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 …

Selecting a Strong Trademark: The Four Types of Marks

CMRS Law Trademark

When selecting a trademark, there are two important considerations: (1) avoiding the likelihood of confusion with other marks and (2) selecting a “strong” mark in the legal sense.  A likelihood of confusion will occur when your mark is the same or similar to another mark that identifies related goods or services.  Whether or not a mark is “strong” in the …

Does Your Social Media Policy Violate the Law?

CMRS Law Employment Law

Employers are increasingly using social media policies to regulate what their employees say online in an effort to protect their company’s reputation.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a federal agency that enforces the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) has found fault with several of these policies.  Many companies have walked the thin line between a policy …

What is a Copyright and What Does it Give Me?

CMRS Law Copyright

Copyright protection finds its roots in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”  Through this Constitutional power, Congress passed the Copyright Act of 1976.  This Act …

How Do You Trademark a Name or Logo?

Elliott Stapleton Trademark

How can I protect the name of my company, my logo, or slogan? You probably plan to invest time and resources in the creation of a positive reputation for your business. The value of that reputation is stored within your company’s name, its logo, or slogan. To protect this investment you will need a Trademark. How do I get a …

Convertible Promissory Note (Debt) Financing in Ohio

Elliott Stapleton Corporation

What is a convertible promissory note? A convertible promissory note is typically used in the early investment stage of a startup business.  It is a loan which will, upon a predetermined event, convert from debt into stock. Here is a visual summary of the process: How does a convertible promissory note work? The process is best explained by an example: …