Category: Resources

 

 

Your business assets are valuable. You need to understand this when starting your own business. Not only are we talking about things like equipment and a building, but also the “intellectual assets”.

Situations arise that will necessitate the estimating the value of the company’s intellectual assets. Some of these include:

1. Whether it is time to sell part or maybe the entire business while the value is at its peak

2. Whether or not the company is earning a reasonable royalty for an asset

3. Whether or not a settlement is fair in dropping a lawsuit

4. Whether or not to buy another asset that the company needs

5. Whether or not the asset is about to outlive its usefulness and needs to be replaced

6. Whether or not to use the asset as collateral to borrow against

7. Whether tax implications favor the company

8. Whether or not the company is in compliance with all regulations

Here are the three models used when valuing assets:

Market Approach – the fair market value is determined by comparing what similar assets are selling for.

Cost Approach – the value is based upon how much money was used in creating, maintaining the asset.

Income Approach – the value is calculated by how much money is it bringing in or expected to bring in.

Valuing an asset is more of an accounting exercise than a legal one. Since the stakes are so high, and you do not want to get it wrong, hire a highly trained CPA to assist you in valuing you intellectual assets.

 

 

 

The answer to that question is “yes”. However it is a lot more complicated than moving in and staying there.

With the massive number of houses in foreclosure, many of them are sitting empty for long periods. There have been cases where people have gone into these homes and stayed in them for a few months and when the bank comes to kick them out, they claim to ve “in adverse possession” of the home.

In other words, they claim to be the owner because they set up residency there and nobody told them to get out, so now they own the place. Unfortunately it is not quite that simple.

Adverse possession laws state that the squatter must live there uninterrupted for seven years. In addition, he must be living there either without the owner’s permission and it be so obvious that the owner should have known he was there. So hiding out there is not good enough.

Also, the use must be in adverse to the owner’s use and be so that the owner can take an action to stop it, such as an eviction or trespass warrant.

So basically, you would have to move in, get the utilities switched into your name, pay the property taxes and stay there in plain sight of all the neighbors for seven consecutive years to even have a good case.

Even if you are able to meet all those requirements, if there is any doubt as to the squatter’s claim that the owner knew he was there and did nothing, the court must award the property to the owner. The “burden of proof” in this case is on the squatter.

The food news is, if you do meet all those requirements, the police are powerless to evict you. But id you just show up, change the locks on the door and move in without paying taxes and switching the utilities over, you are basically a trespasser and could face criminal charges.

So if you see an abandoned house, do yourself a favor and talk to an attorney before you move into the home.

 

 

 

So many people are turning to the internet to start or help maximize their business potential. Many times the proprietors need content and have to get the help of others to write this content. This can create a problem if it is not spelled out in the beginning what the role of the content writer is.

If a writer is hired to write articled for example, are the articles he writes his property? Or do they belong to the website owner? That would depend on the agreement the two parties enter into in the beginning.

If the owner of the site does not get it in writing, the author of the articles is free to post and/or sell the articles to whomever he wishes.

When entering in to such as agreement, such details as taxes, employee benefits, the rights of the hiring party to control means and manner of creation, etc. must be agreed upon to avoid conflict in the future.

If you hire someone to write content for you, you don’t want to see the same content all over the internet. And if you write an article or some kind of content, you want to get paid for it, get credit for it unless otherwise agreed upon and if the owner sells it to other sites, you want to get paid. If these details are not ironed out in the beginning things could get messy later.

 

 

You’ve been getting those annoying phone calls from the people you owe money too. You don’t have the money. You’re out of work or you took a pay cut. If you had it, you’d pay it. Now you have to listen to these people threaten you? Are they allowed to do this? Well, yes and no. It all depends. There are rules they must adhere to when calling to collect a debt. Here are things they cannot do.

1. Threatening to take legal action unless you are actually intending to do so is illegal. This includes lawsuits, wage garnishment, damaging credit rating, and property repossession. So if you are being threatened with those, you probably want to take it seriously.

2. Contacting someone other than the debt holder or cosigner. This happens all the time. They call friends, relatives, co-workers, people you went to high school with, etc. If you get one of these calls from a collector looking for a friend, you may want to remind them of this.

3. Mislead the consumer about the amount of the debt.

4. Calling before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. This is a no-no.

5. If they call the debtor at work, they may not tell his/her employer why they are calling until asked.

6. Making misleading statements claiming to be from a government agency with a court order or subpoena for example.

7. Making any type of slur or inappropriate comments either in verbal or written form.

8. Making the individual think he has committed some type of crime in not paying his debts.

9. Pretending to be conducting a survey in order to gather information.

10. Taking you to court far away from your home.

11. Charging interest or fees not allowed by the state.

12. Calling at inconvenient places the individual has asked them not to call such as work, church, school.

13. Making physical threats to harm the individual unless they pay.

14. Publishing the names of people who are in debt (other than reporting to a credit agency)

15. Using a false company name when trying to collect a debt.

16. Depositing a post dated check early in an effort to get the check to bounce.

17. Providing incorrect information about a person to someone else.

18. Contacting via a post card.

So a debt collector cannot harass you by calling you over and over, calling your family members, threatening you, or misleading you into thinking you could be in legal trouble if you do not pay. How do you get them to stop calling? Either settle the debt, or write a letter telling them to stop. At that point their only recourse is to either write it off, or sue you. Either way the thing will be settled and the phone calls will stop.

 

 

 

A jury awarded Apple over one billion and fifty million dollars in their lawsuit over patent infringements with Samsung.

There were some troubling facts about the case though. The jury awarded an extra 2.5 million on a devise they ruled did not infringe on Apple’s patents. Sloppy. They also took only three days to come up with the verdict. There were way too many devices to carefully analyze and decide on each claim to come back with a billion dollar verdict in three days.

Plus, the jury foreman stated the jury had already reached a decision without needing to read the instructions. Wait, what? How can you come up with a legally maintainable decision if you didn’t even read the instructions? Another juror was quoted as saying “After we debated that first patent — what was prior art –because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art.  In fact we skipped that one, so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.”

This sounds like a jury in a hurry to go home. They just wanted to go ahead and give it to them so they could get the heck out of there. And when you are talking about over a billion dollars, which is just not acceptable. If they skipped over reading the instructions, and skipped over things “bogging us down” then what else did they skip over? Probably quite a bit.

Here’s another bothersome quote: “we wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist. We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable.”

So where did they come up with the figure? It sounds like they just pulled it out of thin air. They were supposed to be awarding compensatory damages, which are the money Apple is actually able to prove they’ve lost. They were not supposed to be awarding punitive damages. Here is no “slap on the wrist” component here. But that happens when you don’t read the instructions.