Since 2012, California has created two new corporate structures: (1) the social purpose corporation; and (2) the benefit corporation. Unlike traditional for-profit corporations, these new corporate structures are permitted to consider the public benefit in making corporate decisions. The primary purpose of a for-profit corporation is as stated in the name — for profit. (See… Continue reading Social Purpose Corporation – May Consider Public Benefit In Addition to Maximizing Profit
Corporate law requires corporations to maximize profits to shareholders. This absolute requirement may expose corporate leadership (and the corporation itself) to potential litigation if shareholders disagree with decisions made by the corporate leadership, as was shown in the case of Dodge v. Ford Motor Co., 170 N.W. 668 (Mich. 1919). Henry Ford, and the Board… Continue reading For Profit Corporation Means Just That — Maximizing Profits to Shareholders is Essential
It is the policy of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) that trademarks may not be warehoused, or saved for later use. Therefore, the PTO requires evidence of actual use in commerce before allowing registration of a trademark. The evidence of actual use is called a “specimen”. Each trademark application must include an acceptable… Continue reading Trademark Specimen of Use — Is “TM” or ® OK to use in a specimen of use?
Professional engineers (PEs) often work as consultants, rather than employees. If a PE is an employee, then his or her work product will most likely be owned by the employer. If the PE is working as a consultant, there may be a question of who owns the plans. Often PEs think that their PE stamp… Continue reading Copyright Protection May Be Available for Professional Engineering Plans
On October 8, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California affirmed a previous ruling by a federal district court that Bikram Choudhury’s sequence of 26 yoga poses is not entitled to copyright protection. The court held that the poses represent an idea or system, neither of which may be protected by copyright. The court… Continue reading Good News for Yoga Practitioners and Speech Advocates — Bikram not entitled to copyright his Sequence
By: Sharon Adams May 2014 The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) commemorated the issuance of the 700,000th design patent, for a “Hand-Held Learning Apparatus” currently assigned to the Emeryville, California-based LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. A design patent often is an excellent intellectual property solution for many small businesses, especially businesses selling a product. If… Continue reading DESIGN PATENTS — The IP Solution for Many Small Businesses