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September 2012 Archives

Contract negotiations and the NFL referee lockout

There is no doubt that a number of our readers are Denver Broncos fans or fans of the NFL in general so we thought it might interesting to highlight the ongoing contract dispute between the National Football League and the referee's union. The NFL is big business to be sure with $9 billion in annual revenue. The fallout of the failed contract negotiations thus far has been a real sore spot for fans and the league's reputation in general. Many pundits and columnists are calling for the head of the NFL, Roger Goodell to resign from his post in light of the debacle that this week's NFL games have entailed.

Calvin Klein accused of patent infringement in yoga pants design

Historically speaking, we do not see a large number of intellectual property lawsuits involving fashion designers. Everyone in Denver and around the world knows that designers copy each other's creations daily, but there is a new trend in the fashion industry where designers are obtaining patents on their designs and then choosing to enforce those patents when they feel another company or designer is infringing on their patent rights. Such is the case with a yoga-apparel company called Lululemon Athletica Inc., which is accusing Calvin Klein Inc. in a lawsuit of infringing on some of its design patents pertaining to its popular "Astro Pant" yoga pants that retail for $98.

University of Colorado student discusses Denver-based startup

A University of Colorado at Boulder graduate is set to speak to local entrepreneurs about her experiences starting her Denver-based mobile marketing company called SpyderLynk. The young woman gave up a good job in order to launch her idea. Six years later she employs 14 people that work to develop and sell "SnapTags." SnapTags are customized codes that consumers with a camera in their smartphone can use to go to anywhere on the Internet. The idea came to the young entrepreneur when she was traveling. After seeing an advertisement in a magazine for something she wanted to purchase on the internet she did what she always did and folded the corner of the page back for later reference. That resulted in a pile of magazines and no way of conveniently storing the data for retrieval later. She would later look at this as a lost opportunity for the company and that's when she came up with the idea to start her own company. She did not think a company would want to put a bar code on an advertisement, but they would put their logo there. She came up with the idea of a circle around a logo that would have breaks in it that could create an optical link from print to online. Consumers could then capture that logo with the circle in their cellphone for later reference.

Is it legal to discriminate against employees based on weight?

A southern hospital is drawing attention for its policies against hiring employees who have a body mass index of 35 or higher. After the story was brought to the attention of a local news program, one reporter decided to look into the matter of whether it was legal to discriminate against employees based on their weight. According to a recent Yale University study, workplace discrimination against overweight employees, especially female workers, is as common as discrimination based on race.