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Orange County Business Litigation and Legal Malpractice Law Blog

Removing a partner when there is not enough capital for a buyout

 

There are many ways that a business partnership can fall apart and having a contingency plan for how to treat each partner equitably if that occurs can save both parties massive headaches before they have the opportunity to arise. Even though most individuals who enter into partnerships do so because they believe that the other person will be in it for the long haul, it is always wise to prepare for how you will treat your partner fairly if the business or the relationship does not last as long as you had both anticipated.

Skechers sued again by Adidas for patent infringement

Adidas recently developed a new type of shoe that has a "blade-like" attachment to the bottom of the shoe. This design is meant to give runners and walkers more spring in their step (both metaphorically and literally). The line of shoes are called Springblades, and their overall look and design was so enticing that Skechers simply couldn't help themselves -- again.

Skechers made a similar-looking shoe to the Adidas Springblade called the Mega Flex. It, too, has a blade-like structure to help runners get some more bounce when they are performing their activities. Adidas filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Skechers, marking the third time in the last year that a major athletic gear company has sued Skechers.

Preserve a partnership with proper agreements

Often, when forming a new partnership in business, the excitement of a new business leads to partners putting off establishing the correct documentation to define the business relationship. As with many relationships, it can be tricky to know when to define things officially in a business partnership. However, the sooner that key responsibilities and outcomes are defined with well-crafted documents, the greater likelihood the partnership has of avoiding uncomfortable and costly problems that may arise down the road.

It is easy to understand why a freshly founded business may want to delay crafting documents to define key relationships and roles. When everyone involved in a new business is filled with enthusiasm, it may seem feel like defining terms and responsibilities for the few present members of the business will throw a wet blanket on the thrilling experience of getting a company up and running. However, any loss of momentum felt by taking the time to make official incorporation papers and defining the roles of each member of the team is almost always better than the problems that can arise from leaving these things vague and undefined.

The closely held corporation, and why it can be beneficial

As most people are aware, businesses can either be public or private in nature. When a company goes public, they open up shares for sale that anyone can purchase. This can be very beneficial to a company's growth and bottom line, but it can also present problems. That's why some companies choose to utilize the "closely held corporation" approach to their company.

A closely held corporation is a public company by name, but in actuality it is limited to a few investors that control the company. Occasionally the closely held corporation will offer up a small amount of stock to the public, which can then be bought by anyone. In order to be considered a closely held corporation, it is a requirement that a certain percentage of the shares of the company be owned by the public.

Construction litigation is a complex area of law

Construction is a complicated industry. There are so many moving parts and complex plans in place that a construction project is almost guaranteed to have something go wrong -- even if that defect or problem is extremely minor in nature.

Unfortunately, sometimes the defect or problem is dangerous and catastrophic. Maybe the design of the building was flawed. Maybe the materials used to build the building or renovate a floor were defective or improper. Maybe the contractor failed to follow standard industry or safety procedures, leading to massive problems with the project. In any case, these construction issues not only impact the contractors and construction workers: they impact the people and businesses who intend to use the building under construction.

How customer confusion plays a role in trademark infringement

With most companies, it isn't the product or service itself that makes them successful -- it is their intellectual property and how the company protects it. A trademark is one of the most important parts of the business's intellectual property, because it establishes your certified brand and it conveys to the people that your business, your product, and your services are legitimate and trustworthy.

Now, some companies may try to pilfer that goodwill and expertise by making their company confusing similar. They could make a product that look like your product, or, in the case of a trademark infringement lawsuit, another company may try to use similar logos or names to your company.

What a patent does, and why patent types matter

Patents are incredibly useful for businesses and inventors who want to protect their inventions and products. A patent is a right granted by the federal government, protecting the patent holder from other people who want to profit from or reproduce the work that is covered in the patent.

Patents come in three types: utility patents, design patents and plant patents. Utility patents are very common, and they cover things such as machinery, chemicals and processes. Design patents relate to the appearance or design of a particular product. The sleek curves of a cellphone; the ornaments on a motor vehicle; the overall "look" of a product; these are things covered by a design patent.

What constitutes breach of contract and what happens afterwards?

No matter the reputation of a company and no matter how noble the intentions of a company, it is likely that at some point it will be involved in a contract dispute. Contract disputes often arise due to a breach of the contract. This occurs when provisions in the contract, which two parties agree to, aren't met. When those provisions or objectives aren't met, one party has "breached" the contract.

When a contract is breached, there are usually two routes that the parties take. One is that the party harmed by the breach of contract attempts to enforce the contract by taking legal action. The other route is to try informal methods to mediate and remedy the situation. Negotiations and discussions to fix the situation are certainly suggested, as it can be much more cost-effective than taking another company to court.

Avoiding common contractor scams

Whether you are hiring a contractor to work on your home or your business property, taking the time to conduct some due diligence can help you avoid costly scams. Even when no scam is afoot, a little research helps you ensure you are hiring an experienced contractor who is less likely to leave you with defective construction or repairs.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are some common signs that a "contractor" might also be a scam artist. First, the FTC says you might want to avoid contractors that go door to door in a cold-call fashion, attempting to sell you their services. Most licensed contractors don't work this way -- they reach out through normal advertising channels and word of mouth and are typically too busy to go door to door. While some door to door contractors are legitimate, the FTC warns consumers to avoid those that offer kickbacks or discounts for finding other customers.

Experience is a must in employment law cases

Employment law extends far beyond the issues of salary or claims of discrimination, and the manner in which employment litigation is handled makes a big difference in outcome. Experienced employment law professionals know there isn't always one path to what might be deemed success for a case. Winning in court is not always going to provide the best outcome for every situation, for example.

Our firm is experienced in a range of employment litigation matters, and we have had success at negotiating positive outcomes to keep businesses or former employees out of court. While negotiation and settlement can be a very powerful tool, we also know that a trial win can be as valuable in other cases. We take the time to understand both the nature and facts of your case and your goals with regard to litigation. With that information in mind, we recommend possible courses of action that we believe are most likely to result in fair outcomes for you.

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