In business, your brand is your most important asset. Accordingly, you must use every legal remedy available to ensure that it’s protected.
If you own a business, your intellectual property may one day serve as the most valuable asset for your company—if it isn’t already. For this reason, it’s important to take steps to secure your intellectual property as soon as possible.
For example, Amazon is one company that’s getting it right. Over the past ten years, the massive online retailer has expanded its patent portfolio from 1,000 patents to close to 10,000.
Early on, Amazon realized the importance of protecting intellectual property to help support company goals. Likewise, it’s important to protect your intellectual property right from the start. However, you might wonder, “What is intellectual property?”
To learn more about intellectual property and how to protect it, keep reading.
What Is Intellectual Property?
In the purest sense, intellectual property is an asset that you create with your mind. These assets might include:
• Visual art
• Written content
Depending on the medium, you’d file for a copyright, patent, or trademark to protect your intellectual property. All these protections fall under the umbrella of intellectual property law. You’d file an application for protection with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
United States Patent and Trademark Office copyright law gives intellectual property owners the freedom to express ideas. Patent laws protect the processes and methods of concepts. Meanwhile, trademark law protects the name and branding of creations.
Copyright and trademark laws promote an environment of creativity and innovation. The laws protect creators by granting exclusive control of intangible assets.
As an entrepreneur, your most valuable resources are time and money. If you operate a small business, intellectual property may not serve as one of your top priorities—at least not yet.
Most people think intellectual property is only a concern for large companies. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
As a small-to-medium-sized business owner, it’s important to acquire intellectual property ownership rights to protect your products and ideas. By securing your intellectual property rights now, you can safeguard opportunities in the future.
Is Your Intellectual Property Safe?
It’s important to protect your intellectual property. By doing so, you can ensure that it isn’t stolen.
There are a few common tactics that you can use to protect your intellectual property rights. These tactics include.
• Avoidance of joint intellectual property ownership
• Business, domain, and product name registration
• Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements
• Copyright, trademark, and patent registration
• Cybersecurity measures
When people think about intellectual property protection, they most often think of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. These tools grant you an exclusive right to your creations.
However, there are other ways to protect ideas associated with your business. For example, you can register your business name in some municipalities.
It’s also a good idea to register your domain name, even if you don’t plan to launch a website. Eventually, you’ll want to establish an online presence.
However, some malicious actors make a career out of buying domain names that people didn’t think to protect. If this happens to you, you may have to pay a hefty fee or court fees to secure the rights to your own domain name.
On occasion, you’ll need to discuss points of your business that are sensitive. In this case, it’s important to establish a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement. This kind of agreement is a binding contract where parties agree to keep the details of your discussions a secret.
Today, nearly every business does some part of their business online. Unfortunately, malicious actors take advantage of this access point. Resultantly, it’s important to secure your business network.
Finally, it’s possible for more than one person to create a single intellectual property. However, it’s best to avoid this kind of situation at all costs.
Joint ownership of a trademark product or any intellectual property is complicated. Ultimately, this kind of arrangement can create more problems than it solves.
Why It’s Important to Protect Intellectual Property
Over the last year, there’s been an explosion of counterfeit products entering the market. Counterfeit products represent only a small percentage of global trade.
Nevertheless, these illicit goods generate more than $1 billion in sales in America alone. For this reason, there’s been a considerable uptick in online reviews containing terms such as fake or counterfeit.
In some cases, counterfeiters duplicate products minutes after they’re released. This unfortunate occurrence happens commonly on sites such as Amazon and Etsy.
Counterfeiters take advantage of these kinds of platforms because they don’t screen sellers. Meanwhile, consumers have no idea they’re purchasing counterfeit goods.
Counterfeit products can do more than eat into your profit. They can pose a serious risk to consumers.
The government does not vet counterfeit products. For this reason, it’s highly likely that they’re unsafe for use.
Furthermore, consumers can fall victim to identity theft when purchasing counterfeit goods from unscrupulous retailers. When this happens, consumers are quick to leave negative online reviews. For this reason, counterfeit products can result in serious damage to your brand reputation.
Securing Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents
It seems relatively straightforward to apply for a copyright, trademark, or patent. However, the process is considerably complex. You must make many legal decisions as you navigate the application.
Without experience, you can make unnecessary errors and have to pay expensive refiling fees. You may even find that your intellectual property application gets rejected.
It’s possible that you’re only considering protecting your intellectual property. Alternatively, someone may have infringed on your intellectual property rights. In either case, you can benefit from the experience of a trademark attorney.
Not all applications to register a trademark, copyright, or patent get approved. With a trademark attorney on your side, however, you’ll increase your chances of securing an intellectual property registration. Furthermore, a trademark attorney can help you submit your application quickly and efficiently.
Stay Informed About What Matters
Now you’ve learned the answer to the question, “What is intellectual property?” You also know more about how to protect intellectual property rights.
When it comes to running a business, however, there are always new things to discover. Accordingly, it helps to have a resource for the latest news, tips, and trends to help you run your business smoothly. Visit our business section for more great articles to help you get a leg up on the competition.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Wondering if you should hire a personal injury lawyer for your personal injury case? Looking for a reliable personal injury law firm?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident or another type of accident and have sustained a personal injury, it’s essential that you get the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, this can be hard to do without a personal injury lawyer on your side.
If you’re wondering if you should call a personal injury lawyer, read on. Here are a few situations in which you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
1. You’ve Been Severely Injured
One of the clear signs that you need to hire a personal injury lawyer is if you have sustained a severe bodily injury of some kind.
With a serious injury, high costs can be involved. It will be important to document financial damages and ensure you receive adequate reimbursement. An attorney can help you file for compensation and ensure that you get the reimbursement you need.
Costs can be high when you have a severe injury, so hiring a lawyer can be well worth it.
2. You’re Not Sure How Much Your Claim is Worth
Another reason you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer is if you have a hard time determining how much your personal injury claim should be worth.
Damages will include more than just medical bills, but will also include other expenses that were a result of your injury. Costs could include lost wages, travel expenses, in-home healthcare, or physical therapy.
A lawyer can help you determine the value of your personal injury claim and can help you get the maximum amount.
3. An Insurance Company Has Become a Challenge
If an insurance company doesn’t do its job and acts in bad faith, then it may also be necessary to hire a personal injury attorney to help. The at-fault insurance company should meet their responsibilities, and if they don’t, you have reason to complain.
If an insurance company fails to investigate claims, provides false or misleading information, changes policy terms, or refuses to pay a valid claim, it could mean that they’re acting in bad faith. In this case, you should get a lawyer involved to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
4. You’re Being Wrongfully Blamed
If you’re being blamed for causing a car accident or for sustaining a personal injury when it wasn’t your fault, you may need a lawyer. Sometimes the other party’s insurance company or defense lawyer will blame you for all or part of the injury, potentially leading to your receiving reduced compensation.
If untrue statements have been made about your part in an accident, a personal injury attorney can fight on your behalf.
5. The Case is Complex
The more complex your personal injury case is, the more helpful it can be to get a personal injury lawyer to help you with it.
A product liability claim, for example, or a case involving the government can both be more complicated than a car accident case will be. Different laws and rules will come into play with these cases, so you’ll want to hire a lawyer to help with them.
Making the Choice to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve gotten involved in an accident and have sustained injuries, it’s well worth hiring a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will be on your side and will help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
In search of more helpful advice and guidance? Browse our blog now to discover more useful tips.
Top 4 Benefits of Hiring a Business Attorney for Startups
Were you aware that hiring a business attorney can ensure you have a successful business?
All of the largest, most reputable companies have worked with lawyers that have a ton of business law experience. While you may think a lawyer is only necessary when going to court, they provide several services that can benefit you at all times.
Before starting a business, learning about how someone with business law experience can help you will ensure you make better decisions. Fortunately, we’ll outline all the main things you should know.
Here are the top 4 benefits of hiring a business attorney!
1. Avoid Business Legal Issues
One of the main benefits of hiring attorneys for businesses is being able to avoid business legal issues. When starting a company, you’ll be required to file several documents with the government and comply with regulations. If you don’t have business law experience, you’ll have a hard time figuring out what to do.
Attorneys for businesses will provide you with all the necessary info you need for your new business. This will prevent you from facing harsh penalties, such as large fines.
2. Get Advice
Aside from avoiding business legal issues, you can get advice from a business attorney whenever you need it. This is often done when a business is about to make a move but isn’t sure whether it’s legal.
For example, if a company is going to sign a contract with another company, a business lawyer will review the terms of it. If they find something that could cause business legal issues, they’ll have you revise the contract.
3. Filing a Lawsuit Is Simpler
Many businesses resort to filing a lawsuit when they feel as though someone’s wronged them. Without a lawyer, filing a lawsuit is a complicated process because you’ll need to file a plethora of documents, like starting a business.
Attorneys for businesses can negotiate with the defending party to settle before taking things to trial. Should you need to go to court, they’ll represent you and do most of the talking.
4. Protect Your Property
Another thing business lawyers can help you do is keep your property protected. When you have lawyers on your side, you won’t have to worry about other companies stealing your ideas because you can quickly file a lawsuit.
You can also take appropriate action if someone damages your physical property. Filing a lawsuit would be a good start, but a lawyer will help you figure out what the best approach would be.
Start Hiring a Business Attorney Now
After reading this article, you now know exactly how hiring a business attorney can help you. We encourage anyone that wants to start a business to hire someone with business law experience as soon as possible. This will prevent you from running into business legal issues that can be hard to get out of.
When looking for attorneys for businesses, ensure they specialize in business law. You can check out various law firms and speak to them to help decide which one’s right for you.
For more business advice, browse our other articles!
8 Truck Crash Documents to Have When Meeting Your Lawyer
According to a recent report, large trucks accounted for 10% of vehicular crashes last year. Unfortunately, over 4,000 people died as a result of these crashes.
Yes, truck accidents can be fatal, but what happens when you’re involved in one and survive? What are your next steps?
One crucial step is contacting a lawyer so you can get the compensation you deserve. However, you’re going to need various truck crash documents to ensure you have a successful case.
Do you know what you need to bring? If not, continue reading to find out more about these essential documents.
Whenever you’re involved in a truck accident case, the police officer on the scene will make an accident report detailing the nature of the situation. They’ll either do it on the scene or after the damage has been cleared.
In the report, you’ll typically find some valuable information such as:
- If a driver broke any traffic laws
- Cause of the accident
- Potential witness statements
It’s a crucial document that can help a lawyer bolster your defense. To access the report, contact your local law enforcement agency and give them the details regarding your name, the other driver, or the responding officer.
Photos and Videos
Once you get in an accident, your first instinct is to check your car to see if there are any damages. Since trucks are heavy vehicles, your vehicle will likely be damaged in some way.
To detail the impact of the damage, take pictures and videos after the accident occurs. They could be the determining factor in having a successful case.
It’s much harder to prove who is at fault when there’s no physical evidence to show. However, having pictures and videos allows your lawyer to strengthen your case even more.
If you sustained injuries in the crash and were treated at the hospital, ensure you get copies of your medical bills and records. They include:
- Prescribed medications
- Recommended treatment
When you show medical records to a lawyer, it summarizes how the crash has impacted your daily life. However, depending on where you received treatment, it could take a few days or weeks to get the information you need.
Being involved in a truck accident can be a daunting experience, leaving you in a whirlwind. You’re trying to make sure you and your passengers aren’t severely injured.
However, after the initial aftermath, next is determining who was at fault for the accident. Lines are often blurry here because no one wants to be the person who causes the accident.
But, if any witnesses gave a statement to the police, they could speak on your behalf. It provides a written summary of the accident from an unbiased perspective and keeps the witness from changing details of the story.
Proof of Income
Depending on the severity of your accident, you may have to take a few days off of work to recover. However, not working could severely impact your finances.
To help decide the amount of compensation you rightfully deserve, you’ll need to show proof of income in your truck crash documents. Ensure you have pay stubs or direct deposit statements to show how much you’ll be missing from not working.
Vehicle Damage Estimates
When your vehicle has sustained damage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim to repair any dents. However, before your lawyer can determine how much to ask for, you need to know the cost of damages.
Depending on your insurance provider, they may handle the damage estimates and provide you with the necessary figure. However, you can also take your vehicle to other body shops to get a second opinion on the price.
Once a number is determined, provide your truck crash injury lawyer with a detailed summary of the cost of damages.
Truck accidents can be traumatizing because they’re a near-death experience. Not only do you suffer from these accidents physically, but sometimes they may have long-term mental health effects.
As a result, you may end up suffering from mental health issues and need psychiatric or psychological care. Some common problems a person may face include conditions such as:
- Recurring nightmares
- Avoiding social activities
To help improve your case, make sure you give records of your treatment to your attorney. The additional support will show how severely your mental health has been affected by the accident.
Your lawyer will draft a release form that your treatment provider needs to sign to get the documents.
A Personal Journal
Although it’s not an official record that needs to be gathered, you can also provide your journal as evidence. It’s a great way to write down important information related to your accident.
A journal will also show others the impact the accident has had on your life’s quality. By detailing a chronological timeline, you can strengthen the position of your case and make your lawyer’s job easier.
These Truck Crash Documents Will Strengthen Your Case
Getting involved in a truck accident can be life-threatening. However, to get the compensation you deserve, ensure you talk to your lawyer about the truck crash documents you need for your case.
Without the items listed above, it can be harder to build a successful case. But if you gather the necessary documents, you can provide detailed support for your claim and show that you weren’t at fault for the accident.
To learn more about truck crash injury procedures, check out our blog for related content.
What to Look For in a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re facing charges, you want to walk into the courtroom with the best-of-the-best by your side.
Names like Annalise Keating and Saul Goodman might be the first to come to mind. Unfortunately, these fictional TV attorneys won’t be much help in your case.
The good news is that you can find a defense lawyer who is just as clever and determined. But we know it can be difficult, seeing as it’s not every day that you have to search for legal representation.
That’s where our guide comes in. Read on to learn what to look for in a good criminal defense lawyer and improve your chances of a positive outcome.
Know the Difference Between a Civil Attorney and Criminal Defense Lawyer
On your search for legal defense, you’ll probably come across civil attorneys and criminal defense lawyers. Know that these two professionals are not interchangeable.
If you’re facing criminal charges, you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer. A civil attorney won’t be very helpful as they exclusively handle non-criminal lawsuits.
Once you choose the right type of legal defense, you should verify their qualifications.
A legitimate criminal defense lawyer will have a Juris Doctor degree. Additionally, they should be a member of your state’s bar association.
But don’t just take their word for it — verify credentials via the American Bar Association. You can choose your state, enter the attorney’s information, and see if they are actually board certified.
Ask About Experience
Now’s not the time to take a chance on a rookie. In addition to being board-certified, Thehardylawfirm.com notes that your private criminal defense attorney should have plenty of experience.
See how long they’ve been practicing law in your state and what kinds of cases they’ve taken. Ideally, they should be familiar with negotiations, trial proceedings, and everything in between. That way, you can count on them throughout the entire process.
It might seem strange to ask your family and friends for lawyer recommendations, but it can help you find someone you trust!
If you can’t find any personal recommendations, online reviews are the next best thing. Check platforms like the Better Business Bureau and Facebook to see what clients say about the defense attorney’s communication style, pricing, etc.
Compare Price Models
When fines or prison time are at stake, you don’t want to go cheap. But you also need to find a lawyer who is within your budget.
Ask about their price model and see if it’s something you can afford. By knowing whether they charge a flat rate or by the hour, you won’t be surprised by the bill later on.
Start Your Search for a Defense Lawyer Today
It’s not enough to hire the first defense lawyer you come across — you need to find a good one. Working with the right attorney can improve the chances of clearing your name and getting back to normal.
Use these tips to start your search today! Remember that time is not on your side, meaning it’s best to find a defense attorney sooner rather than later.
Need more advice legal advice? Check out our other blog posts!
Common Types of Residential Lease Agreements in Texas
Land Lease Agreements are used for letting out a strip of land not having any property on it. Such kinds of leases might cover various purposes – such as Residential, Commercial and Agricultural. When it comes to residential lease agreement in Texas, these are some of the common types to consider.
Room Rental Agreements
This is the kind of agreement that you may opt for, in case you are planning to rent a room on your own property and would like to set some specific rules and boundaries. Such kinds of contracts can be assistive, and it is important to write how rent payments and utilities should be divided and the rules that exist for guests who are visiting.
Short-Term or Vacation Rental Agreements
Such kinds of agreements can be used for renting a property out for a short span of time, most often in the times when the said property is let out as a vacation rental. Generally, such agreements are for a span of 1 – 31 days. The contract needs to explain all the rules and laws to guests, and the kind of things that they may expect when they arrive.
In case you are trying to get a property on rent from some other landlord, a sublease agreement can be used for renting out a room or property. Often, people prefer to get a property or room subleased – when there is a need to move although there is no wish to have the lease broken. There might be some requirements of landlords, regarding whether they would accept subletting or not.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreements
These are flexible options for tenants as well as for landlords, and are short-term leases. These can be assistive for landlords who do not wish to let their property out for 1 year or more time, but would like to have their rights protected in any case. You can easily get free rental agreement template of this type and create an agreement form of your own.
This kind of agreement ends on the fixed term lease end date, when a new lease might be signed between a landlord and a tenant, which consists of updated dates as well as other details. The renter may alternately prefer moving at that time. Such kinds of leases use dates of calendars for setting the date of initiation and end of lease. This kind of rental lease agreement can be used when a renter gives his consent to renting a real estate property at a specific price for a specific period. These kinds of leases come with an end date that is predetermined.
Automatic Renewal Leases
Such kinds of leases tend to get automatically renewed after a specific period of time. It is also called “Periodic Tenancy”.
Most of the lease agreements happen to be in a written form. However, verbal lease agreements are contracts which may be enforced in the form of oral contracts. In any case, it is essential to understand that few states actually allow these agreements. In all states, these are prohibited. Tenants-rights laws existing in every state protect tenants who are under verbal residential lease agreements. As commercial leases have a lot of complexities involved, substantiating such types of contracts in the court can be almost impossible. Naturally, these are not permitted.
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