Tag: Business lawyer

Why Does It Take So Long to Get a Patent?

While designing a logo or coming up with a slogan or a patent for a new company may seem like a simple thing to do when you are first dreaming up your business model, intellectual property has the potential to become one of the most valuable things you will ever own; in fact, this is one of the biggest reasons you should have a skilled business attorney working with you in founding your company, as well as someone who is experienced enough to guide you in intellectual property matters — especially patents, which can be more complicated (and most would probably agree that the items being patented are more complicated to create too).

Although copyright law, trademarks, service marks, and more can be complicated, patents really can be complex to apply for and it is in your best interest to have legal help for the application process with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). The process may be costly and can take some time. While it may seem inconvenient to have to wait so long for a patent to be approved, it is a comprehensive process on the part of the USPTO, with utility patents usually taking longer than design patents; in fact, they could stretch out even beyond five years from the date of application. A design patent usually takes around 18 months on average.

In working with an attorney, it may take up to several weeks just to have the application completed correctly. Keep in mind that while you are waiting for approval from the USPTO, the status on your invention will be ‘patent pending,’ and you can begin (or continue) making, selling, and even licensing your invention. You may also be able to pay for prioritized examination of your patent, but these slots are limited, coveted, and expensive.

The bottom line is, no matter how you go about the process, your intellectual property should be as protected as possible. For most items though, it becomes your intellectual property as soon as you create it. The only difference is that if you have not registered for something specific like a patent for an invention, it could be stolen by another interested (and greedy!) party, and you could have to fight to prohibit them from using your design. If you have protected your intellectual property with the proper applications and registration, you have a much better chance of winning in court.

The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Potential Business Partners: What Do They Offer to the Company That You Cannot?

While millions of small businesses thrive in the US today, they exist in a vast array of different dynamics and types, from corporations to sole proprietorships, to partnerships, and more. If you have just founded a new company, you may be working with one or more individuals who you have known for quite some time; in fact, it is not unheard of for business partners to have known each other since they were kids, and the business may be a product of a dream that you even brainstormed about as kids. Finally opening a business probably seemed like a dream come true, and you still may be pinching yourself to see if it is really happening—and especially if the cash flow is positive.

There are many different trains of though and opinions on having business partners and business partnership contracts. Business partners can offer many different benefits to you and your company. If you created your business model and business product or services together, then your partnership model is probably very strong. If you are just opening your business later in life or bringing on a new partner after the business has been opened, it could be because you need more capital, and this partner will also function as an investor.

You may be bringing someone on because of their specific skills, and this could be invaluable to the success of your business later. Someone new coming into the company should complement your skills, rather than just matching them. No matter who you bring into your business is crucial to have the proper partnership contract drawn up so there are not questions later. The great thing about a business partnership contract is that you can even include a clause regarding dispute resolution. Trust us, it’s much better to do that while you are getting along, then later when there is already a legal dispute in progress.

Do you have questions about a business issue, or do you need legal assistance regarding a business dispute? If so, contact the Bolender Law Firm.  Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!


When a Business Partner Dies: Dealing with All the Changes

Running a business can be one of the most rewarding yet stressful experiences you will ever enjoy and endure. You may have fulfilled a lifelong dream, and perhaps even had a business model just waiting in your pocket, looking for the right time to strike out on your own. Once there, you were probably surprised to be weighed down with issues like employees and turnover rate, human resources knowledge to be attained and applied, complexities of working with vendors, the challenges in making payroll, dealing with clients (and keeping clients) and so much more.

Partnership issues can be extremely complex too. You may have had a long-term friendship with an individual before starting a business together, and that bond can remain strong. Others may have several partners, some who are more like investors than actual participants—while yet others may be married couples working together. Personalities and how much time you spend together have a lot to do with your success in working and staying together, much like a marriage, and if financial stress or other issues begin to plague your business, there could be serious strain on your partnership.

The strain is usually even worse if one partner dies. You may be in a serious state of bereavement, to begin with (and the grieving period, of course, may stretch on indefinitely), along with having lost a major player and contributor in your business. And just as it so often is with losing a family member, everyone may be wondering ‘what to do now,’ and how to fill the empty space they have left behind in your company. At this point it is time to read over that business partnership contract we very much hope you created during the inception of your business.

It is prudent for everyone involved for you to have a clause stipulating what would happen to the partner’s shares in the event of their death. Would you be given the right to buy out any heirs first? Right of refusal is critical to discuss; otherwise, you could find yourself with your partner’s spouse or nephew taking over part of your company. It might be surprising for them to desire to do so—and especially if the new party is not feeling exactly welcome—but there is a good chance they may want to sell too. In that case, you will again need a good business attorney from a law office like the Bolender Law Firm to handle the transaction.

Do you need legal assistance with a business dispute? If so, contact the Bolender Law Firm.  Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!