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Denver Business and Commercial Law Blog

Protecting intellectual property is vital in the business world

What makes a Colorado company unique can often make or break it. Commonly, intellectual property, like ideas, services, products and more, is essential to setting a company apart from competitors. As a result, protecting that property can prove crucial to ensuring that another person or company does not use it without permission.

Fortunately, numerous options exist for protecting IP. These options can include registering a copyright, obtaining a trademark or applying for a patent, for example. Having these specific protections can provide proof that a company or person owns the idea, invention, design or other work covered by the appropriate safeguard. If someone infringes on the rights provided by these security measures, the owner could present the evidence of ownership in court, if necessary, in efforts to have the infringement come to an end.

How important is reputation when forming a business?

Starting a business in Colorado certainly takes time, hard work, dedication and skill. It also takes personality and a good reputation. While some people may prefer to let their work do the talking for them, having an established reputation before forming a business could help get the process underway faster.

Because entrepreneurs have to work considerable overtime to get their operations underway in the first weeks and months of formation, having one less thing to worry about could save more time than many may think. Plus, trying to establish a reputation and handle all other aspects of business formation could easily become overwhelming. If so, the reputation may become less of a priority, but in reality, it is a valuable business tool.

Colorado companies facing business litigation over ADA issues

A growing business needs various options for reaching clients and customers. In many cases, companies these days have websites that serve multiple purposes, from advertising to sales to payment-making options. While having an appealing website is important, business owners also need to ensure that they comply with laws and regulations or face business litigation.

Deciding to dissolve their business not easy for owners

It is common knowledge that many small businesses do not see the years of success that many entrepreneurs hope to achieve. Of course, it is possible for business owners to obtain a certain level of success and have the ability to grow their business for a time and then suffer considerable setbacks because of outside factors. In some cases, Colorado business owners may have to decide to dissolve their business if they do not see another way out.

These days, business struggles seem to be hitting companies regularly. When hardships first begin, it is not unusual for owners to want to see where things go before deciding whether to close up shop or try to make it through. Uncertainty plays a role in the business world at any time, but when matters become even murkier, it can be challenging to see the reason for continuing.

What does the EEOC say about religious discrimination at work?

Discrimination in any form has no place in a professional environment. Colorado employees should be able to go to work and do their jobs without fear of experiencing negative or discriminatory treatment because of their religious views. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is still a problem for many, and victims are often afraid to speak out and assert their rights.

The United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has specific rules regarding an employee's religious rights in the workplace and how employers must provide certain allowances. If you believe you are experiencing this type of discrimination in your place of work, you do not have to stay silent. It is possible that you have grounds to move forward with a civil claim, a process through which you may be able to hold your employer accountable and seek justice. 

Business litigation over Disney character moves forward

Though most businesses in Colorado and elsewhere will face at least one lawsuit over the course of their operations, lawsuits are not something to take lightly. Even when another company brings a claim that seems to have no support, it is important to treat it seriously. After all, frivolous lawsuits often come about when someone hopes to obtain compensation, and any misstep during business litigation could have negative outcomes for the defending company.

Recent reports stated that the Walt Disney Company is planning to defend against a lawsuit brought by K&K Productions. A statement from Disney indicated that the company believes the suit does not have merit. The dispute is over a character in the film "Toy Story 4." Duke Caboom, a toy daredevil voiced by Keanu Reeves, is the character in question, which K&K Productions claims is based on the late Evel Knievel.

Venture capital or private equity for small businesses?

Most entrepreneurs do not want to start a company that remains stagnant. They want to create an endeavor that has the ability to expand and offer new products and services. Of course, expansion often takes funds, and in some cases, small businesses in Colorado may not have the money to move forward with an idea. Fortunately, outside investments, like venture capital or private equity, could help.

First, it is important to note that venture capital and private equity are not the same, even though they both come from outside sources. If a company looks as if it has significant room for growth and will likely have a major impact on its industry, it may be more likely to obtain venture capital. However, companies or individuals who offer venture capital typically want at least a small stake of the company in return for their investment.

Snapchat at work defending trademark again

Recently, Snap Inc., owners of Snapchat, filed a complaint against a startup company for its use of a product name Snap, Inc. says is too close to one of its own. While some may argue that this matter should be put to rest because the names are not identical, others understand that Snap stands to lose revenue in the long run if this issue goes unaddressed. The trademark issue in this case may strike a chord with some business owners in Colorado who may be dealing with similar situations, so it will be a good case to follow.  

Snapchat has trademarked the word Bitmoji for an emoji avatar program and keyboard it designed and has used for years. A newer company, Hierographics, named its similar product Badmoji and has been promoting it in a way that Snap believes may cause consumer confusion. This is actually the second time the tech giant has filed suit against this small company over this trademark. The first time it had to do with software. This time, the issue is all about merchandising.

Growing a business may mean understanding and using contracts

Starting a business comes with numerous details to consider. Of course, growing a business also comes with concerns, and in many cases, bringing in outside help and creating business relationships presents the need for contracts. If Colorado entrepreneurs have not utilized contracts before, they may need some basic information to help them get started.

Contracts must include certain elements in order for them to be legally binding. For instance, the purpose of the contract must be legal and enforceable under applicable laws. If a contract is created for an unlawful purpose, it offers no protection in the event that the other party does not follow through. Additionally, the parties entering into the contract must be competent, meaning of legal age, sound mind and not impaired at the time of the agreement. Plus the agreement must be made freely, which means no one was coerced into signing and that no fraudulent actions were taken to get a party to sign.

What type of discrimination are you facing at work?

When you go to work, you should be able to do your job without experiencing unfair or discriminatory treatment of any kind. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many in Colorado. You may be an employee who had to deal with various types of discrimination at your place of work. You may feel angry, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. 

Workplace discrimination can come in many different forms, from the hiring process to decisions on whom to terminate when downsizing. You may also experience discrimination in conversations, through the denial of benefits, from receiving negative comments and in other more subtle ways. No matter the type of discriminatory treatment you experience, you have the right to report it and take steps to hold liable parties accountable.

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