Tag Archives: Legislation

Update on Patent Trolling: What Your Startup and Small Business Should Know

Last year, we devoted considerable attention to an issue that impacts many small businesses and startups: Patent trolling. As a reminder, patent trolls, or patent assertion entities, are shell companies that exist solely for the purpose of asserting that they should be reimbursed because they hold patents that are being infringed upon, mostly by an

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Complying With Wage and Hour Laws

In 2012, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, ignited a firestorm of criticism when she released her book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. The book focuses on how working women, particularly working mothers, can grow their careers and their lives. Her critics contend that Sandberg is merely another member of the

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Startups and Other California Businesses Need To Be Ready for The Changing Landscape of Patent Law

All over the country, including here in California, startups and small businesses are holding their collective breaths and hoping that the House of Representatives passes the Innovation Act of 2013 (the “Act”).  Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Act, and yesterday, the White House came out in support of

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California Businesses Must Comply With Green Chemistry Initiative

California is often viewed as the most politically progressive state in the country and a leader in passing health and safety initiatives.  For example, California was the first state to ban smoking in offices and restaurants and the first to require bikers to wear helmets.  While it is sometimes difficult to keep up with California’s

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Businesses Can Face Significant Costs From Workplace Bullying

Two weeks ago, Jonathan Martin, an offensive lineman with the Miami Dolphins, left the football team amid claims he was being bullied and harassed by teammates.  The main perpetrator of the alleged bullying and harassment appears to be Martin’s fellow offensive lineman, Richie Incognito, who allegedly sent threatening and racially charged texts to Martin.  Incognito

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Patent Trolling Provokes the Ire of VCs and Comes Before the House Judiciary Committee

Patent assertion entities (PAEs), or patent trolls, are in the news again.  On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee began expedited hearings on a comprehensive patent reform bill.  Last week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Bob Goodlatte introduced the Innovation Act of 2013.  Several weeks ago, we discussed provisions of the Act when it was in

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The Government Shutdown Creates Big Problems for Small Businesses and Startups

After more than a two-week partial shutdown, the federal government is back to work.  Last night, the House and Senate approved legislation ending the 16-day shutdown by funding government operations until January 15, 2014, and extending federal borrowing power by raising the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014.  President Obama signed the bill early this

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Small Businesses and Startups Rejoice: The Ban on General Solicitation Has Been Lifted

Last Monday, September 23, 2013, Title II of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, took effect.  Title II lifted the ban on general solicitation, allowing small businesses and startups to publicly advertise that they are seeking investments.  For the past 80 years, general solicitation has been illegal in this country pursuant to

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The Marketplace Fairness Act Passes the U.S. Senate

On Monday, the Marketplace Fairness Act passed the U.S. Senate by a margin of 69-27.  It is now headed to the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Marketplace Fairness Act is a sales tax bill that would end tax-free online and mail-order shopping and require remote retailers, including online and mail order sellers, with more than

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