An Introduction to Patents

Patented inventions are all around us: in the computers we use, the cars we drive—even your drinkware may be patented. Wherever you are reading this, it is likely you can look around and spot dozens of items that are covered by one or more patents. What is a patent? The US Constitution tells us that a patent is the right of an inventor to the exclusive benefits of their invention for a limited time. From such a ... Read More

4 Essential Elements of Every Trademark Licensing Agreement

A popular way to monetize trademarks is to license their use to others. For example, franchises work this way by granting the franchisee the license to use the marks of the brand owner in the franchisee’s business. Licensing also comes into play when a business’s assets are sold, but the seller wishes to retain ownership of the intellectual property. As a condition to the sale, the seller licenses the use of the ... Read More

5 Things NOT Protected by Copyright Law

There are many articles and discussions written on the material that copyright law protects, but an often overlooked topic in the discussion is what a copyright does NOT protect. The answers are not immediately obvious, as is evinced by the fact that I frequently hear people saying “I’m going to copyright [insert non-copyrightable thing here].” So what isn’t eligible for copyright protection? Here are five things: ... Read More

The Importance of Adopting a Trademark Strategy for your Business

Trademark attorneys are increasingly topping the list of attorneys that businesses seek to retain on a long-term or ongoing basis. One reason for this the duration of the trademark registration process. Registering a trademark takes at best nine months, and that’s only if there are no refusals or oppositions or office actions from the Trademark Office. Another perhaps more important reason is that forward-thinking ... Read More

Is Asset Protection Planning Right for You?

I am frequently asked how much an individual’s net worth needs to be in order for them to be a good candidate for asset protection planning.  It’s impossible to answer with a specific dollar value, but if you are concerned that an adverse court judgment against you might wipe out your way of life, the answer may be an asset protection plan. What Is an Asset Protection Plan? The best place to start is by ... Read More

What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?

A buy-sell agreement is a contract (or sometimes part of a contract) in which a business owner makes an agreement with the other co-owner or owners as to what happens to their share of the business upon the occurrence of certain “triggering events” such as death, incapacitation, divorce, bankruptcy, or retirement. In some ways it is similar to a will in that it is a legal agreement that governs the disposition of ... Read More

The Recipe for a Strong Merger & Acquisition

Properly planning and executing the merger of two companies can mean the difference between success and failure of the newly structured business. Successful mergers require planning, forethought, and above all, commitment. Here are five ingredients in the recipe for a strong merger or acquisition. 1) It’s a good match. The royal houses of Europe spent an inordinate amount of time shoring up their power through ... Read More

A Brief Introduction to Gaming Control Boards

It should come as no surprise that the legalized gambling industry is heavily regulated. While some of this regulation comes at the federal level, the true gatekeepers are the state or local-level gaming control boards. Note that not all boards will be called “gaming control boards.” These entities operate under many different names including gambling board, gaming commission, casino control board, and gambling ... Read More

5 Key Differences Between Employees and Independent Contractors

How are independent contractors different from employees, and why does it matter? If you're an employer, you may be wondering whether it's best to hire a new employee or start a working relationship with an outside contractor. If you're looking for a new job or other sources of income—you'll want to compare the pros and cons of employment with those of contract work (also known as freelancing or consulting). Either ... Read More

Selecting and Protecting a Trademark – Step by Step

A strong trademark is essential to the identification and public perception of your brand. Trademarks connect your company’s identity with the products and services you offer. While you can use a trademark without registering it, that is not recommended. The relatively low time and cost involved in clearing and registering your trademarks is well worth the legal protections you receive. Follow this step-by-step guide ... Read More