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Business

Intellectual Property Basics to Keep in Mind

Dealing with intellectual property in the digital age, you need to make sure that you and your business are fully protected. Admittedly the laws have yet to catch up to the times but until they do, it’s good to work within the current framework and be mindful of other external variables.

Types of Intellectual Property

Legally speaking, there are four types:

  • Patents are inventions you register with the government. With this type of property, you get the right to exclude anyone else from marketing it or manufacturing it.
  • Trademarks are names, phrases, sounds, or symbols that are connected with your brand. Trademarks don’t have to be registered; companies wanting to stake their claim can affix the TM symbol to mark their territory.
  • Copyright are written or artistic expressions such as novels, poems, songs, and movies. The owner of the copyrighted work can reproduce it, make derivatives of the works, sell, perform or display it to the public. The work doesn’t need to be registered unless you’re going to sue for copyright infringement,
  • Trade secrets are formulas, patterns, devices, data compilations, anything that gives your company a competitive advantage. The trade secret is covered by state law and it must be shown that it adds value to the company, is a secret and is well safeguarded. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Coca Cola are examples of this.

Protecting your intellectual property whether you choose to form an LLC or just register DBA status means you have the taken the necessary steps to keep your intellectual capital safe. You just need to make sure that you have the necessary funds to do it as it can cost you tens of thousands in legal fees and may take years to fully materialize. If you’re adamant that this is the legal route to go then start the process early and make sure you have the right experts working for you.

Offshoring Risks

Just because your intellectual property is protected in one country, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe in others. In some countries forming an LLC with the belief that you are protected, you may be in for a shock. Countries like China that signed the TRIPS, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, agreement that asks countries protect the intellectual property of others, tends to regard foreign intellectual property as communal. It and India are two countries that are perceived as very corrupt, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Before introducing your intellectual property to a global audience, you need to take the necessary precautions which include protecting your important information, such as source code with strong access codes. Make sure you understand the legal system and culture of the countries. This will help you to negotiate contracts that favor your company best. Make sure that you maintain the originals of all of your documents, that way you have a sterile trail to follow if something goes wrong.

Minding Your DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was created back in 1998 before YouTube and the concept of content aggregation was commonplace. It protected sites where were encouraged to upload their creative material and provide content. The user who uploads the content must make it clear that they own the uploaded material or have permission from the copyright owner to share the content. If that’s not the case, the owner of the video would notify the site of the infringement and they would take down the material. There are specific steps that need to be taken but if your business is going to be running contests, then you need to make sure that you are away of DMCA and protect your business accordingly.

Intellectual property law can become a minefield no matter if you are the creator or the user. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business or you could be facing an expensive lesson one day.  

Business

Horsedrawn carriages: perfect for corporate events

Horsedrawn carriages are a perfect feature at any corporate event. Once a common part of everyday life, these days a horsedrawn carriage is something to be marvelled at. 

Cars, trains and aeroplanes may have left horses well and truly behind in the world of transportation, but they definitely still have their uses. People love horses and they love to ride on horsedrawn carriages

Therefore if you’re looking to really make your corporate event stand out, horsedrawn carriage hire is perfect. 

Types of corporate events

There are many types of corporate events you can organise. The most common tend to be:

  • Paintballing
  • Zombie apocalypse days
  • Yoga
  • Formal parties 

All of the above are fun and fantastic ways of marketing and giving your team motivation.

Zombie days are the latest craze and they definitely aren’t for everyone. If you want to really stand out then horsedrawn carriage hire is highly recommended. 

The benefits of horsedrawn carriage hire

There are numerous benefits of hiring horsedrawn carriages for your corporate event. The main ones include:

  • It’s unique
  • Adds style and elegance
  • Attracts more people
  • Fun and memorable 

One of the main goals of any business is to be unique. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you need to have a certain edge. The fact a horsedrawn carriage is unique and not used by many businesses will give you an advantage. You can use it as a marketing strategy and attract more people to the event. Advertising ‘horsedrawn carriage rides’ will definitely get more people interested in your event. 

If you’re looking to impress potential clients then horsedrawn carriages will also help with that. They add style and elegance to your event; creating a more high-end theme. While the cost of a horsedrawn carriage isn’t cheap, it will be a long term investment due to the impression it leaves with your clients/customers. 

The fun element is also something you can’t ignore. Corporate events can have the tendency to be a little dull. Hiring a horsedrawn carriage will liven things up and make sure your event is anything but boring. This in turn will keep your guests talking about it and that will generate even more interest in the company. 

Businesses that do take advantage of horsedrawn carriage hire are clever and resourceful. It’s a well-known fact that people love horses. They represent power and strength which is something you want people to associate with your business. Having horses there will give your business a more important stature. 

Overall, there are many ways to make your corporate event a success. Horsedrawn carriages are the topic of many excellent stories. They can really help to set your event apart from the competition. You can either hire the carriages to take people on rides, or simply to stay outside the venue to enhance the theme of the event. 

Carriage rides are a great way to explore an area and they can be really fun too. Why not take a look at the cost of horsedrawn carriage hire today to see if it’s something your business could benefit from? 

Business

Types of Credit Card Readers

The popular use of cards instead of cash has made credit card readers quite popular among business owners. A credit card reader is a device that is used to obtain encrypted information from credit cards. There are credit cards that use magnetic strip technology while others use chip technology. Credit card readers come in a wide variety of designs and dimensions. They are widely advised for business owners since they enable the making of secure, quick and convenient transaction of payments using customer credit cards.

Credit card readers can be divided into three major categories with a variety of options under each.

Point of sale terminals

There are credit card readers that are situated at a fixed location in the business. Point-of-sale terminals usually have a wide range of capabilities. These terminals often have the ability to read cards with magnetic stripes such as gift cards, IDs and Credit cards as well. Point of sale credit card readers are connected through a broadband or telephone connection. This type of credit card processor is great for businesses within a fixed location.

Portable terminals

These are also quite popular among businesses in fixed locations. These terminals use blue-tooth or wireless technology to communicate to servers for transactions made. They are quite commonly found in bars and restaurants where waiters take the device to the customer for a transaction. Portable terminals are very convenient, professional and create a trustworthy relationship between the business and the client as it shows a lot of transparency.

Mobile terminals

There are also mobile credit card readers that you can attach to a smart phone or a tab for credit card processing. Most mobile terminals are attached to the earphone jack of your phone. The use SIM cards or GPRS to communicate with the service provider while making transactions. These devices allow you to swipe a variety of credit card types. These devices are extremely convenient for businesses that are not located within a fixed operating premise.

With the wide variety of options available, businesses owners have the choice of selecting the system that best suits their business. The best part of using a credit card reader is how amazingly affordable it is to buy. 

Business

Customer communication protocols

People running businesses sometimes fail to understand how inter-personal skills and business etiquette can help or hinder the acquisition and retention of customers.

Why?

Dealing with some types of business problem is relatively easy. 

Obtaining capital injections can typically be achieved through people such as www.wongaforbusiness.com and it’s always possible to take business development advice from centres such as your local chamber of commerce or even the government’s own websites.

Yet business protocols are less frequently discussed – sometimes with potentially disastrous results. 

So, here are a few basic business courtesy tips that it might be advisable to adopt:

  1. stay polite but formal with customers unless you have worked with them for a long time.  That means avoiding immediately starting to use forenames. In fact, you should normally ask the customer if they mind you calling them by their forename before doing so; 
  2. be cautious with humour.  Unless you know the other party well, it is easy to offend or be entirely misunderstood; 
  3. switch your mobile phone off when you are dealing with a customer.  Nothing infuriates people more than when you keep checking your mobile and pushing buttons while they are trying to talk to you about business matters; 
  4. dress smartly.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is old-fashioned. Looking as if you have just come straight off of a demolition site when dealing with customers is hardly likely to fill them with confidence – even if you are trying to sell them demolition services; 
  5. respond promptly to email and phone messages. People typically understand you may not always be able to respond immediately but they will expect at least an acknowledgement of their communication within a sensible time period; 
  6. don’t horse around. You may think your antics are amusing but you may be perceived as being either juvenile or flippant – neither normally considered to be desirable characteristics by customers; 
  7. under no circumstances should you lie to your customers. Leaving aside the ethics of telling lies, human beings can frequently detect when someone is lying to them by their body language, voice patterns or logical inconsistencies / implausibility in the story being told. If something has gone wrong, tell the truth, apologise and put it right quickly – but don’t lie! 

Even in our typically modern and informal world, the above practices will normally be very well received.

Business

Allow me to explain

Legal terms and notions can be difficult to understand if not working in this particular field and dealing with them on a daily basis. That’s why is it useful to do some research in order to understand what you have to resolve and what’s the best way to do so. 

The first term I’d like to discuss is professional negligence. This is closely related to the duty of care between professionals and their clients. Normally, one expects to be treated equitably by others, especially when assistance with legal matters is needed. The situation in which such professionals fail to provide top quality services leads to professional negligence for which they can be held responsible for. The worst case scenario when thinking about neglect is related to medical personnel and doctors. When they do things the wrong way, another person’s life is endangered and that it should not be left unpunished. Nonetheless, when a bank employee miscalculates the rates one has to pay, the financial situation will clearly be affected. But that cannot be compared with being healthy. 

Second in line is interest rate swap miss selling. This occurs when a client or a smaller company aims to borrow a certain amount of money from the bank in order to improve the financial situation and afterwards return the sum within a set period of time. The highest risk when it comes to such loans refers to terms, rates and conditions you are agreeing to when signing the contract. The person working for the bank might fail to provide all the necessary information regarding rate which can be excessively high leading to the client end paying double or even three times more than they originally needed to. Reading everything before signing and agreeing to anything is crucial in order to avoid such errors. When one is involved in such a case, legal action should be taken as soon as possible. 

Proceeding legally means that the client takes the case to court, suing solicitors and attempts to gain compensation for the loss he has suffered due to the mistakes done by employees. The case is then observed and researched by the judge who then decides if it is fair to provide the person pressing charges with certain amounts of money which help recover the financial loss.