Businesses use trademarks to brand products and services, build consumer confidence, and eliminate confusion about the source of goods and services. Trademark or servicemark infringement can result in the costly confusion of your product or service with another.
We've discussed before how entrepreneurs have enjoyed success in taking patented technology from university research labs to the marketplace. Research departments have begun allowing potential buyers exclusive access to technology so buyers can weigh the risks before purchasing. You can read more about this matter in our previous post, "Protecting intellectual property: The university connection."
In a couple of our previous posts, we discussed the ongoing issue of small businesses being hit with frivolous lawsuits for alleged non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). California law differs from other states' laws with regard to these kinds of legal claims, and California businesses have been forced to settle ADA claims rather than challenge them. The problem is that settling is often less expensive than fighting a frivolous claim.
Business owners are likely to agree that if your company does work worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, it should get promptly paid. And if payment is not prompt, it should be as soon as possible. But one California company says Google is refusing to pay nearly $1 million owed for ads placed with Google's AdSense software.
According to the California HealthCare Foundation, since 2002, workplace health insurance premiums in California have risen 185 percent, far outpacing the state's inflation rate of 33 percent. This increase in employers' health insurance rates is expected to continue even as medical spending is down and uncompensated care has decreased significantly.
Some states enforce non-compete agreements, whereby employees agree not to compete with their employer for a period of time or share trade secrets after leaving the company. California is not a state that enforces such agreements, but New York is.
When you're starting a business, the decisions you make early in the process are extremely important because your choices now will have effects throughout the life of the company. You'll have to decide how the business will be structured, and the type of entity you choose will have a bearing on a range of matters, including taxation, personal liability and division of profits.
We recently discussed a number of changes in California employment law that will take effect in 2015. One of the major changes requires employers to provide paid sick leave to qualifying employees. On the heels of that legislation comes another proposal that would mandate double pay for workers on Christmas and Thanksgiving.
If you're an entrepreneur in California, then you're undoubtedly aware of the abundance of potentially profitable technology being developed throughout the state. Much of the research that leads to ground-breaking technology happens at universities, and many tech startups find great success in transferring patented technology from the university to the marketplace.
Starting in 2015, employers in California will have to comply with a number of new laws. One of the major changes comes in the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The law requires that employers give qualifying employees paid sick leave.