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Denver Business and Commercial Law Blog

Steps to take for a smooth business merger

Business owners have a few options when it comes to exiting or expanding, and many find themselves buying another enterprise or selling to another party at some point. The process of a merger or acquisition in Colorado can raise any number of legal issues. According to members of the Forbes Business Development Council, the most important things to consider include asking the tough questions, knowing the deal breakers, gathering information and checking the culture fit.

It's important for business owners and entrepreneurs to be willing to ask the tough questions early on in the merger or acquisition process. The parties should know why this other company wants to buy or sell and what the intentions are for after the deal. Plans for retaining or releasing current staff should be explicitly discussed.

Biotech startups can benefit from venture capital

Entrepreneurs starting new ventures in biotechnology may be looking for capital to help them achieve their business goals. Given that startups are launched in Colorado on a daily basis, it may seem difficult to secure the venture capital needed to bring valuable business ideas to fruition. Many investors tend to favor businesses that can show some history of success or significant equity. There are several factors that innovators can keep in mind to help them in their search for additional funding.

In 2018 alone, venture capitalists and angel investors dedicated over $758 million to biotechnology initiatives. When seeking some of those funds, it's important for business owners to focus on the right sources. Most investors have a specific profile for the companies they choose to support. By understanding the target profile for an investor, business owners can develop a stronger approach to the firms or individual VCs that are more likely to support a project like theirs.

How difficult is it to be a single mom in Denver?

Whether it is from an unwanted pregnancy or a rough divorce, single mothers have numerous hard challenges to face. They have to try and maintain a job that will provide them enough money and time to spend with their kids while also overcoming the financial struggles that determine if they can live in the same house and build enough savings to give their kids a sufficient educational future.

However, the problem may be worse than most realize. Recent studies highlighting single mother problems in Colorado demonstrate how many obstacles single mother workers face in Denver and the state as a whole.

What to address in a business plan

The first steps of the business planning process include creating a plan for what the company does and how it will do it. This can be helpful whether the business will operate in Colorado or any other state. Business owners should also be sure that they consider who their competition is and what makes them successful. Taking this step can help a new business determine how it will be different and better than existing companies in its field.

A business plan should spend time discussing who the company's target market will be and how to reach these people. A vision statement can be helpful as it defines what a business owner is trying to do by starting the company. It can also help to clarify to lenders or investors what the brand is trying to do and why the brand would be worth providing capital to.

Settlement in lawsuit between ZeniMax and Facebook

Business owners in Colorado may file a lawsuit in federal court alleging infringement of intellectual property rights when they believe that another company has unlawfully stolen or used intellectual property such newly developed technology. One such lawsuit between Facebook and ZeniMax Media has settled out of court.

The lawsuit alleged that Oculus, a company owned by Facebook, stole intellectual property belonging to ZeniMax that was developed by the company's CTO. A jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million in damages, a verdict that was later reduced to $250 million. The lawsuit alleged copyright infringement, breach of contract, trademark infringement and false designation although the latter two claims were rejected.

Jay-Z, arbitration group reach agreement over diversity issue

An objection over the racial makeup of the pool of potential arbitrators in the intellectual property lawsuit between Jay-Z and Iconix Brand Group appears to be resolved, according to recent court filings. This change could have an impact on Colorado entrepreneurs involved in the arbitration process going forward.

According to an attorney for Jay-Z, the rapper and entrepreneur is ready to proceed with arbitration in front of the American Arbitration Association after having some initial concerns over the diversity of the pool of potential arbitrators. These concerns led Jay-Z's legal team to file for a temporary restraining order to halt the arbitration until the dispute could be resolved.

UGG boot battle highlights design patent law

There are several well-known laws protecting Colorado entrepreneurs from intellectual property infringements. Common protections include copyright and trademark laws. However, two recent cases have highlighted a more obscure intellectual property protection: the design patent.

In July, Apple and Samsung finally settled a years-long battle over design patents for their smartphones. Meanwhile, Decker Outdoor Corporation, the maker of UGG boots, recently used design patent laws to sue Romeo & Juliette, a rival shoemaker that was accused of making UGG knockoffs.

About reverse IPOs

Residents of Colorado who have a privately owned business have a number of options for making their business public, including conducting a reverse merger. Business owners may consider using a reverse merger over a traditional initial public offering, which requires an investment bank to underwrite and issue shares of the business, because the process of a reverse merger is shorter, less complicated and less costly.

In traditional IPOs, the investment bank helps with generating interest in the company's stock and gives counsel regarding what the initial pricing should be. Traditional IPOs use both capital raising and the go-public process. These two functions are separated in reverse mergers, which makes investors and corporate managers view them as appealing strategic options.

Colorado nurses in danger of a toxic work environment

The medical field is one of the most stressful work industries out there. While most jobs deal with selling commodities, doctors and nurses focus on saving or prolonging the lives of as many patients as they can. Even the slightest mistake could be costly for an individual in the long run.

The tasks can take a large toll on the mentality of many workers in the field. Unfortunately, it can also bring out the worst in certain employees. A recent article by CBS Denver highlights the dangerous workplace that many Colorado Nurses have to deal with and their efforts to improve the safety of their environment.

Protecting trade secrets and intellectual property

Companies in Denver, Colorado, are understandably concerned about protecting their trade secrets. Although not all trade secrets are as renowned as the formula for Coca-Cola or the recipe for Colonel Sanders chicken, most businesses have proprietary information that they do not want released to the public. This could include things like the methods they use to carry out their business and manufacturing techniques.

Forty-eight states, as well as a number of U.S. territories, have adopted the Uniform Trade Secret Act. This act defines what a trade secret is and the responsibility of the owner of that secret to protect their information.