Top 10 Benefits of a Trademark Registration

CMRS Law Trademark

Federal trademark registration is not required to claim your business’s name or logo as a trademark but it does offer your business the most protection.  Using your name or logo in commerce without a federal registration gives you limited trademark rights in your geographic area but federal registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has several advantages, …

What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

CMRS Law Employment Law, Government Compliance

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted by Congress in 1993 and gives eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave, under certain circumstances, without retaliation from the employer.  Under the FMLA, eligible employers are required to give eligible employees up to 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave for (1) the birth and care of eligible employee’s child or …

How Can Your Business Avoid Liability as a Result of Third Party Postings on Your Website?

CMRS Law Internet Law

If you are a website owner, you probably wonder whether you may be sued for content, like comments, photographs, or videos posted on your website by third parties.  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) may offer you some relief. Immunity under the CDA The CDA is a federal law enacted by Congress to promote the flow and free …

Are Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable in Ohio?

CMRS Law Employment Law

In short, yes.  It is well established under Ohio law that a non-competition agreement of reasonable duration and geographic scope is enforceable if properly made part of an employment agreement.  However, the courts will treat these agreements with skepticism and carefully scrutinize them because they are often drafted by the employer and in favor of the employer.  If the agreement appears too …

Is Your Criminal Background Check Policy Violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act?

CMRS Law Employment Law

Criminal background checks for employment purposes are commonplace.  But recent literature from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency charged with enforcing employment discrimination laws, has suggested that certain criminal background check policies may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 due to the varying rates of criminal activity among different minority groups. Title VII …

Six Essential Agreements Your Business Needs to Protect Its Intellectual Property

CMRS Law Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement, Contracts

Whether you’re a start-up business or an existing business, protecting your intellectual property is vital.  Intellectual property includes your trade secrets, customer lists, recipes, inventions, and much more.  If your business is not using all of the six agreements described below, your intellectual property may be at risk of exposure or theft. (1) Non-Disclosure and Trade Secret Protection Agreements This …

Does My Business Need a Work for Hire Agreement?

CMRS Law Contracts, Copyright

The answer to this question is “Yes” if you want to own the work an independent contractor just created for your business without having to obtain the contractor’s permission and pay him or her royalties.  Typically, any work created by an independent contractor is owned by the contractor unless a work for hire agreement is signed. What is a Work …

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Safe Harbor Provisions

CMRS Law Copyright, Internet Law

If you operate a website that allows users to post or generate content, you may be liable for contributory copyright infringement.  With statutory damages between $750 and $30,000 per work, or actual damages, available to aggrieved parties, liability for infringement can easily run into the millions of dollars.  Luckily for online service providers, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 …

Complying with OSHA: Basic Requirements

CMRS Law Employment Law

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), created in 1970, is a federal agency designed to assure safe and healthful conditions for workers through the implementation of various safety regulations, procedures, and enforcement mechanisms.  All private workers are covered by OSHA. In general, OSHA requires that employers keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.  More specifically, OSHA requires employers …

Protecting Customer and Employee Personal Information: Ohio’s Data Security Breach Notification Law

CMRS Law Employment Law, Government Compliance

If your company collects the “personal information” of customers or employees on its computers and those people are residents of Ohio, it is vital that you establish a system to protect this information and respond accordingly in the event of a security breach.  Ohio Revised Code Section 1349.19 establishes notification requirements if the electronic security system protecting this information is …