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Orange County Business & Commercial Law Blog

Copyright issues regarding works created by employees

One thing copyright disputes sometimes arise over is who holds the copyright to a given protected material. Disputes over this issue can sometimes center on who got the copyright when the protected work was initially created.

Generally, when a material eligible for copyright protection is created, the copyright for it goes to its creator. However, this is not the case for works that are "made for hire."

Implied and express warranties in sales of goods

For many businesses here in California, the sale of goods is a big part of their business operations. Sometimes, legal disputes arise for a business in relation to the sale of goods. For example, sometimes, businesses that sell goods face accusations from buyers that the goods purchased breached a warranty.

There are two main types of warranties a sold good could have on it here in California, express warranties and implied warranties

Businesses subjected to unfair competition have rights

So much can be at stake in competition between businesses. Thus, it is of little surprise that such competition can get rather heated. In the midst of such heated competition, there are many different tactics a business may turn to try to get a leg up on their competitors.

Of course, businesses can't simply do anything to best competitors here in California. Some types of conduct cross the line and constitute unfair competition.

Interpretation of technical terms of contracts in California

For some businesses, it is rather common for the contracts they form with other parties to contain a variety of technical terms. Disputes sometimes come up regarding business contracts with technical terms. In some instances, these disputes center on disagreements over what technical terms in the contract mean for the purposes of the contract and what this means for the obligations of the parties.

California has a variety of different rules courts are to turn to when trying to interpret a contract and its terms in disputes over contract meaning. This includes rules on the interpretation of technical terms.

2015 saw a lot of homebuilding in Orange County

Statistics on homebuilding permits in Orange County in 2015 indicate that quite a bit of residential construction occurred in the county last year.

The statistics cover the January-to-October period of 2015. According to the statistics, 10,664 homebuilding permits were issued over that period. This is the biggest January-to-October permit total the county has had since 2000 and is nearly 2,000 permits higher than the total for 2014 for this period. This total also makes 2015 the sixth year in a row that the county saw a year-over-year increase in the permit total for January to October.

How are general and limited partnerships different?

Here in California, two of the main types of business partnerships are general partnerships and limited partnerships.

One of the main ways these two partnership types differ has to do with liability. In a general partnership, all the partners are personally liable for the partnership's obligations.

What is a limited liability company?

There is not just one type of business entity here in California. Rather, businesses have a variety of different entity types they can choose from when forming. One such entity type is the limited liability company (LLC).

Structurally, an LLC is somewhere in between a partnership and a corporation. This business entity type allows for the flexibility of partnerships, while providing owners of the business with some of the protections enjoyed by shareholders of corporations, such as liability protection. Owners of an LLC are called members. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its members.

Product trade dress can be protected

The physical characteristics of a product and its packaging, such as product/packaging shape, color and design, can be impactful things. They can serve as important identifying markers for consumers. Sometimes, a product's packaging and design elements become so strongly identified with a product that they project to consumers the quality and attributes of the product.

Thus, it can be very disturbing for a business when it discovers that design elements or packaging elements of its products are being copied by a competitor. Such copying could make it harder for customers to identify which products are the business' products and could weaken the brand value of the elements.

When a business owner suspects their business has been defrauded

Fraud can be devastating to a business. For one, it can be a major drain on the financial resources of a company. Also, fraud within a business can destroy trust among important players in the business, such as partners in the business. Trust among these individuals can be an incredibly important thing for a business. Thus, fraud has a real potential to throw a company off the rails.

It can be a very delicate situation when a business owner suspects that a business partner or some other person involved in the business has committed fraud against the business. On one hand, it is very important to do everything one can to protect the financial well-being and security of one's business. One the other hand, it is also important to avoid doing things that could end up unnecessarily destroying the relationships among the different individuals involved in the business if it turns out the business partner or associate the fraud suspicions arose in connection to didn't actually do anything wrong or inappropriate.

Online concerns for small businesses on Small Business Saturday

We are less than two weeks away from a very big day for small businesses here in the United States. This day is Small Business Saturday, which is on Nov. 28 this year. This day aimed at promoting shopping at small businesses has been growing increasingly popular, and small businesses can end up seeing quite a bit of business on it.

On days where there is a lot of business, getting things just right can be important for a small business. Thus, Small Business Saturday is something small businesses may want to make preparations for. This includes online preparations. 

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