world including in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]. Legislation for mining may require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out before a mine is developed, and that a mine be developed and operated in an environmentally sound manner with the least impact on the environment. This paper gives insights of the environmental audit for mining operations in the DRC.
Dominican Republic has best legal framework for the Foreign Investment - Legal System - The Constitution of the Dominican Republic defines the government system as being democratic, republican and presidential. It also provides that the exercise of power is divided among three independent branches: executive, legislative and judicial.
The generation that grew up in the postwar economic boom is bringing with it new expectations as it enters retirement at a rate of 10,000 people per day. Just as they drove change in American society as they took leadership roles in business, academia, technology and government. Baby boomers are changing the way retirement communities and senior living centers serve the needs of elderly Americans.
The success of franchises in Panama is based on the trust and smooth communication of the parties and the enterprise will of the franchisee, as well as the professional administration of the franchiser.
As states across the country continue to struggle with solving their Medicaid funding problem, fraudulent Medicaid claims continue to plague the system. Last year alone, the federal government lost about $22 billion of Medicaid funds because of fraudulent claims. Because Medicaid is a jointly funded federal and state program, state losses are also thought to be significant.
If you have heard claims such as “protect your estate assets and still qualify for Medicaid” and wondered about the legality of the claims, you are smart to do so. Although it is possible to legally protect many of your assets and still qualify for the Medicaid program, it must be done carefully, and with the help of an experienced elder law attorney, in order to prevent Medicaid fraud.
Many people never think about making an estate plan. Let’s take a moment and consider this: if you are going to make an estate plan what are the steps that you would take to make the best possible plan?
There are some people who will go to any lengths to line their own pockets, and they will even stoop so low as to target senior citizens. Indeed, elder financial abuse is all too common these days and expert observers are finding that the problem is on the rise.
It is a rude awakening when you start to reach middle-age and find that you are not prepared for retirement. One of the reasons why far too many people find themselves in a bad position is because they expect too much from Social Security and Medicare.
You have likely been told how important estate planning is by numerous people. If you are like many people though, a real life example hits home much more effectively than general advice. The Larry Hillblom story is one of many famous examples of why estate planning should be done early one and revised on a regular basis.
Do you have a legal plan in place in case you should become mentally disabled or in the event of your death? If not, your family may face a long and stressful time in court. When you don’t have an estate plan to deal with end-of-life issues such as the distribution of your property and guardianship for your children, state law takes over and decides the fate of your estate.
While most of us are aware of the risks of not having an estate plan the truth is, having an inadequate plan can be just as risky. Your estate plan should do more than just distribute your assets – it should protect them as well. A good plan can also protect your loved ones from things like probate and excessive taxes and legal fees.
Payable on Death or Transfer on Death Accounts may be an option to avoid probate and allow your beneficiary immediate access to your accounts. Payable on Death Accounts are useful for bank accounts. They allow you to name a specific beneficiary so your loved one may have immediate access to your accounts upon your death.
With state budgets increasingly tight and Medicaid set to expand drastically in 2014, many lawmakers are looking for ways to decrease the impact Medicaid has on state budgets. One of the possible avenues some lawmakers are considering is further decreasing the extent to which Medicaid fraud impacts the joint federal and state program.
A month ago my computer crashed. It was devastating. Every time I tried to start the thing, I got nowhere. I looked online for answers and followed a lot of advice, but nothing seemed to work. I thought that I had lost all of my files. That meant the loss of not only important work-related documents, but also important family pictures. It was devastating.
Imagine being a young adult who is transitioning into a new phase of life. You have your first child on the way, and you are envisioning all of the things that you have to take care of as the big day approaches. You will invariably start to buy baby clothes and other necessities while you fix up a room for your firstborn child. The anticipation is indescribable as you face the realities of parenthood.
The HUD-1. With every refinance transaction you will need to review and sign a HUD-1 form – also known as a settlement statement or just the HUD. The HUD is a breakdown of all the costs associated with your refinance.
The Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] is the newest member of OHADA and officially announced its joining OHADA in February 2004 but it’s had to deposit instruments of ratification for the statehood party. This has now been donThe Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] is Finalizing its Accession to the OHADAe since the 27th June 2012.
Most people don't spend their daily lives dealing with the language of the law. Because of this, it’s important for anyone creating a Will to take a few moments and learn about some of the common legal terms involved. Here's a brief list of some of the more commonly found words with which you may not be familiar.
A good estate plan is, often, one that will avoid any probate court complications, thus saving your estate time and money. While probate courts are often unfairly regarded as needlessly bureaucratic, they also handle numerous important legal issues, not all of which are related to estate planning. Let’s take a look at some of the more important issues that might wind up before a probate court.
The costs associated with the growing number of Americans who have fallen into poverty and are relying upon Medicaid for health care insurance are being complicated by the money lost to Medicaid fraud each year. It's estimated that the federal government alone lost about $22 billion of Medicaid funds last year to fraudulent claims.
While many people make Medicare coverage part of their retirement plan, not everyone knows that Medicare doesn't pay for long-term care coverage. While some people plan on using long-term care insurance or private payment options if they ever need to relocate to a nursing home or assisted living environment, you may be able to use Medicaid to pay for the care costs as well. Let’s take a look at a few common questions about Medicaid planning and how it can help you.
While many Americans have been hit hard by the recession, baby boomers and elderly Americans are increasingly more in debt than they have been for decades. A report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that 81.7 percent of Americans aged 55 to 64 have both household and consumer debt. This represents an increase of almost 10 percent between 1992 and 2007.
While planning for retirement, many people focus on the money they'll need to support themselves and their family after they stop working. What few people plan for is the possibility that they will have to pay for their elderly parent's nursing home expenses. Though not widely reported, about 30 states have laws that allow nursing homes and other extended care facilities to pursue the adult children of someone staying in the care facility.
You might think that you would be able to leave behind resources to your loved ones after you pass away fully intact. After all, whatever you have accumulated throughout your life is a reminder that you were able to hang onto after paying enumerable taxes every step of the way.
Estate plans do not come in a one-size-fits-all product, and all estate plans need to be changed whenever certain life events arise. Divorcing or legally separating from your spouse is one of these events. If you believe you may be getting a divorce or separation, you need to speak to your estate planning lawyer so you can make the necessary changes.
It's very common to come across news stories about disputes that arise after a famous or wealthy person has died. These family conflicts often lead to broken family relationships that can never be healed. Having an estate plan will go a long way in helping to avoid these types of family conflicts. Not having a plan, on the other hand, can lead to all sorts of difficulties.
Everyone needs an estate plan. If you are smart, you know that you need an attorney to draft your estate plan. Estate plans have legal consequences, so it only makes sense to hire a legal expert to create your plan. You wouldn't hire a roofer to fix a cavity. You would go to the dentist for that.
When you are enjoying your prime earning years you have a certain amount of financial power. Once you retire you may find yourself living on a fixed income with little flexibility available to you. As a result you must look ahead toward the future when you are still working and plan ahead intelligently so that you can enjoy your retirement years to the fullest without any financial concerns.
In a small majority of states, adult children of elderly parents may be required to pay for the parent's long-term care expenses if the parent is not able to. Thirty states have what are called filial responsibility laws. These laws require the children to pay for their parent's nursing home expenses. Though they have rarely been enforced, they apply if an elderly parent is considered indigent and the adult children are able to pay.
Capital markets projects always involve a significant amount of effort and stress from all parties of the process. Everybody has a common goal to get everything done just before the ever-urgent “windows” for the issue close. This time of crisis and uncertainty is precious and not to be wasted. Now is a great opportunity for prospective issuers and investors alike to get to grips with preparatory work in time for when the capital markets open their doors for Ukrainian business.
Traditionally M&A transactions involving Ukrainian targets are structured in a specific way in order to reflect peculiarities of the Ukrainian business environment. Enforcement of such structures requires deep knowledge and outstanding expertise in arbitration involving Ukrainian parties. Before drafting any dispute resolution clause, the following issues should be addressed.
From the moment foreign investors enter Ukraine they face a “non-Western standard” business environment, confusing and unstable legislation, and bureaucracy. One would need to spend a lot of time and effort to get a clear understanding of the local “rules of conduct”. That is why many investors prefer to have a local partner rather than be on their own.
On the way to the European integration, and by virtue of the determined Ukrainian policy towards energy independence, the Ukrainian Government is taking significant steps to improve Ukrainian energy sector. Currently, important changes are being introduced in the oil-and-gas industry. This has already encouraged global oil-and-gas companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, and Eni to commence investment activity in Ukraine.
Sophisticated M&A transactions include not only straightforward share purchase agreements but may also contemplate ancillary agreements (e.g. option agreements, share pledge agreements, repo financing, etc.). Moreover, share purchase agreements may envisage non-compete clauses, which also fall within the ambit of Ukrainian competition law.
Development of efficient tax and corporate structures from the shareholders’ and potential investors’ perspective are key issues in a business restructuring. Each cross-border restructuring usually involves several jurisdiction. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) on the cross-border restructuring of Ukrainian business:
4 Questions You Should Consider When Selling Your Stake in Business to a Private Equity Fund - Ukraine
Unlike Western developed economies, Ukraine has only recently started to unlock its potential in the area of attracting investments from Private Equity Funds (“PEFs”). Therefore, on the one hand, every more or less serious Ukrainian business (“Business”) has a good chance to attract the attention of a PEF.
New Measures on Administration of Special Funds for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in China
On May 25th, 2012, the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) of the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) jointly issued the Measures on Administration of Special Funds for Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as the “New Measures”) which shall enter into force as of the date of its promulgation. June 13rd, 2012.
Moving to a new home probably means making long lists of Things to Do. If you’re moving across state lines, be sure to add an Estate Plan Review high on the list. Even though each state must honor legal documents made in other states, each state makes its own laws for the formalities and substance of wills, trusts ,powers of attorney, and health care directives. This can lead to some confusing consequences.
Dubai is a well-respected pathway to the East, and since it became a financial hub, companies that engage in all types of business activities are now looking to establish a presence here. Dubai has over ten freezones, which provide international investors with the opportunity to expand into the Middle-East and beyond.
Although you may not know the name, you have probably read the novel or seen the movie based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was written by Larsson. Larsson was a lifelong journalist -- often authoring controversial political pieces. As do many writers, Larsson had a novel in his head that had to be put down on paper.
Death is not a popular topic for obvious reasons. Most of us prefer not to spend much time thinking about the possibility of dying, at least not anytime soon. It can happen though, and being financially and practically prepared is important.
If you have worked hard all of your life, and are at the point where you are starting to think about your golden years you are probably counting on Social Security retirement benefits to fund at least a portion of your golden years.
If you have recently lost a parent, you are undoubtedly going through the grieving process that follows such a deep loss. The loss of a parent is never easy. If you are also concerned that something is not right about her Last Will and Testament, your grief is likely also joined by worry.
Marriage in the United States is much more than an emotional commitment between two people--it is an official status that comes with numerous financial and legal benefits to the partners. Anyone who is in a same sex relationship is all too aware of this fact.
If you are one of America’s farmers or ranchers, estate planning includes some significant hurdles for you that it does not include for other types of businesses. Although estate planning is always important, for a farmer or rancher it often takes on a heightened importance to ensure that the farm or ranch assets are not lost to estate taxes upon your death.
Losing a parent can be one of the most emotionally difficult times you will ever have to face during your lifetime. Sitting down to hear the terms of your mother’s or father’s Last Will and Testament is often one of the most difficult parts of the loss.
As you are thinking about the quality of life that you will lead as a senior citizen, you must be pragmatic about your present-day actions. Social Security alone is probably not going to be enough to provide you with a truly comfortable retirement, and Medicare does not pay for everything. So, to be able to realize your ideal retirement vision, you are going to have to engage in some intelligent long-term planning.
Once you have drawn up your Last Will you have taken an important first step, but things are not going to simply take care of themselves when the time comes. After you pass away your estate is going to have to be probated before the rightful heirs to the estate receive their inheritances.
If you have been appointed to be the Executor of a Will, you have a lot of work to do. The Executor needs to gather all of the assets of the estate and distribute them according to the terms of the Will. That's the easy part.
Some would have you believe that Scots law allows anyone to be the Lord of, if not all he surveys, at least a square foot of the Scottish Highlands. One site advertises souvenir plots “from just £29.99” and claims that, in return, you can use a clan crest, coat-of-arms and tartan. By “Scottish tradition”, it says, ownership of the plot “legally allows” you to use the courtesy title of Laird, Lord or Lady. But what is the legal truth behind these offers of instant ennoblement?
With even the President of the United States openly supporting the rights of same-sex couples to marry the future looks brighter than ever for gay couples who want to enter into a legal marriage. For now, however, statistics tell us that as many as one million same-sex couples in America continue to struggle with providing similar rights and protections to their partner that a traditional marriage provides when it comes to estate planning.
Many people are unaware of probate courts and what they do. If you've begun your estate planning efforts you may know that probate courts are responsible for supervising the estate administration process, even though they also do a lot more. Though each state court has different responsibilities, let’s take a look at some of the more common matters that probate courts handle.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights how Medicaid, especially after the passing of the Affordable Care Act is changing the way many Americans look at healthcare and retirement planning. Though originally enacted as a plan to provide health insurance to the needy, Medicaid is becoming more widely available to those who previously had been ineligible.
People like to make money. Estate planning attorneys are not any different. Most people, however, like to make money in ways that are not headache inducing. Estate planning attorneys are not any different in that respect either.
Family farms and ranches face some of the same estate planning obstacles as any other business; however, there are some aspects of estate planning that are unique to the family farm or ranch. If you own a family farm or ranch, and plan to pass it down to future generations, careful estate planning is critical to avoid losing your farm or ranch to estate taxes.
Many people wonder how much control they should retain over the assets they leave to their heirs. Some people want to just give them everything away and let their heirs do with it what they will. Other people want to dictate everything that their heirs can do with their inheritances. Both of those are extremes. Most people will find themselves somewhere in the middle.
As you are making preparations for the future you are going to want to discuss all of the possibilities with an experienced local Indianapolis estate planning lawyer. Out of a lack of information there are those who go forward assuming that a last will is the best and only choice, but this is a mistake.
For many people, creating an estate plan so that your estate can avoid having to go through probate is one of the main goals of beginning the planning process. However, probate courts do not simply exist to delay the estate settlement process. These courts exist in all states and are responsible for hearing numerous important legal issues. Let's take a look at some of the common issues probate courts handle.
Turkish Cabinet has announced a new decree on 15th June 2012, numbered 2012/3305 and published on official gazette of 19th June 2012.
Turkish Government has incorporated The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (“ISPAT”) by law no 5523 (“Law”) as of 4 July 2006. ISPAT is incorporated as a legal entity with administrative and financial autonomy in association with Prime Ministry.
By Asia Law
Here in Asia, it’s surprising how often tech companies will team up with a business partner and commence manufacturing, with no contract in place, placing trust in a few emails, oral conversations and purchase orders. I know, because they will then come to me, after problems have arisen, with questions about their legal rights. Much risk and uncertainty can be eliminated if the parties will first negotiate and sign a basic manufacturing agreement.