Mar24
Good Friday and Easter Sunday
What are the roots of Good Friday and Easter Sunday?  Seems like another Hallmark card holiday and another reason for candy.  However, Good Friday and Easter Sunday is about religion, not just a commercialized holiday for businesses.  Many people during this time visit loved ones who have passed at cemeteries.  They bring flowers, food, and incense to honor their loved ones and pray that their spirits will protect them on earth.

 

 

 

What businesses benefit from Easter, and how do they gear up for Easter?  Easter is the start of other holidays such as April fools.  For the lawyer working in retail, he/she might be aware of the products that are sold for office pranks.  There many be liabilities to evaluate whether there is enough insurance for.

 

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Mar23
Intellectual Property Protection for Fashion
The following is not meant to legal advice.

 

For fashion designs like t-shirts, how do companies prevent knockoffs?  Companies can apply for design patents on the designs, but it may be expensive if the designs are not long-term or high volume sales.  Design patents may not be recommended for short term or seasonal designs.  Cost for preparing and filing a design patent application is about $3K.  The application is not as expensive as a utility patent application because it consists of drawings with 1 - 2 page descriptions, and does not require the drafting of claims.  Time to issue is probably 6 - 12 months, assuming there are no conflicting designs.

 

Design patents provide similar protection as copyrights.  Copyrights are traditionally for text but are now being used for designs.  The main difference between copyrights and design patents is that the damages for patent infringements might be more.  A copyright registration for the assertion of rights requires the same specimens as for a design patent filing - a clean graphics of the design, both alone and on the shirt.

 

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Eclipse Con 2008
Eclipse Con 2008 was on during the week of March 19, 2008.  For those who know about open source, they know about the Eclipse Foundation.  Eclipse is an open development platform. 

 

 

On March 18, 2008, the exhibitor party consisted of snazzy pen giveaways, t-shirt collectibles, and food of all variety, including chips, salsa, melted cheese; salad; Asian eggrolls, fried wontons, pork buns; and different types of cakes.  For those attorneys who mingle at tech conferences, this event at the Santa Clara Convention Center was certainly one of those that filled the appetite both in the stomach and technology knowledge.

 

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Mar21
Employee Leaves of Absence
The following is not considered legal advice.

 

 

Margaret Edwards gave a web seminar on March 18, 2008.  She is a shareholder at Littler Mendelson. 

 

 

When an employee needs to go out on leave, the employer should look at its own policies and handbooks to make sure that it does not provide more than the laws.

 

 

For workers’ compensation, the injury needs to be proximately caused by a situation in the workplace. 

 

 

FMLA does not extend to domestic partners.

 

 

An employer cannot force an employee to use up paid leave benefits for workers’ compensation or pregnancy disability.  Under the California paid family leave act, the benefit replaces 55% of wages.  The paid family leave is for 6 weeks and paid for by employees through SDI deductions.  There is a one week waiting period for paid family leave.  The employer can require the employee to use up to two weeks of vacation benefits before collecting on paid family leave benefits.  In bonus plans, the employer should look at whether the bonus is based on production or attendance. 

 

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Mar20
The First Day of Spring
The following is not meant to be legal advice.

 

 

March 20, 2008 was the first day of spring.  The first day of spring tells everyone that everything is new again.  When there is disappointment, just start over. This is what a book on change for alcoholics anonymous would say.  This is what the teachings at meditation retreats say. 

 

 

On the first day of spring, people who showed up Orrick Herrington & Sutcliff, LLP on March 19, 2008 for the 106 Miles event only to be turned away that the event was cancelled can start fresh in knowing that at least he/she was able to walk around the block and get some exercise.  He/she was able to look into the firm and see that the cafeteria was closed meaning perhaps people did not have to work very late.

 

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Mar19
Audio Replay
The following is not meant to be legal advice.

 

How long does a public company need to keep audio replays of its conference calls on its web site?

 

According to a Forbes.com study of 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average companies in May 2003, 50% archive calls for more than 90 days, 7 offer access for 1 - 2 weeks, 8 offer access for 30 or 60 days.  How long a company keeps audio replays of its conference calls such as earnings releases on its web site seems to vary with no consistency.

 

Under Regulation G, public companies that disclose or release Non-GAAP financial measures are required to include, in the disclosure or release, a presentation of the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure and a reconciliation of the disclosed Non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.  In Footnote 61, when financial and statistical information contained in an oral, telephone, webcast presentation is provided on a web site, together with information that would be required under Regulation G, it is encouraged that companies provide ongoing web site access to the information.  There is the suggestion that companies provide web site access to the information for at least 12 months on the investor relations web site.

 

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Nuts and Bolts of Lawsuit
The following is not meant to be legal advice.

 

 

Who is involved in lawsuits?  There are attorneys, both inside and outside.  For instance, Erickson Beasley & Hewitt, LLP is an outside firm that handles employment cases.  The inside attorneys assist in gathering information.  They sometimes attend hearings when working for public organizations.  There are risk management personnel, such as insurance representatives from the company’s insurance companies.  They determine how much money to set aside for litigation.  They look at the potential exposure of a lawsuit and whether to settle or go to trial.

 

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Mar18
Sexism
The following is not meant to be legal advice.

 

 

Deborah L. Rhode, a professor at Stanford Law School spoke in Palo Alto, CA at McDermott Will Emery on March 11, 2008 about sexism in the legal profession.

 

 

Over a pasta dinner, Rhode spoke that prejudice is not usually expressed openly.  She gave statistics on why the number of women who receive degrees and enter the work force do not calculate out to the number of women who get leadership positions.  Part of the reason is because of women’s choices to opt out of leadership positions.

 

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Social Networks for Lawyers
The following is not meant to be legal advice.

 

 

The California Lawyer March 2008 issue reported social networking sites on the rise for lawyers.  It seems that some lawyers are looking for social networks that are geared towards the legal field.  Some legal chat email lists confirm this when attorneys report they get little benefit from joining mainstream sites such as LinkedIn, FaceBook, MySpace.

 

 

The article mentions LawLink and Legal OnRamp as popular sites for attorneys.  Mainstream social networks seem to connect people to old friends from college, law school, former employers, but do not benefit in terms of meeting potential clients, or other attorneys to get legal information. 

 

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Mar17
Foreign Patent Filings
The following is not considered legal advice.

 

 

Companies who have filed patent applications in the United States may receive the date of their United States filing in foreign jurisdictions if they file applications in the foreign countries within one year of the United States filing. 

 

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