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The Thin Line Between Morality & Law

If one eats meat, in a place where majority abstain from taking it, would that person be liable to punishment? What if one takes part in a protest for more Democratic space, which has been proscribed by the Government, is that person justified in his/her cause? Are the police justified to kill in the commission of crime so as to protect innocent lives, with many viewing taking of another life no matter the situation as wrong?

The above questions test our very fundamental values & principles as what is considered Immoral by others is legal according to the Laws of the land, and vice- versa.

Thus creating a thin line between Morality & Law, sometimes so thin that is indistinguishable from the other, even some consider them interdependent. But in varying circumstances, the line is clear with each governed by its own values & principles.

According to Collins Dictionary, Morality is the belief that some behavior is right & acceptable and that the other behavior is wrong. In broader terms is a system of principles & values concerning people’s behavior, which is generally accepted by society or by particular group of people.

Then if one eats meat in a place where majority abstains from it due to their beliefs & principles, he/she will be considered immoral. Another example is if one engages in pre-marital sex, in a society where marriage before sex is a taboo, then they’re also immoral.

By committing such taboos are we liable to be punished, is there any basis to punish those who have gone against the accepted norms set by the society. To be fair, these are principles that have guided our society even before our Grandparents were born and served as a yard stick for generations.

According to Wikipedia, Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior or in broader term a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or community adhere to the will of the state.

Hence, if one takes part in an unlawful protest, no matter how right the reasons are or align with their innate beliefs & principles e.g. agitating for more Democratic space in a country. They will face the full force of the law as enshrined in the constitution and enforced by relevant institutions.

But if one takes meat in a society where it’s a taboo, the person will be wrong according to the society but legally right to the law or engages in pre-marital sex, the situation will still be the same.

In some cases, what is morally wrong in the society can also be illegal, for example in Islamic societies engaging in pre or extra- marital affairs is not only a sin but also illegal with punishment meted in line with the Quran. In such societies, it’s hard to distinguish between Law & Morality as our Moral Compass forms the basis in creating Laws that govern us and enforced by Institutions.

Some have gone further stating the majority of laws passed are indeed guided by our Moral value, which is true, for example what has been considered generally wrong by the society e.g. public nudity can be enacted & passed into law prohibiting such behavior with Consequences if violated.

In such a scenario, there’s no line to distinguish between Law & Morality as they are interdependent and one serve as a basis in the formation of the other. Good examples are countries with State Religion e.g. Islamic countries like Iran, Pakistan where Sharia law based on the Quran forms the foundation of laws enacted by the Government.

But in modern Western Democratic countries, there’s a clear line between Law & Morality and are independent of each other. For example Abortion is a taboo in many societies and laws enacted outlawing it. In the west, the Rationality of Law takes precedence and the mother has the Right either to keep or terminate the pregnancy. Hence emphasis is on the Rights of an Individual than the collective conscience of the Society.

Just as the saying goes another man meat is another man’s poison, in Law & Morality what is considered morally wrong in one society is legally right in another and vice versa. The thin line is what keeps them from clashing with each other in matters of Values & Principles and ensuring a somehow balanced society guided by the Rule of Law.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9922328

Everything You Need to Know Before You Fill an NGO Online Registration Form

An NGO is a non-governmental organisation that aims to promote the happiness, wellbeing and comfort of the people of a society. Such societies are not dependent on the government. Most often they work on:

  1. Curbing misuse of power
  2. Remove corruption
  3. Protect the environment
  4. Safeguard vulnerable groups
  5. Aid health of women and children

The Vital Need of NGOs

Because an NGO is separate from the support of the government, it can help democracy work better. Mostly, they do so in two ways:

  • Educate the public:

An NGO teaches the citizens of a nation on how a government works, what it is doing for them and how the work affects the people. They provide crucial information about people in power to the average person. Once the public is informed about politicians and companies, they can use the date to make better decisions.

  • A conduit of communication:

Though a democracy allows every person to write to their political representative about their views and opinions, it is not an effective way of communicating. NGOs, on the other hand, speak as the voice of hundreds of people. Therefore, when they weigh in on the decisions made by people in power, they are heard. These organisations are essentially a channel between the layman and the government. A few areas when NGOs can express the views of the public are:

  1. Nuclear energy
  2. International treaties
  3. Constitutional rights
  4. Protection of rights
  5. Fair worker pay
  6. Freedom of speech

Essentially, NGOs work to ensure that officials keep their legal obligations and protect democracy.

How Do NGOs Raise Money?

The first source of income, when an NGO is at the budding stage, is the donations they get from the citizens. But these are not enough to keep an agency running. Since they do not have the financial backup for promotions and advertisements, like other businesses, they look towards the government for funding. A government can offer money to NGOs for a plethora of reasons. A few of them are:

  1. For supplying legal advices to individuals who have been mistreated like in the case of an employer and employee.
  2. For representing special groups of people like those who are specially-abled. The government funds such an organisation because they want to guarantee that every class of citizen has a voice in policymaking. Furthermore, when officials back up such agencies, they get ready data on the opinions and expertise of this segment of individuals which can be used to make better laws.
  3. For keeping a careful eye and oversight on the government itself. These NGOs perform the vital task of making certain that the present government fulfils the promises they made and uphold all laws. It may seem like a counterintuitive reason to fund an NGO, but it is one of the most crucial. People in power have the tendency to misuse it. When there is a body of people checking on each decision you make, the temptation to abuse power is reduced.

When a government funds an NGO, it does so through a third party. This is imperative because giving direct money to an agency can equate to complete control over their decisions. Whereas, an independent body uses impartial criteria to decide who receives the donations.

How and Where to Register an NGO?

There are departments and officers allocated within a government that deal with registrations of NGOs. At present, there is also a society registration online process for which one can opt. Before registration can be done, one has to decide the type of agency it will be:

  1. non-profit organization
  2. voluntary organization
  3. people’s organization

Once the decision is made, the submission of required documents takes place. These would include:

  1. Information on the NGO/NPO Board
  2. The mission statement
  3. Memorandum of Association or Bye-laws
  4. Programmes and projects information
  5. Staff members details
  6. Funding sources and pattern of income and expenditure
  7. report of annual activities such as financial and audit reports
  8. letters of support (references)

The Basic Steps of Running an NGO

After NGO registration fees has been paid and the government recognises the agency, it is time to operate it. Majority of such organisations work on a set framework of five steps:

  1. Get funds from national or international resources to implement the project in the pipe-works.
  2. Hire the correct people to carry out the plan and pay them the required salary.
  3. Attend meetings held by governments and bodies like the Un as a representative of the public.
  4. Sell a product or service or publish works. It is to be noted that this is not done for-profit but to gain some capital to keep the NGO operational.
  5. Leverage all tax-breaks and support the government offers to keep the agency functioning.

Registering an NGO is a massive responsibility, as will be apparent from the information in the article. It is akin to starting a viable commercial trade. There are obligations that need to be fulfilled like finding an office space, creating detail reports of financial records and reporting to the local government with the correct documentation.

The only way to ensure that the registration procedure goes seamlessly is to employ a well-known Tax return filing company like VakilSearch. Their years of experience in the area and know-how will is precisely what is need to get the non-profit organisation up and running in no time. The brains behind the company offer a comprehensive package for registration. Swing by their site to get more information on how to register an NGO or give them a call to start the process now!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10095549

5 Ways China Can Improve its Trademark Laws

The meteoric rise in the number of trademark applications in China over the last five years is a testament to the power and importance of China as a market for brand owners. In 2012, there were approximately 1.5 million applications filed in China, and by 2016 that number rose to 3.6 million. In 2017 applicants filed 5.7 million new applications[i]. That number dwarfs the 590,000 new applications filed in fiscal year 2017 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the second busiest trademark office[ii].

Brand owners recognize that in order to do business globally, they need to devise a strategy in China, whether they will offer products or services directly there or not. Part of the reality of this brand protection strategy is a defensive attempt to prevent fraudulent filings by third parties in order to avoid either paying the applicant to get the brand “returned” to the rightful owner or paying steep legal fees for seemingly never-ending legal battles that may not go in their favor[iii]. China is a “first-to-file” country, meaning that rights in a mark are established through registration, not use. The filing date preserves the applicant’s rights in the mark, whether legitimate or not. U.S. business owners wanting to do business in China often find themselves facing a whole host of frustrations not only due to issues such as fraudulent registrations, but also because of other legal restrictions that impose undue burdens on evidence production and bringing claims in court.

Has Chinese trademark law and policy kept pace with China’s ever-increasing importance in the global marketplace for businesses wanting to protect their brands? After new trademark legislation was introduced in 2013, China announced earlier this year that it is considering further sweeping changes to its IP administrative structure and legal processes, including the creation of a single IP agency (the State Market Supervision Administration)[iv]. As part of this process, China has solicited public opinion on potential revisions to Chinese trademark law. Below are five recommendations for modifications to the current legal regime that would benefit U.S. business owners seeking to do business in or with China.

  1. Hire more trademark examiners

While not a change in the law per se, hiring more trademark examiners will help overcome some of the legal pitfalls that come with having too few examiners to keep up with the ever-increasing number of applications. The current wait from time of application to registration can run as long as 12 to 18 months even if no refusal issues, meaning that even though an owner can preserve a filing date, the status of registration and the rights that go with it are in limbo for a long period of time. Without a registration, a trademark owner cannot fight counterfeiters, particularly on sites such as Alibaba, TaoBao, and TMall, cannot record their trademark with China Customs, and will have a much harder time trying to file any type of unfair competition action in courts in China.

What’s more, each examiner gets about ten minutes to examine each application, which includes a determination of conflicts with prior registrations or prior-filed applications, examination of the application formalities, determination of distinctiveness, and examination of the proper identification of goods and services. With so little time to give to each application, the quality of examination is bound to suffer, resulting in frustrated applicants and a large number of registrations on the Register that may not belong there. With extra clutter on the register, trademark examiners are likely to cite these irrelevant registrations against future applicants, blocking their registrations.

  1. Institute a declaration of use requirement after three years

Some first-to-file jurisdictions, such as the Philippines, require the registrant to prove use of the mark in commerce in connection with the goods or services of the registration after three years in order to maintain the registration. This gives applicants the incentive to file applications for marks they actually intend to use, since there is extra cost involved in either submitting the declaration of use or refiling a new application before the third year is up. A lot of the “chaff” on a registry could be removed by instituting this requirement, allowing legitimate brand owners to have more options.

This type of requirement is not without potential downsides, however. Fraudulent filers can easily fake use specimens or declarations, as some have done in the U.S. to try to get around the strict use requirements for registration[v]. It also makes defensive filings more difficult and costly. And, it could add a burden to the trademark examiners who are already overburdened. Nevertheless, in combination with the third recommendation below, adding the declaration of use requirement could help combat fraud by making non-legitimate filing less profitable and more difficult.

  1. Formalize sanctions for lawyers, agents, and other individuals who knowingly file fraudulent applications

There are few if any consequences for fraudulent filers and for the lawyers and trademark agents who knowingly assist them. Monitoring repeat fraudulent filers and formalization of a black list would make it more difficult for trademark squatters to profit from registering multiple famous or well-known trademarks[vi]. Monetary sanctions or other legal consequences along the lines of censure or disbarment from practice before the trademark office for lawyers and agents who knowingly help squatters file the fraudulent applications would also help reduce these types of filings. While it’s certainly possible that clients aren’t always forthcoming with accurate disclosures to their counsel, it’s fairly obvious when someone other than Apple files an application to register the mark iPhone or iPad[vii] that something is not above board.

  1. Make evidentiary procedures more transparent and less onerous for foreign parties

Any foreign lawyer who has ever tried to work with clients to collect evidence to support a client’s opposition or any other administrative or judicial proceeding in China has had moments of significant frustration. Foreign witness declarations are not generally accepted in China Trademark Office (CTMO) proceedings, or are given little to no weight, even if signed and properly notarized. The CTMO does not have any formal guidelines for how to present evidence generated outside of China, and it is unclear as to how it may be treated in a proceeding[viii]. The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) has formalized guidelines to accept documents generated outside of China but requires such documents to be both notarized and legalized[ix]. The legalization process is both time consuming and costly if there are more than a few documents.

In addition, in a proceeding before the CTMO, such as a non-use cancellation proceeding (which is often necessary to try to cancel marks that have been on the Register longer than three years, do not appear to be in use, and are blocking a client’s application), the party bringing the action does not have the opportunity to examine the registrant’s evidence submitted to the CTMO until after the decision has been rendered[x]. The complainant must file a request to review the evidence with the TRAB, and then try to challenge the evidence. The process again becomes more time consuming and costly, which acts as a disincentive to any foreign trademark owner with legitimate claims.

Providing policy guidelines to the CTMO for how evidence should be treated will take some of the guesswork out of the process for foreign parties that need to present evidence from outside of China to support their case. Also, giving the complainant a chance to challenge potentially fraudulent or weak evidence in an ex parte proceeding before the decision is final will allow the CTMO to take that argument into consideration, and perhaps make decisions that will further help to prevent fraudulent or inactive registrations from cluttering up the Register.

  1. Streamline judicial and administrative, and make bad faith a sole ground for invalidation

It is common in opposition proceedings against fraudulent applications or non-use cancellation actions against inactive registrations for the defending party to not respond. In the U.S., the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board may issue a default judgment against the defending party, which can be appealed. However, in CTMO proceedings, the prosecuting party must continue with the case and present arguments and evidence through final determination, notwithstanding the lack of any response from the other side. Allowing for the issuance of default judgments would not only save time and money for the prosecuting party, but also save CTMO resources that are needed elsewhere.

Perhaps the most helpful change that would benefit foreign filers dealing with trademark squatters is allowing invalidation and opposition proceedings to be brought on the sole grounds of fraud or bad faith filing. In the current version of the China trademark law, there is no provision for bad faith as a ground for opposition or invalidation, although it may be considered in conjunction with other claims and as part of the supporting evidence presented[xi].

It is heartening that China is actively examining and proactively modifying its laws, procedures, and policies to reflect the issues and realities faced by both domestic and international brand owners and is addressing the exponentially increasing influx of trademark applications. The evolution of its intellectual property legal framework to match the demands of both domestic and international filers will only help to strengthen its position in the global marketplace.

[i] https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d03004b3-4737-4513-a49b-d3af0840c944
[ii] https://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/trademarks/main.dashxml
[iii] New Balance learned a hard lesson about not filing an application for the Chinese character equivalent of its mark before using it: See https://www.wilsonelser.com/news_and_insights/insights/2329-chinese_court_stuns_new_balance_with_16_million
[iv] http://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/Blog/detail.aspx?g=209a6df8-bcd7-4dc6-83e4-27bb198f2f89
[v] https://www.wsj.com/articles/flood-of-trademark-applications-fromchinaalarms-u-s-officials-1525521600?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=3
[vi] Currently, under the 2013 law, the CTMO may put agencies on a blacklist and issue monetary penalties, but do not have to enforce these restrictions. Kossof, Paul, “The New Chinese Trademark Law” The Trademark Reporter Vol. 104 No. 4, July-August 2014.
[vii] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/technology/apple-loses-iphone-china-trademark-case.html
[viii] Various discussions with local counsel in Beijing, China, 2018.
[ix] Id.
[x] Id.
[xi] Ferrante, Michele, “Strategies to Avoid Risks Related to Trademark Squatting in China” The Trademark Reporter Vol. 107 No. 3, May-June 2017.

How to Get Your Startup Acquired

There are many great reasons to start your own company, including the desire to be your own boss, the desire to make something happen, passion about your product or service, or even the desire to make more money. A successful startup will need the following:

  • A solid sales and marketing plan;
  • High-quality accounting;
  • strong legal team;
  • A great corporate structure;
  • A dedicated managerial team;
  • Healthy financial resources or a solid plan to get them; and
  • Ensuring that best industry practices are followed.

Regardless of the reason for starting your own company, a startup requires many factors to work so the likelihood of success for startups is still relatively low. Many entrepreneurs are satisfied with their startup being acquired (i.e. bought over) by a bigger company, so that they can reasonable profit upon selling their business. In fact, in the global market, American companies are major acquirers of startups and pay more per acquisition than European companies. Like any buying and selling transaction, there are lots of factors to consider before agreeing to let a bigger company acquire your startup.

Potential Buyers

First, it is important to understand what kind of buyers/acquirers you may encounter:

Venture Capitalists

Potential buyers could be venture capitalists (VCs), who want to take your company to a new level. In some cases, VCs offer to just invest in your company, while guiding you to success; but in others, the VCs might ask you to step aside, sell your interest, and give up your job in exchange for a large sum of money. If you elect to take VC money as an investment, your investors will likely point out areas of improvement to increase profits. In the case of most startups, few thoroughly analyze their operation for potential problem sectors.

A Competitor

You may not be the only company in the market for your particular product or service, and might have numerous competitors. A competitor may wish to acquire your startup to capture your customers as theirs, or they may buy your company so they can shut it down to eliminate their competition.

Strategic Buy

A company that your startup supplies to may find it more practical to acquire your business rather than pay you money for your products as its vendor. Alternatively, a company may want to buy your company so that it can sell your products to their customers under their name.

Intellectual Property

Patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property can be highly valuable, and if you have a patented product or a trade name that another company wants, you can be an acquisition target.

Now What?

We’ve identified the different buyers that may want to acquire you, and their possible reasons for wanting to acquire your startup, which is the easy part. The next step is to identify how to make your company visible and attractive to potential acquirers. The following is a list of things you will need to do this:

Those with the Means to Acquire You

When big companies look to expand, they have to decide whether to build or buy. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that General Mills is looking to add energy bars to their arsenal, which your startup happens to produce. General Mills can always start an energy bar division from scratch, but if a company exists that already meets their criteria, then buying that company may be more cost effective than building one from scratch. If you are setting yourself up as an acquisition target, you need to first identify potential buyers, and then once they have been targeted, you need to get your startup ready.

A Solid Vision

It is important to make sure your company’s vision aligns with your potential acquirer. For example, if Pepsi is the targeted buyer, and they are currently looking to target a healthier market, you should tailor your next big product launch to be for a health-based drink, and not something like Super Sweet Natural Sugar Flavored Tea.

The idea is to look for and attract potential acquirers that are compatible with the products and services of your startup.

An Attractive Product

If acquisition is the main goal, you will need a superior product. An old-school business motto is that to enter a market, you need a product or service that is better, cheaper and faster than the ones that already exist. Today, disruptive is also on that list. Clayton Christensen described disruption as an “innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.” Chief examples are Uber and Lyft.

Talent

Sometimes an acquirer can be drawn in by a well-oiled team. A company will consider buying a startup if they know the team is well-versed in the product or service and they can avoid the learning curve that comes with hiring new people.

A Good Story

Another thing in common about startups that are successfully acquired is a great story. That great story can be about how you develop your products, build your company structure, serve your customers, and simultaneously plan for the future. A great story goes a long way in attracting potential acquirers.

Proprietary Technology

Technological integration of your product or service can really boost the chances of acquisition. For example, well-developed app or system that efficiently moves your product or service into your customer’s hands can quickly make you visible to bigger companies looking to expand.

History

Companies with a clean history will have a much better chance of being acquired. A recent CEO looking for financing on Shark Tank was was rejected once the sharks discovered that the company had lost $14 million earlier and had been operating for 10 years without showing a profit.

Joint Value

Finally, position yourself so that you can show how a potential deal will add value to both you and your acquirer. The key is to show the potential acquirer that their purchase will push them towards profitability, while making certain that your efforts and hard work are also rewarded.

This article  was originally posted on UpCounsel

What to Ask Your Attorney About Legal Expenses and Intellectual Property

1. What is the legal team’s background in working with other clients in a similar industry, company size, or stage as a small business owner?

Different industries have different needs. If representing a food-catering business, you will need to know about various local and city permits needed to obtain. If presenting e-commerce businesses, you need to be familiar with internet sale taxes cross state lines. A large company is most likely to require more extensive business, investment, and employment contracts than a startup due to transaction size and risk exposure.

2. What is a realistic budget for legal expenses?

A quarterly, if not an annual, legal budget so small business owners know what amount to set aside.

3. What are realistic timelines for my company’s objectives?

Timeline of legal projects to undertake, their priorities, and how long it takes to accomplish them.

4. What kind of proprietary assets does the company have? Has the company adequately protected its intellectual property?

This is key to understanding fees for budgeting purposes.

5. What is the legal team’s background in working with other clients in a similar industry, company size, or stage as a small business owner?

Different industries have different needs. If representing a food-catering business, you will need to know about various local and city permits needed to obtain. If presenting e-commerce businesses, you need to be familiar with internet sale taxes cross state lines. A large company is most likely to require more extensive business, investment, and employment contracts than a startup due to transaction size and risk exposure.

6. What is the best way a small business owner can protect personal wealth and assets from business risks?

Incorporate the business, treat the business as a separate entity with separate bank accounts, and document important decisions made during the course of the business (such as raising capital, taking on loans, entering into major business contracts) with your business partner. Typically, such documents are known as directors’ resolutions or minutes.

7. What specifically are small business owners most confused about when you first meet with them?

The type of entity to form – LLCs, C corps., S corps., and which state to incorporate.

8. How can quality legal services help a small business grow?

Quality legal services will help a small business grow in two ways. Internally, quality legal services can build a foundation upon which the small business can grow and expand quickly, such as streamlining the process of raising capital, recruitment, awarding of incentive compensation, and creating templates for business contracts. Externally, quality legal services can help small businesses immensely in contract negotiations with Fortune 500 companies, as some of those contracts can be very convoluted. An experienced attorney’s job will be to assist the client in getting favorable terms, protect the client from taking on responsibilities that outweigh the benefits the client will be receiving, while at the same time maintaining a good relationship with the Fortune 500 company with hopes of such Fortune 500 company to further engage the client.

9. How can quality legal services help small businesses save money?

Quality legal services will advise small businesses what’s a necessary legal expense, what is optional. For example, I have a startup client who would like to file 10 trademark applications to cover their products. As their lawyer and knowing they are a startup, my job is to see if there is a way to file fewer applications that will cover just as wide of a scope, or at least to cover the important products.

10. How can small businesses maximize the value of their legal team’s services?

Provide your legal team with adequate context surrounding a legal matter. For example, when asking your legal team to review a contract, it will be helpful to provide your legal team with a bit of history regarding the relationship between the parties, how important the project is to the small business, so the legal team knows how aggressive it should be. Also, it really helps the legal team if the client is very organized and asks focused questions!

11. Should business partners have the same amount of equity in a company? Why or why not?

As long as the equity split does not contribute to a deadlock situation, this should be fine. For example, if only two business partners, a 50/50 split will not be a good idea. However, if there are three business partners, it’s OK to have 33 1/3 split each, as a deadlock situation is not possible.

12. What are the top three things a small business owner should be aware of when purchasing an existing business?

Accurately determine the value, review the business’s tax returns to determine profitability, and if there is any outstanding tax liability, determine why the business is for sale.

This Article was originally posted on UpCounsel

Protecting Intellectual Property: An Easy Guide for Startups

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is a general term for the rights recognized by U.S. law for creations of the mind, including:

  • Patents – rights granted to inventors for novel and useful inventions.
  • Trademarks – rights granted to businesses relating to the branding of their goods and services (company, product and service names).
  • Copyrights – rights granted to authors for tangible expressions of ideas (art, literature, music, software code, architectural plans).
  • Trade secrets – rights granted to businesses relating to their unique and valuable intangible assets (business processes, client and customer lists, procedures, practices, formulae, research notes, market data).

Types of Patents

There are three types of patents that every startup should be aware of:

Utility Patents – According to the USPTO, utility patents are for inventions, “… of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof.” Utility patents are for the protection of how an invention is used and works.

Business Method Patents – Business methods are also protectable under U.S. patent law. A business method patent is actually a form of utility patent that protects new methods of doing business, such as those used, for example, in banking, tax compliance, and e-commerce, to name a few.

Design Patents – Design patents, as described by the USPTO, are “Issued for a new, original, and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture.” A design patent, “permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the design.” A design patent may provide protection for IP when a utility patent is unavailable.

All three types of patents should be considered by a startup as part of its IP protection strategy.

Why Is Intellectual Property Important to a Startup?

If your startup or early-stage business has IP rights, you can:

  • Put the world on notice that you own those rights by registering them with the U.S. Copyright Office or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and by using the proper notice symbols on tangible materials that contain your IP (©, ® and Patent Pending).
  • Prevent unauthorized third parties (infringers) from unfairly competing with you by reproducing your copyrighted works, using confusingly similar trademarks on their products, making/selling products similar to your patented products, or stealing your trade secrets.
  • Use your IP rights to generate revenue by (1) directly selling copyrighted, branded, patented, or other proprietary products and services, or (2) licensing your copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets to others in exchange for royalties.
  • Build joint ventures and alliances with other companies to develop and sell new products and services by combining your IP rights with intellectual property owned by your strategic partners.

Important Steps for Startups to Take for IP Protection

1. Engage an IP lawyer

IP rights function like government-sanctioned monopolies, and that exclusivity can potentially make them very valuable. For that reason, intellectual property law is complicated and imposes various requirements on IP owners to claim, protect and preserve their IP rights (and to prevent IP assets from falling into the public domain — i.e., available for anyone to use without the owner’s permission). Your startup will need a reputable lawyer who specializes in IP law to help you devise an effective strategy for managing and protecting your IP, and to avoid the common mistakes business people make that can have serious legal and financial implications.

Because many IP rights depend upon confidentiality (for example, inventions that have been publicized prior to filing a patent application cannot be patented — see the discussion of “EPD” below), a lawyer is the ideal advisor for a startup since lawyers are ethically and legally required to keep all of your communications confidential. A non-lawyer IP consultant does not have strict confidentiality obligations unless you have a contract imposing such obligations.

2. Identify Your IP

Make a comprehensive list of every business idea, invention, new product or service concept (or any improvement or advance to an existing product/service), potential product name, slogan, logo, business process, market or customer niche, or other proprietary idea that you think your startup owns and is unique and potentially valuable. Your lawyer can help you figure out whether these ideas, concepts, inventions, names and business processes qualify as potential patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets.

3. Make sure you own the IP

Before you can determine whether your IP is protectable (including, for example, by registering it in the U.S. or abroad) you’ll need to confirm that your company actually owns the IP (and can continue to own it if things happen in the future):

  • Do your former employers own the IP? If you and your co-founders created the IP for your startup while you were employed by other companies, check your old employment agreements to make sure that your prior employers do not have grounds for a potential claim. If you developed your new business’ ideas during work hours, or while using the prior employer’s resources, you could be at risk.
  • What happens if you and your co-founders break up? The startup should continue to own the IP even if one or more founders walk out the door. You don’t want a former founder setting up an identical competing business. Ask your IP lawyer to draft a simple Intellectual Property Assignment agreement that ensures the company owns the IP even if the relationship turns sour.
  • Have you given away rights in the DIY contracts you drafted? If your startup signed up customers or suppliers before hiring a lawyer (likely to save money), you need to have your lawyer review those agreements. Ask your lawyer to read through all of your existing contracts to make sure that you haven’t agreed to terms that grant more IP rights to your customers and suppliers than absolutely necessary.

4. Research Your IP

Once you have a list of your startup’s significant IP, you need to confirm the extent to which that IP is unique and original (and therefore legally protectable).

Search the patent records on the USPTO’s website to see if your invention (or something very similar) has already been patented. Then do a “prior art” search on the internet to find out if a non-patented version of your invention already exists. If your invention or an essential part of it is already in the patent records or out in the world, you will not be able to patent it.

Similarly, you’ll want to search the trademark database on the USPTO’s website and the internet in general to see if your startup’s potential business and product names are available. If similar names are already in use in the marketplace on similar products (or if similar names have been applied for or registered with the USPTO for similar products), those trademarks may not be available.

5. Avoid Enabling Public Disclosure (EPD)

As mentioned above, confidentiality is crucial for patentable inventions. Once an invention has been “publicly disclosed” by the inventor, she only has a year to file a patent application with the USPTO. The legal concept of enabling public disclosure (which helps determine what level of disclosure starts the clock running) means you’ve publicized enough information about your product to permit someone else in your industry to copy it. Trade shows, demonstrations to potential investors, press releases and articles in trade publications can be particularly risky for triggering EPD if you’re not planning to file quickly thereafter.

Your IP lawyer can help you avoid EPD as you develop and test your product.

6. Pick Your IP Battles

Money is in short supply for most startups, so you’ll want to map out with your IP lawyer what patents, registrations and other IP-related expenditures need to be prioritized over others. For example, you may decide that you will initially seek patent protection only for the company’s primary product, and protect other inventions as trade secrets using confidentiality agreements. Similarly, you may decide to initially register only the company’s main brand name as a trademark. Additional patents and registrations can often be deferred until more funds become available.

7. Protect Your IP from Investors

If are pitching your startup to potential investors in an effort to raise money, you will need to disclose at least some of your proprietary information to them. To avoid any loss of your IP rights, be sure to:

  • Keep careful records of exactly who has been given access to your private placement memo, business plan or slide presentations, and ask the potential investors to (1) confirm in writing, through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), that they will not copy or share such materials with others, and (2) return or destroy all paper and electronic copies of the materials if they decide not to invest.
  • Distribute paper or electronic copies of your investor materials only to a limited number of pre-screened potential investors and their advisors. The fewer copies in circulation, the better.

8. Protect IP From Employees and Contractors

To prevent employees and consultants who work for your company from stealing your valuable IP assets and disclosing them to competitors (or starting their own businesses to compete with you), you’ll need them to sign NDAs to keep company information confidential, that is, not disclose company information to third parties. The agreements should also include an acknowledgment that all rights to the inventions or copyrightable material created by them while working for your company are automatically transferred to, and owned by, your company. (Your lawyer can draft an employee/consultant agreement template for you.)

9. Protect Your IP Globally

Many startups fail to recognize the importance of protecting their IP rights outside of the U.S. While applying for a patent in the U.S. is the right place to start, startups need to consider an international patent strategy if they believe their inventions will eventually be sold in other countries. As part of that strategy, startups should consider filing an international patent application (with the USPTO, if a U.S. resident) under the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT.) A patent application via the PCT provides protection in over 100 countries for up to 18 months to allow for patent filings in those countries where protection is sought.

10. Consider a Provisional Patent Application

provisional patent application is a document filed with the USPTO that establishes an early filing date for the subsequent filing for a non-provisional utility patent. It also allows for the applicant use the term “Patent Pending” in documents describing its invention.

Filing for the non-provisional patent must be done within 12 months of the provisional patent application. A provisional patent application requires inclusion of a specification, but is filed without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or information disclosure statement.

11. Consider Track One Prioritized Examination

The USPTO’s Prioritized Patent Examination Program (Track One) allows patent filers to expedite the examination and patent issuance process to less than 12 months. Track One prioritization comes at a substantial cost ($4,000 for large entities, $2,000 for small entities, and $1,000 for micro-entities). However, obtaining a patent earlier can provide a startup with several advantages, including a quicker resulting increase in company valuation, and the ability to obtain foreign patents in a shorter period of time.

This Article was originally posted on UpCounsel

7 Dangers to Look Out for in Commercial Leases

A commercial lease for office or retail space is a serious commitment for your business. They are typically long-term contracts lasting at least five years, the rent is often your second-biggest monthly expense after payroll, and the rights and limitations in your lease agreement have major effects on your ability to expand, contract and relocate your business.

Companies large and small can make major mistakes when planning for new space and negotiating the lease – these are the most common.

1. Not Allocating Enough Time

Conventional wisdom in the commercial real estate industry is to allow six to 12 months to complete a deal for less than 10,000 square feet and nine to 18 months for larger deals. The lead time is required for the various complicated steps in any business relocation – due diligence of possible locations, negotiation of the lease, planning and design of your new space with an architect and engineer, bidding out and awarding the construction work required to customize the space (known as a “fit-out”), obtaining construction and business permits, and completion of the fit-out itself.

Just as important, the lease commencement date needs to take these steps into account. Otherwise, you’ll be paying rent for the new space before you’ve moved in. You’ll also need to coordinate your plans with your current landlord by giving sufficient notice of your move and negotiating a rent deal for any period that you remain in your current space beyond the term of your current lease (known as a holdover).

2. Insufficient Planning

Closely related to the lead time issue is the failure to adequately plan your new space. The way you want to do business should drive the location and design of your space; your real estate shouldn’t determine how you do business.

You need to think about how much space you need and whether you need any specialized space (reinforced floors for heavy equipment? a data center? backup power?). An experienced architect and a good tenant broker/representative can help your senior management consider all the right issues, including:

  • How will you coordinate moving all your business functions, particularly technology and your employees?
  • Who will make decisions about the ongoing project (a committee or one person)?
  • What corporate image do you want to project, and what kind of office space will convey this image?
  • What ratio of collaborative office space vs. private office space makes sense for how your business is run?
  • What is your budget?
  • What space plan makes sense for possible growth? (e.g. How much additional space might be needed in the next three to five years? Or is there a possibility of downsizing?)

3. Lack of Representation

There is no such thing as a “standard commercial lease.” Landlords – the building owners and their property managers – do not have your best interests in mind when they draft a lease, and business real estate deals have none of the legal consumer protections of apartment leases. The financial terms and legal provisions of most commercial leases are specialized and hard to understand, and most business people lack the background to effectively review and negotiate a lease agreement.

You’ll need an experienced commercial real estate lawyer admitted in the state where the property is located – preferably one who has dealt with your landlord (or your landlord’s lawyer) in prior deals. You should also seriously consider engaging a tenant broker/representative – a consultant that represents only commercial tenants (and NOT building owners or property managers) in leasing deals. A good tenant rep will know the condition of your market (like the current “market rent” per square foot in your city), the present and future vacancies in the buildings you are considering, and the best way to deal with the landlords of those buildings.

4. Lack of Due Diligence

The physical and legal condition of your company’s space can significantly affect your business operations, and you need to protect yourself with an investigation of the facts. In addition to reviewing the proposed lease, your real estate lawyer should also:

  • Confirm that the building’s zoning will permit your company to conduct its operations as intended.
  • Engage a title company to produce a report of the building’s liens, mortgage lenders and any pending legal claims.

In addition to planning and designing your new space, your architect and engineer should inspect the building’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems and review the space’s compliance with building codes, fire and safety regulations, and disabled person access laws. Your architect should also confirm that the leased space actually contains the square footage stated by the landlord.

5. Not Understanding Crucial Lease Provisions

Term

This is the length of the lease – the commencement and termination dates. Like everything else in a commercial lease this not as straightforward as you think.

  • Does the term start when you sign it or only after you commence operations in the space (i.e. when the fit-out construction has been completed)?
  • Even if rent isn’t payable until you move in, is your business on the hook for building insurance and maintenance charges starting at the signing?
  • Near the beginning of the lease, you’ll see a clause entitled “Term.” This clause describes the length of your lease and specifies the starting and ending dates.
  • How can the Term be extended – does it happen automatically or only after a party gives notice?
  • Are there circumstances when you or the landlord can end the Term early?

Calculation of Rent

The calculation of rent and other tenant charges in most commercial leases is complicated and can result in some unpleasant surprises during the lease term if the terms aren’t fully understood at the beginning.

Some of the common rent structures are:

  • Single net lease or net lease: The tenant pays only its portion of the utilities and property tax (calculated by the percentage of space leased in the building), while the landlord pays for all maintenance, repairs and insurance.
  • Net-net, or double net lease: The tenant is responsible only for its portion of the utilities, property taxes and insurance premiums for the building (again, based on the percentage of space leased in the building), with the landlord paying all maintenance and repairs.
  • Triple net leases: Tenant pays its portion of all costs of the building, except the landlord is generally responsible for structural repairs.
  • Full service gross, or modified gross lease (also called modified net lease): The tenant and landlord agree to split structural repairs and operating expenses (property taxes, property insurance, common area maintenance and utilities), with the tenant’s portion called “base rent.”
  • Percentage lease: Used almost exclusively for leases of retail space, this type of lease means some portion of the rent is calculated as a percentage of the tenant’s customer sales at the property.

In addition, you need complete clarity on how and when rent can be increased – both on an annual basis and cumulatively over the entire Term.

Security Deposit

Unlike a standard apartment lease, a commercial landlord can demand more than 2 months’ rent in cash. It can be whatever amount the landlord thinks it needs based on the creditworthiness of your business. If you are a brand new business without an operating history this will be a big issue for the landlord.

The landlord can also demand a security deposit in the form of a Letter of Credit issued by a bank. With an LC your bank sets aside a portion of your cash so that the landlord has an easy remedy if you breach the payment obligations under the lease (the landlord doesn’t need to sue you in court).

Improvements and Alterations

If the new space needs to be renovated or customized for your operations (a “fit-out”), the lease needs to specifically address these issues. You’ll need to negotiate who does the space design work, who does or manages the construction, whether there are hard deadlines for completion and who pays for it. It is also important to reach agreement on any rent payment obligations during the fit-out.

Parking and Signs

Day-to-day details can also be important in the lease. Does renting space in the building entitle you to a certain number of parking spaces? Do you need to pay for additional spaces if you need them. Where can you install signs identifying your business? Do they need to be designed in a certain way?

Disputes

If your business and the landlord get into a dispute, how will it be resolved? Is there a required period of negotiation? Do the parties need to submit the dispute to mediation (usually cheaper than court) or can the parties sue each other immediately? Are rent obligations suspended during a major dispute? Can you withhold a portion of the rent that reflects the cost of the disputed issue?

6. Not Focusing the Lease Negotiations on Key Business Issues

Prospective tenants should not focus only on the rent and other payment terms – other key lease provisions can be much more significant to the future of your business. It’s important to ask and resolve the following questions:

  • How much notice does the landlord entity need to give if it wants to relocate your space to another part of the building?
  • Can you sublet or assign part of the lease if your business contracts?
  • Can you acquire additional space in the building if your business expands?
  • Can you cancel the lease and move to another building if there’s insufficient available expansion space?
  • Can you extend the term if you want to stay in the building?
  • Can you assign the lease to a buyer of your business?
  • Is the lease still valid if your business has a change of control?

7. Underestimating Negotiation Leverage

A tenant representative will understand the current condition of the real estate market in your city and the current situation of your particular landlord. For example, does the landlord need tenants? Is it about to lose a major tenant which will cause a significant vacancy in the building? Or does the landlord have a fully leased building for the indefinite future? Without this information, your company won’t understand how much negotiating leverage you may have and the range of incentives your landlord may be willing to offer to sign a new tenant.

Landlords will commonly agree to:

  • Periods when no rent is payable (so called “free rent”).
  • Periods of discounted rent.
  • Contributions to the costs of the tenant’s fit-out of the space.
  • Make certain improvements to the building that the tenant wants or needs.
  • A cap on annual rent increases (including the portions tied to building expenses).

In addition, landlords can often be persuaded that no personal guarantee will be required from the tenant’s owners or major shareholders to back up the payment obligations in the lease. Or if a guarantee is required at the beginning of the lease, landlords will sometimes agree that it expires a few years into the initial term once a you establish a reliable payment history.

This article was originally posted on UpCounsel

Overcriminalization of America

Civil society flourishes when its people – young or old, black or white or brown – can trust that justice will be dispensed without fear or favor.

The American criminal justice system presently is broken, and an example of justice run amok. The system has deteriorated to a point whereby innocent people are being imprisoned even with the lack of sufficient evidence. For the real criminals, punishments are often not commensurate with the crime. Presently, many non-violent offenders serve more time behind bars than murderers, rapists, and armed robbers. Consequently, the criminal justice system does more harm than good – destroying lives, shattering dreams and crushing hopes and aspirations for happiness.

Being the world’s largest democracy is supposed to make America a faithful steward of the fairest and finest legal system the world has ever known. However, the U.S. legal system runs counter to traditional American core values. 25% of total global prisoners reside in the U.S. even though America is only about 3% of the world’s population. About 7 million are now under some form of penal supervision, and roughly 100 million people have criminal records.

Presently, the U.S. lead the world in highest prison population, longest prison time, most business deals for contractors and lobbyists, and highest recidivism rate.

The credo of legal jurisprudence in any civilized dispensation is that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent jurisdiction. However, in the United States of America, the reverse is the case due to its misguided penal policies.

Under normal circumstances, obeying the law is enough to shield anyone from trouble. Unfortunately, the current dispensation is hardly normal and being careful in private or public life does not insulate against being caught in the cobweb of the numerous laws and regulations that are the hallmarks of the criminal justice system. Stories of prosecutorial abuse run like a horror movie and the fear of prosecutors “is the beginning of wisdom.” They take to the extreme the dangerous impulse to punish perceived offenders – real or imagined. Prosecutors have enormous power and discretion to pick and choose who goes to jail and who does not. Reports of unwarranted arrests, police brutality, senseless prosecutions, and mass incarceration are a commonplace to the extent that the country’s legal system is teetering dangerously towards a precipice.

The visible signs of pain and anguish can be seen in many families devastated by the imprisonment of a loved one and the so-called respect for human rights can only be thought of in comparative terms. The lack of a guilty mind no longer matters in criminal cases in U.S. courts. As a result, the nation has drifted from the core foundations and principles on which the Union was built, which add up to one concept and one word: freedom. In the context of the nation’s criminal justice system, this “American Creed” lies in tatters.

Although lawmakers can do more to remedy the situation, because of political expediency, the legislative arm of government continue to enact laws and regulations that criminalize harmless acts.

While many of us believe that it is the responsibility of the government to punish criminals for public safety and security, and the fact that society has a right to demand punishment for wrongdoers, however, this fundamental tenet must operate within a justice system that is equal and fair. Punishment must fit the crime, and the innocent must not suffer unjustly for crimes not committed.

There is no justification for mass incarceration; it could no longer be defended morally. America needs a more rational and sensible justice system, one that is fair – a people’s justice system – that all can trust to protect them while punishing offenders appropriately and ensuring that innocent people are not unfairly prosecuted or imprisoned. Only a reformed justice system can give practical meaning to the noble ideals on which the nation was founded. A commonsense approach to the criminal justice system in American might someday be possible, but not anytime soon given the interplay of politics and business within it.

In my book, American Criminal Justice System, Inc: Rogue Criminal Prosecution in an Era of Mass Incarceration, I presented compelling arguments of how government prosecutors and their cronies use crazy laws, plea bargain, false witnesses and other unwholesome tactics to oppress its people. With so many locked up, the United States has become a nation that feeds on its own.

– This article is an excerpt from my book, American Criminal Justice System, Inc: Rogue Prosecutions in an Era of Mass Incarceration.

 

Author, American Criminal Justice System Inc: Rogue Prosecutions in an Era of Mass Incarceration Website: http://www.fredeghobor.com

How Mergers And Acquisition Affect Company

Mergers and acquisitions keep happening in the corporate world. Both of these two activities are often construed as the magic elixir that will enhance the prestige of a newly formed company, grow sales and save cost up to a great extent through synergies.

However, Mergers and acquisitions are just like gambling. A lot of risks are involved in it and you can’t foretell the size of return in advance. If you don’t handle it carefully, it can even backfire and may result in more cost than projected. It can even damage the company completely.

So, the biggest question is how Mergers and acquisitions affect a company? Let’s have a look at some points mentioned here below-

1. They Become Bigger In Size
Many companies agree to M&A to grow their size and become bigger compared to their rivals. It may take several years to double or triple the size of a company through organic growth. But, if two different companies are combined into one, the value of a new company may overcome several small companies available in the market. In such a case, both companies are benefited hugely from the additional value.

2. Synergy
The main motive of a merger or acquisition is to increase the performance of a company for its shareholders with the help of synergy. Actually, it’s a concept which illustrates that if performance and the value of the two companies are combined, their output will always be bigger than the subtotal of the separate individual parts. In simple words, two business organizations can generate more revenues jointly than it could be fetched if they worked independently. So, companies measure potential synergy before making an M&A transaction.

3. Getting Unique Capabilities
On a number of occasions, mergers and acquisitions take place to get unique capabilities or resources, which can help the company to become a monopoly in the market. For example- If a new company acquires patents and licenses after making M&A deal, it can easily increase its sales and profits because of the innovation and efficiency caused by the merger or acquisition.

4. Capitalize the Government Policies
Mergers and acquisitions also happen to cope with unfavorable government policies that make it mandatory for companies to have a certain size to exist in the business. On the other hand, some governments provide tax breaks and other incentives to big companies. Mergers help companies to lower their tax liabilities and increase their profit margins.

5. Ability To Deal With Larger Clients
Mergers and acquisitions take place to deal with a large number of clients and increase the financial benefits. For example- M&A activity in law firms allows the company to access more resources and expertise & serve a large number of clients easily and quickly.

6. Termination Of Employees
Whenever two companies are combined into one or one company acquires another firm, employees are fired from their jobs. The new company wants to downsize the labor force and make the most use of the available talent. In some cases, the salaries of the workers are reduced to cut the operational cost.

This also provokes employees to leave the job and look for other options. These activities can fill negativity in the minds of existing staff and their performance/output is affected badly. Due to the different work culture, employees often clash with each other. It may affect the overall performance of the company a lot. If you don’t address this problem quickly, it becomes very difficult to operate the company smoothly and easily.

In some cases, many employees take legal action against the company because of their termination. Therefore, while getting involved in an M&A transaction, you should consider the interest of employees and shareholders seriously and try to solve the matter in a friendly manner. If any problem arises, you can take the help of M&A Law firms. They can assist you to follow the government recognized law in M&A transaction and will keep you to deal with any sort of legal trouble in the future.

7. Overpayment
The clash overpayment is quite common in M&A transactions. There are many cases when the company A accuses B of financial misappropriation and takes the legal action to get its money back from the company B. Such a scenario is harmful to both companies as involvement in prolonged legal battle can damage their reputation in the market and hurt them financially.

If you get trapped in such a complicated mess, you should hire expert Mergers and Acquisition Lawyers without having any second thought. They have the knowledge of different laws related to the M&A transactions and can help you to perform merger and acquisition without any legal hindrance.

Final Words:
M&A transactions affect the acquisitive companies in many ways. These are some important impacts that are likely to be faced by the firms.

Source: http://www.apsense.com/article/how-mergers-and-acquisition-affect-company.html

Civil, Family or Criminal Law Firms Sydney – Basic Rules to Build a Successful Legal Practice

With so many law firms out there it can be overwhelming when setting out to open one of your own. The first thing you need to do is to distinguish your firm and stand apart from your competitions. Once you ascertain your firm’s area of expertise – corporate, civil, family or criminal law firms Sydney, the next important step is to establish main practice areas that are exclusive to your firm. This is imperative to make clients choose your legal practice over the many others present around you.

If only there was a magic formula to achieve success. However, there are certain rules to the game that you, as a competitive law business, can set and follow to accomplish enhanced performance, successful revenue generation, and strong client relations. Here are a few of them –

1.Chalk out an effective marketing plan – to build a solid marketing policy for your various law firms or let’s say for example criminal legal enterprise Sydney you need to pick out your collective and individual proficiencies, study your competition and analyze the services you provide in comparison to other similar law practicing agencies in your community. Selecting a good, reliable business developer and manager can develop a positive marketing strategy for your business, giving it the right exposure and boosting up your firm’s count, both in numbers and client database.

2.Providing clients with top notch service – to become a successful law agency, you need to provide your clients with the best and consistent services. Clients look for lawyers who are attentive toward them and offer exceptional services along with a successful outcome. Establishing a bond with your clients, conducting client satisfaction surveys, studying client growth and retention reports carefully are some of the steps you can incorporate to deliver what your clients need and achieve a reputable and successful other including criminal legal practice Sydney.

3.Making the workplace comfortable for your employees – a happy office environment ensures happy workers and in turn, high productivity. Firms with great people development skills have great records of stability and minimal attrition rate. Successful legal practices realize that not all of their employees are lawyers and consciously work towards a healthy work environment to incorporate everyone as a team.

4.Specializing in your area of interest – this gives you and your enterprise an upper edge. However, to achieve this you need to ensure that you have the right background and people to add credibility to your specialized area or areas of practice, build on it and publicize your accomplishments. These can be your selling point distinguishing your business from others. For instance, if yours is a criminal law firm Sydney, you will want to have a background showing your interest in your core focus, so people needing your legal aid relating to crimes can rely on you to get them out of their sticky situation successfully.

5. Clients belong to the firm – all leading civil, family or criminal legal organizations Sydney place great emphasis on things like client satisfaction, teamwork, and positive quality outcome. The goal is to better serve particular clients or industries with the team of professionals dedicated to them and their cases. Successful legal businesses consider overall contributions to the firm’s accomplishment rather than giving credit to an individual. Lawyers in such firms are encouraged to not think of clients as belonging to them, but to the firm. The firm needs to work as a whole and address and solve issues raised as a team and not a single lawyer.

Summary

Developing the above-mentioned points is a long term program for which you require willingness and patience. However, following these habits will surely give you and your law enterprise rewarding results.