The technology sector in California holds intellectual property assets with values that reach billions of dollars. Companies of all sizes should take a proactive approach to protecting and managing their copyrights, patents and trade secrets. During a merger or acquisition, the stakeholders' understanding of their rights could keep the process on track and avoid delays or disputes.
Entrepreneurs in California must engage in careful planning when developing their business names, trademarks, marketing content and web domains. They face the challenge of selecting names that are sufficiently different from existing entities to avoid disputes and claims of infringement. They must also obtain government registration to lay the legal groundwork for ownership.
After six years of investigations, federal prosecutors have launched a trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California based on accusations of fraud against the chief financial officer of Autonomy Corp. Hewlett-Packard Co. purchased Autonomy, a U.K.-based software company, in 2011 for $10.3 billion. A year later, HP had to write down the value of the company by $8.8 billion. It attributed the loss to false financials that convinced HP to buy the company in the first place.
Business owners in California and around the country are often concerned about their public image. In some cases, accusations of misconduct can lead to class-action lawsuits, creating a media frenzy and multiple legal and public relations nightmares.
Californians who are interested in business immigration issues might want to learn about a lawsuit that was recently filed by a group of Chinese investors. The investors are suing because they did not receive the green cards that they believe they were promised for investing in a Las Vegas hotel.
Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson was hit hard in another talcum liability case. As readers may know, the company is currently facing thousands of lawsuits involving allegations that the company failed to warn consumers of the known connection between use of its talc-containing products and the development of ovarian cancer.
Patent protection is an important way for businesses in competitive industries to protect valuable product innovations, and securing and defending patents is an important ongoing task for businesses which continually develop competitive new products. When necessary, patent infringement can and should be addressed in court, where various remedies may be sought, but one way companies can proactively address the issue is by licensing the use of patented product designs or utilities.
Before you decide to work with another company, you need to sign a contract. A contract dictates what you expect from the other company and what it expects of you. For example, if you are paying $2,000 cash biweekly for deliveries on a specific date, that should be listed clearly in the contract along with information on what happens if the delivery or payment is not made on time.
In our previous post, we began looking at some of the basic principles of manufacturers’ duty to warn consumers of risks associated with their products. As we noted, warnings must be provided for risks which are known or which reasonably could have been discovered by the manufacturer.
Last time, we mentioned that one potential basis for product liability litigation in California is failure to warn consumers of the dangers of a product. There are a handful of elements that must be proven to make such a claim. First of all, a failure to warning claim can be aimed at either manufacturers or suppliers of the product.