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Orange County Business Litigation and Legal Malpractice Law Blog

On trade secrets and the litigation they can be involved in

If every soda company knew the ingredients to make Coca-Cola, don't you think there would a flood of new versions of sodas that mimicked Coca-Cola? If every car company knew who to make Tesla vehicles, wouldn't it be logical to assume that they would all make "Tesla-lites"? If every manufacturing process was the same because every process was optimized, would there be any differentiation between certain products?

The gist of what we are getting at here is that trade secrets and valuable information that companies safeguard are integral to the competitive nature of business, and they are what allow businesses to pursue greatness in the marketplace. To a very real degree, trade secrete and intellectual property not only protect businesses, they force other businesses to strive for greatness -- which can only benefit the consumer.

On trade libel and the controversies it can create

Imagine that you are a small business and you are trying to grow into a successful company. In order to do this, there are a lot of factors that need to fall into place just so. You need a great product or service; you need to implement that product or service efficiently; and you need to have a great reputation as a company with good customer service and dependable products. It is very difficult to achieve all of these factors.

So while you are journeying towards this tough objective, a person or organization comes out publicly and disparages your company or product. Criticism is one thing -- but what this person/party did is lie about your company or product.

What business structures are available?

Newer businesses and companies are popping up all the time. Some of these businesses are started by people who are brand new to the idea of starting their own business. These entrepreneurs probably have a lot of questions about this new adventure they are starting on, and they will need help.

One of the first questions many entrepreneurs have is "what type of business structure should my company follow?" The answer to this question depends on a wide variety of factors, from the product or service you are offering to the size of your company. But, more to the point, what are the types of business structures that a company can choose from?

Another twist in the Yosemite contract dispute tale

About six months ago, we wrote a blog post about the wild story regarding Yosemite National Park. The name, as well as the names of may different locations, buildings and other landmarks, was under legal challenge by Delaware North, a company that trademarked "Yosemite National Park" and laid claim to a number of other titles. The case was being challenged by both sides.

But the story doesn't end there. A new twist in the tale has seen the new concession company for Yosemite National Park thrown into the legal fracas. Officials are determining if the company, Aramark, should be a part of the lawsuit. Delaware North says no; the Justice Department says yes. Now, it goes to court.

The many ways a business legal dispute can happen

When it comes to businesses and disputes, the two go hand in hand. This isn't to say that every business is going to have an avalanche of legal disputes at any given time; but it is to say that businesses need to be prepared for legal disputes when they do arise. A company that isn't prepared may be unable to react properly during critical times in the legal process.

Sometimes, the legal dispute or problem may come from within. Maybe shareholders disagree on a certain topic and the aggressive shareholders flex their power over a minority shareholder. This can lead to problems.

3D printing companies locked in patent infringement lawsuit

Older generations may not necessarily see the appeal of 3D printers, but the 3D printing industry is a burgeoning one that brings a revolutionary promise to society. You could 3D print spare parts; you could 3D print operational products and items; you could 3D print functional tools. It was a massive breakthrough when 3D printing was invented, and over the years, it has been refined and improved.

Naturally, with a newer industry there are lucrative patents, copyrights and intellectual property that need to be protected early on in the development of said industry. And the 3D printing industry is no different. A recent lawsuit involving two 3D printing companies exemplifies this fact.

BlackBerry files 2 major patent infringement lawsuits in a month

Earlier this month, BlackBerry filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the tech company Avaya. It was their first lawsuit that they filed in relation to their patent library. Now, just a few weeks removed from that first foray into the world of intellectual property lawsuits, BlackBerry has filed another lawsuit. This time, it is against a company called Blu Products. Blu sells unlocked cellphones at reasonable prices, and BlackBerry alleges that as such, Blue has infringed upon 15 of the companies roughly 44,000 patents.

This could be a dramatic shift in BlackBerry's approach to its business. It isn't that they aren't trying to make money off of their cellular products and processors -- but they may be trying to leverage their vast patent library into a money-making part of the company.

Founder of footwear company sued by his old business

A footwear company and the designer that the company is named after have gone to court after the company sued its eponymous founder for a variety of infractions surrounding an alleged breach of contract.

Donald J. Pilner is the designer who broke away from his own company, DJP Holdings LLC, on Aug. 1 of last year. Pilner and his wife sold their shares in the company to a private equity firm. Pilner built DLJ Holdings into a prominent footwear company, but after he left the company he signed a non-competition agreement. He started his own new line of footwear recently, and that has led to the alleged claims that he violated his non-compete, among many other charges that DLJ Holdings has filed against him.

On bad faith insurance, and why legal help is critical

Bad faith insurance is a touchy subject for many reasons. It is a complex claim, one that requires the skilled hand of an experienced attorney to ensure that the case is handled properly. But the "touchy" nature of bad faith insurance claims comes from the very nature of insurance itself. People want their insurance to come through when they need it; and insurers don't want to pay out claims that aren't warranted or covered by the policy.

When very serious matters are involved with insurance -- such as life and death, in the case of life insurance -- then you get touchy, emotional and anxious cases when an insurer denies a client coverage.

Trademark lawsuit over Florida universities' names finalized

You may not have heard about a trademark lawsuit involving two universities that was filed in 2012, but the ruling has finally been made in the case and it warrants some discussion. Florida International University (FIU) sued Florida National University after the latter institution changed it's name from Florida National College to Florida National University.

FIU argued that the change in name constituted a breach of their trademark and that it would cause confusion between the two universities. However, a judge recently ruled that such a claim is not valid. The judge was ruling on an appeal after FIU lost their original case in 2012. The appellate court agreed with the original decision, saying that "international" and "national" are distinct words with separate definitions.

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