Data for Small Businesses

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on America’s small businesses. Utilizing data analytics is one course of action small businesses can take in order to boost efficiency in 2021. It is also a point of encouragement for those considering creating a business. Raw data can be synthesized in order to provide clear-cut information about overall consumption habits around the world. A recent increase in e-commerce makes this information exceedin

Small Businesses and COVID-19

I do not believe there is a single person in the United States who has not been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and reminders to wear masks in public have quickly become normal. We have watched thousands of businesses close, millions of people are out of work, and trillions of dollars have been spent to help American people and businesses weather the shutdown. According to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business Schoo

What is a Partnership?

Partner up! No this is not a Sadie Hawkins Dance or the time to bust out some partner conditioning exercises in the gym. It’s time to invest in a business opportunity. We’ve learned how to pick partners since grade school. Sometimes it was as easy as just locking eyes with person next to you. Well in the business world, a lot more factors go into choosing the right person. Once you found your business soul mate, brainstorm sessions start churning and new venture ideas become

The Shutdown Continues: Your Company and the Shutdown (January 2019)

28 Days Later. Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the US, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. Sorry, wrong story. 28 days later and we are now are entering into the fifth week of the partial government shutdown. Our world may not be inhabited with zombie-like humans but this shutdown is bringing consequences. Even for private companies this is not something to ignore. This partial shutdown comes as a result of the disagreement over all

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

You are an entrepreneur. You came up with a business idea and you went for it. If you haven’t figured it out by now, you will soon understand that one of the first steps in becoming a business owner is deciding how to run your company. Will you have employees? Managers? Or is it best you ride solo for a little while? How you run your company influences how your business is structured – and how your business is structured influences who will be personally liable for taxes, com

Why should I register my business name?

Why should you register your business name? Or, another way to say this is “do you really need an official trademark?” YES. YES. YES. And YES again!!!!! So many business owners are out here operating without taking advantage of the protections offered by both federal and state governments for trademarks. This is because a lot of business owners are not aware of what they can do to make sure their brand is protected. They don’t know about the trademark laws or how exactly

How can I protect my idea?!

Say you developed this amazing new and innovative product? Or came up with a unique business name? Developed a new formula? Wrote this amazing piece of work? You’ve spent countless hours, time, energy and money into your product, design, art work, to have someone copy your work or steal would be devastating. How can you prevent this from happening? Several ways. The first way you can protect your idea depends on what category of intellectual property (IP) it falls into.

What Is A Work Made For Hire?

Copyright protects original works of authorship. You or your company may be undertaking projects that will result in copyrightable work. Computer software, sound recordings, photographs, graphic designs? These all may be copyrightable, allowing you as the owner to profit off of the creativity. Maybe you want to sell your creative products or even license the right to use them. Your right to do so will depend on who owns the copyright in the work. You may have put your whole h

Trade Dress Infringement: Converse

An Iconic Brand: Chuck Taylor All Stars It was right here in Malden, MA where Converse dug its heels in American history. Due to the success of the charismatic salesman, Charles ‘Chuck’ H Taylor, the company began selling their All-Star high-topped sneakers under the Chuck Taylor signature mark in 1917. For a period of time, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars were known to be the official shoe of the National Basketball Association (NBA). These high-tops transformed from an at

Independent Contractors: Who Are You?

Are you having a worker identity crisis? Is it unclear if you are an employee of the company or an independent contractor? Sure you may go to work in the same building as the company’s employees, hang out by the same water cooler, maybe even steal a few brownies from the free food table, but that alone doesn’t mean you are an employee. Knowing your worker identity -- employee or independent contractor -- is something you should figure out before signing an employment contract

Employment Contracts 101: Signed, Sealed, Delivered... I’m Yours!

Congratulations! You’ve received a job offer and plan to accept employment at the company of your dreams – OR maybe you are an employer who, after reading through dozens of applications and conducting tiresome interviews, finally found the right person to do the job. Whatever the case, you have come to that final stage in the hiring process: making the employer-employee relationship official. One way to do this is by signing an employment contract. EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS: WHAT

The Price of Privacy

An aggressive suit was filed against Facebook, Inc., this week for misleading their users about its location tracking services. Have you ever gotten a notification from Facebook letting you know that one of your friends is nearby? What if I told you that that person may not know their location is being notified to others? Maybe they even purposely turned their location services off; however, you still get this alert. That’s what we’ll be talking about this week, guys. I think

The Sacred Sandwich Shot

Last week in court, the feud between Tocci, a construction company, and Fotohaus LLC, a photography firm, began over the use of a copyrighted image of a sandwich. Yep, you heard that right. So how did this all come about? Well, Tocci Building Corporation (“Tocci”), a construction firm headquartered in Massachusetts, used a picture of two hands holding a bun filled with meat and lettuce, on their website to promote bringing your lunch to work. Tocci is unique, in that it beli

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Patents

A patent is a grant of exclusive rights given by the U.S. government to an inventor who has invented something, for example, a hairdryer, toaster, razor, telephone, etc.. The extraordinary progress in the world of new inventions and art can largely be given to the granting of patents rights which promotes innovation and the exchanging of ideas. The first official patent statute was created in 1790 and since then, the United States has been a booming birthplace for many ama

Shhhh! Can You Keep a Trade Secret?

Welcome Back! Remember my first blog post where I wrote about how to steal an honest companies money? Well, here we are again, guys. Three former employees of a company called LSC Development planned to form a rival company during normal business hours on the job. Yeah, you read that right. While working at LSC, the three defendants stole valuable information from LSC and used it to develop their own business with a similar business model -- all on LSC’s dime. The plaintiff's

“It's more than a feeling when I hear that old song they used to play”

Are we all familiar with the 1970s rock and roll band Boston? Most well-known for the songs “More than a Feeling,” “Long Time,” and “Peace of Mind.” The band was made up of five members: Tom Scholz, Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan, Sib Hashian and Brad Dep. In 1981, Goudreau separated from the group and signed a settlement agreement with the remaining Boston members permitting him to share in the royalties for the first two Boston albums and to use the term “formerly of Bosto

Adidas v. The Little Guy

On Monday, July 30, 2018, Adidas was served with a trademark infringement suit for using the phrase “Never Done” after agreeing to partner with, the creator, Abraham Berti Levy, a small business entrepreneur, to use it to market apparel. Levy is a business owner who trademarked the phrases “You’re Never Done ® ”, “YND ® ,” “Never Done ® ,” “We’re Never Done ® ” and “I’m Never Done ® ” and subsequently plastered it on his line of apparel. Levi and Adidas were originally suppos

Counterfeits: The Battle of Wits

Last week, Nike Inc. won a case that was filed against several shipping companies that unlawfully transported thousands of counterfeit Nike shoes overseas to the U.S. Ten shipments of approximately 20,000 Nike ® shoes worth more than $650,000.00, were transported to the U.S., intending to go to Saint-Gobain Corp (a French importer). Two of the ten shipments containing the counterfeit products from China, were seized by U.S. Customs. In addition to finding for the Plaintiff