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San Diego Business Organizations Law Blog

Why the Supreme Court's abstract patent case matters

According to The New York Times, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has received a more than triple increase in patent applications over the past 20 years. However, this flood of patent applications does not necessarily reflect a mirrored increase in tangible innovations. An increase in certain kinds of business litigation over this time period and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office indicate that many of these patents are filed for abstract, overly broad and vague ideas.

Patent protections allow individuals and businesses to monopolize a particular creation or form of intellectual property for a certain period of time and subject to certain restrictions. Therefore, patents are incredibly valuable to those that hold them. In addition, patents allow those that hold them to sue alleged infringers of these rights for damages.

Ferrari's infringement claim could set bar for online expression

Over the last several years, many well-established businesses have harnessed the growing power of social media to reach new audiences. At the same time, a number of companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, have grown exponentially as they've provided a venue for people who are eager to use the Internet to build a social network.

An ongoing copyright and trademark infringement suit involving auto manufacturer Ferrari and one of the company's fans could set an important precedent for using trademarked brands on social media. Six years ago, a 15-year-old boy created a Ferrari fan page on Facebook promoting his love for the company. Now, the auto manufacturer is suing for control of the fan page, based on an infringement claim.

Business owners may see opportunity in selling their startup

Over the last few years, the California business community has given a lot of attention to startups, and rightfully so. Energetic entrepreneurs may have a great idea and they use their passion to get a business running from the ground up. Once the business finds success, entrepreneurs might be eager to find a new, exciting opportunity with the help of a well-timed business transaction.

According to a study reported by Forbes, about half of the 342 closely-held business startups included in a survey were sold after seven years in operation. The biggest take-away from this survey is that it's not uncommon for business startups to be acquired by another company between four and eight years after their inception.

Apple and Samsung headed back to court in patent dispute

Imagine spending countless hours and large sums of capital on developing a novel product or business idea only to have it copied by a competitor. Of course, this would leave anyone frustrated and could certainly discourage business owners and entrepreneurs from investing in research and innovation. With this idea in mind, patent laws are designed to protect unique ideas from being replicated without permission.

In the expanding mobile technology market, innovation is crucial. Electronics manufacturers want to stay ahead of the curve and provide cutting-edge technology to consumers, which can give them an advantage. This idea has repeatedly shown itself in ongoing business disputes between two of the world's most recognizable names in the mobile device industry: Apple and Samsung.

What is the future of entrepreneurship and business formation?

Many things inspire people to take initiative and go to work for themselves by starting a business. Taking this step can be very exciting and rewarding, but it can also be filled with uncertainty. Knowing this, an entrepreneur might want to take steps to avoid becoming overwhelmed or making critical missteps along the way. This way, a business can be formed on a solid footing.

According to a report from the publication Entrepreneur, the upcoming generation might be very eager to become business owners. Many people viewed Generation Y, those born between 1982 and 1993, as one of the most endeavoring in terms of entrepreneurship. Some observers, however, believe that the subsequent generation, Gen Z, could take it to the next level.

California-based startup company acquired by Yahoo

Current and potential business owners in San Diego may have big plans for their companies. Ultimately, every entrepreneur wants to find success, but not all business owners have the same definition of success. Some people focus on staying in business for many years while others have ambitions of handing over their small company to a larger corporation eventually.

The CEO of one small California company recently announced that his company, Tomfoolery, is being acquired by Internet giant Yahoo. The acquisition seems to be on par with the CEO's goals of developing new products and attracting new customers. It was reported that Yahoo acquired the startup for a sum of about $16 million and the acquisition seems to benefit both parties.

Craft brewing business courses are on tap for San Diego County

Markets typically align with changes in consumer tastes. Over the last several years, a market for craft beer has emerged as the general public has developed an affinity for the small-batch beer. This trend has become especially apparent in San Diego County, as the area is home to more than 80 craft breweries.

Business observers have already noted the impact of brewing on the economy in San Diego and surrounding cities. Not only has brewing brought significant amounts of money and capital into the area, but it has also put so many people to work.

The Weather Channel presents unique argument in contract dispute

Many businesses offer services to customers, but some might be seen as more critical than others. For example, electric companies and health care providers are typically seen as conveyers of necessary services. Interestingly enough, a private business, The Weather Channel, is arguing that they are essentially like a public utility in an ongoing contract dispute with California-based DirecTV.

The Weather Channel and DirecTV have been trying to negotiate a service agreement. Reports provided by the San Diego Union-Tribune indicate that that the weather network is requesting an increase in the amount that the satellite service provider pays to air the channel. However, the two parties have been unable to reach an agreement.

Financing issues can halt a business renovation or expansion

When a person decides to open a business, there are obviously legal issues to handle when forming the entity. Of course, business owners are concerned with maintaining a successful operation, no matter where a business is in its life cycle. However, established business owners may have different legal concerns and challenges than a brand new business. Namely, they might consider the challenges that could accompany an expansion or renovation.

In addition to getting proper permits and approval from local government officials, it may also be necessary to line up financing for a business expansion or renovation. This can be a complex task, even for savvy business owners.

City, business settle international logo challenge

From the McDonald's golden arches to Nike swoosh, many companies have instantly recognizable logos. In order to achieve this status, businesses may invest resources in branding and marketing. Meanwhile, it may also be important to protect the logo from trademark infringement in order to keep a company's brand from being watered down by unnecessary competition.

Although their logo may not be well known among San Diego residents, an internationally based real estate developer took steps to defend their logo against infringement by the city of Amarillo, Texas.

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