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Licensing Intellectual Property

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Licensing Intellectual Property


By Jacqueline Schock September 28, 2018    Category: Business Law

Licensing Intellectual Property

Licensing intellectual property allows businesses to capitalize on the name of other brands in exchange for royalty payments. The owner of the intellectual property is known as the licensor and the business or individual gaining a right to use the intellectual property is known as the licensee. There are many well-known brands and products that utilize licensing as part of their business strategy. For example, t-shirts, shoes, hats, etc. bearing the name of a sports team requires a licensing agreement that explicitly permits the manufacturer to produce these goods with the sports team’s intellectual property emblazoned upon it. Generally, the... READ MORE

How to Terminate an Employee


By Jacqueline Schock September 21, 2018    Category: Employment

How to Terminate an Employee

In an at-will employment state like California, you can, in theory, fire anyone at any time. However, state and federal legislation have particular exceptions to prohibit employers from firing someone for any reason. For instance, you cannot fire someone for refusing to do something illegal, or for a discriminatory reason (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and more). If you fire someone for the wrong reason, you can face a wrongful termination lawsuit. Setting Clear Policies on Termination  Your employee handbook is a great place to identify your company policies on discipline and termination. Outline these policies in your handbook,... READ MORE

Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees. As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their... READ MORE

Limiting the Use of Plastic Straws: Businesses and Conservation

The new ban on plastic straws spreading across cities in California is just one example of legislative bodies reacting to constituent pressure to take steps, however small, to try and encourage environmentally friendly decisions. Whether or not these sorts of rules should be legislated or allowed to evolve naturally due to customer pressure can be debated endlessly, but the repercussions for businesses, as conservation is mandated, must be discussed. There is a fine attached to handing out plastic drinking straws if your business is located within one of the cities that has passed the ban. As more and more cities... READ MORE

How Settlement Agreements Work

Business owners occasionally have to deal with disputes with customers, suppliers, and employees. These are sometimes resolved quickly and amicably, but in other cases, resolution takes longer, or litigation is started before an agreement can be reached. In many of these instances, a settlement agreement is a contract between two or more parties stating how they plan to resolve a dispute. When Do You Use a Settlement Agreement? Settlement agreements are useful when resolving a disputed claim, they provide you the protection of having a resolution of the issue, which may prevent the issue from having to be resettled again... READ MORE

Why and How to License Copyrighted Material

Running a business, you’ll probably come across copyrighted material more frequently than you expect. From photos you want to use for promotions to the music that runs across the back of your videos, if it was created by someone else, it’s always good to check if it’s copyrighted. While permission is not needed every time you use copyrighted material, if you plan to sell the material or use it to advertise your service, you want to make sure you’ve licensed the material. Similarly, for computer code, if you’re incorporating a portion of someone else’s work into your code, you’ll want... READ MORE

Trademarks: Word Marks vs. Design Marks

As businesses grow, they often look to protect branding associated with their company by registering the trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).  Marks can take the form of the company name, its logo, or even a tagline used to market products or services. In many industries, companies elect to register marks used with a specific line of products. Trademarks are available for word and design marks. Word marks are generally used in connection with a brand’s name or tagline. On the other hand, design marks are used when registering a brand’s logo. It’s important to understand... READ MORE

Hiring in the Age of Social Media

It’s easier than ever to type a potential hire’s name into Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram and instantly find a wealth of information about them- especially if they haven’t recently updated their privacy settings. Conversely, social media can be a wonderful source of information on a potential hire and, in some cases, especially in sales and marketing, is a primary driver in considering the right person for a position. Recruiting Using Social Media Many employers now use social media as a tool for recruiting candidates through publishing job openings, advertising the company culture, and scouting for individuals who would fit the... READ MORE

Using Unpaid Interns This Summer

Recently, the U.S. Labor Department issued new guidelines for those companies who elect to hire college or graduate students as interns clarifying what employers should and should not do while employing unpaid interns. Many companies rely on student interns to handle a variety of tasks from conducting research and crafting social media strategies. Interns can provide an invaluable resource to companies by bringing in new ideas and helping companies navigate changing cultural and social expectations. These guidelines were issued in light of recent court cases, which made companies concerned that hiring an intern in almost any position would result in... READ MORE

Licensing Your Concept


By Jacqueline Schock July 27, 2018    Category: News Articles

Licensing Your Concept

Licensing is one way people with ideas and businesses can scale their brands quickly. Licensing agreements are used by businesses for things like putting sports team logos on keychains, selling a certain line of dresses in a retail store, or operating a business under a certain brand name. In cases like this last example, however, it is important for licensees to be careful not to inadvertently create a franchise, as those are subject to very different laws and regulations. In short, a license agreement grants rights to use a brand and associated intellectual property, while in a franchise, the franchisor... READ MORE