The Truth About Small Business Grants In Minnesota

The Truth About Small Business Grants In Minnesota

The number of companies and outright scams—all selling information about “government grants” or guides to government grants—is growing through Internet spam and telemarketing. All of these offers are built on the false idea that individuals are eligible to receive thousands of “unclaimed” dollars from the government—money that can be used for almost anything, including personal…

Accounting for a New Business: Income Forecasting Techniques

Accounting for a New Business: Income Forecasting Techniques

Income Forecasting Techniques One of the most important steps in the construction of a written plan for your proposed business is the development of meaningful financial projections. No business enterprise should be undertaken without a clear plan of profit potential and an understanding of the sales volume needed to achieve this profit. Experienced entrepreneurs recognize…

Accounting for the New Business – Basic Accounting Principles

Accounting for the New Business – Basic Accounting Principles

Accounting for the New Business Basic Accounting Principles Accounting is the process of collecting, organizing, maintaining, reporting and interpreting financial data about a business. That financial information is useful both to the business owners and managers in operating a business in a profitable and efficient way, and to outsiders like investors or creditors who require…

Business Plan – Sample Business Plan Format

Business Plan – Sample Business Plan Format

Sample Business Plan Format Summary The summary should concisely describe the key elements of the business plan. For the firm seeking capital, the summary should convince the lender or venture capitalist that it is worthwhile to review the plan in detail. The summary should briefly cover at least the following items: Name of the business….

Business Plan

Business Plan

Business Plan One of the first steps in a new venture is the development of a business plan. The business plan describes the business: its product or service, market, people and financing needs. A well prepared business plan serves several purposes: For the new business, it helps the owner determine the feasibility and desirability of…

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property What is the difference between a design patent and a utility patent? A utility patent covers the concept or idea behind a device or process, whereas a design patent protects only the appearance of the article. After issuance, a utility patent has a term of 20 years from the…

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 1

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 1

Item 1: The Franchisor And Any Parents, Predecessors, And Affiliates Item 1 of the amended Rule requires franchisors to disclose background information on the franchisor and any parents, predecessors, and affiliates. Unlike the UFOC Guidelines instructions for Item 1, the amended Rule does not expressly require a franchisor to refer to itself as “we,” or…

Item 1 | Franchise Disclosure Documents

Item 1 | Franchise Disclosure Documents

Item 1: The Franchisor And Any Parents, Predecessors, And Affiliates Item 1 of the amended Rule requires franchisors to disclose background information on the franchisor and any parents, predecessors, and affiliates. Unlike the UFOC Guidelines instructions for Item 1, the amended Rule does not expressly require a franchisor to refer to itself as “we,” or…

Trade Secret Protection

Trade Secret Protection

Trade Secret Protection A trade secret is any formula, pattern, device, process, tool, mechanism, or compound of peculiar value to its owner (and his or her employees) which is not protected by a patent and is not known or accessible to others. Trade secret protection is governed exclusively by state law, but for all practical…

Copyright Protection – Fair Use, First Sale, Duration and Summary

Copyright Protection – Fair Use, First Sale, Duration and Summary

Fair Use Other people can use (copy, perform, display, etc.) a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research without infringing the copyright. Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis. Whether a use is indeed a “fair use” depends largely on the effect of the use upon the…

Minnesota Copyright Protection Laws

Minnesota Copyright Protection Laws

Copyright Protection A third type of intellectual property is the copyright. A copyright protects literary and artistic “expression” as well as other types of informative media that derive their value from the particular manner in which the information is expressed. Books, musical works, plays, computer programs, paintings, sculptures, and movies are among the types of…

Trademark Protection in Minnesota – Protecting Against Trademark Infringement

Trademark Protection in Minnesota – Protecting Against Trademark Infringement

Trademark Infringement A trademark can be infringed even if the infringer is not using an identical mark. Trademark infringement occurs when another trademark is confusingly similar to the original trademark. Whether the two trademarks are confusingly similar depends on a number of factors, including: The existence of actual confusion in the marketplace between the trademarks;…

Franchise Disclosure Documents – The Cover Page

Franchise Disclosure Documents – The Cover Page

The overview that follows highlights key changes and provides sample disclosures for each item in the disclosure document required by the amended Rule. The Cover Page The disclosure document begins with a cover page that provides prospective franchiseeswith information about the franchise being offered for sale. The amended Rule updates theoriginal cover page to include…

Trademark Protection – The Federal Trademark Registration Process

Trademark Protection – The Federal Trademark Registration Process

The Federal Trademark Registration Process The registration of a trademark is not a mere formality. The applicant must first have used the trademark in association with goods or services in interstate commerce. The application process involves filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office a fee, specimens of the trademark as it is actually…

How to Select a Trademark: Trademark Selection & Protection in MN

How to Select a Trademark: Trademark Selection & Protection in MN

Trademark Selection The selection of a trademark can be very important in terms of the trademark owner’s ability to obtain registration and prevent others from using the mark. Trademarks can generally be classified into four basic categories: (i) generic, (ii) descriptive, (iii) suggestive, and (iv) arbitrary. A generic trademark is really not a trademark at…

How to Start a Franchise – The Amended Franchise Rule

How to Start a Franchise – The Amended Franchise Rule

Are you interested in starting a franchise in Minnesota? An important first step is understanding the FTC’s amended Franchise rule. Note: This series of posts covering the admended Franchise Rule does not modify the amended Rule. It explains the requirements of the amended Rule. Moreover, it does not exhaustively cover every requirement contained in the…

Franchise Disclosure Documents Table of Contents

Franchise Disclosure Documents Table of Contents

The Table of Contents Each disclosure document must contain a table of contents, following the order and form set forth in the amended Rule. When preparing the table of contents, franchisors must state the page where each disclosure item begins and refer to any exhibits by letter. Note that, on this example of a franchise…

Sample Franchise Disclosure Document – General Media Financial Performance Representation Example

Sample Franchise Disclosure Document – General Media Financial Performance Representation Example

Sample General Media Financial Performance Representation Our Franchisees Earn $50,000 or More Per Year! Now, for a limited time in this area, Belmont Mufflers, Inc., is offering an opportunity for a self-motivated individual to join the ranks of independent entrepreneurs who have earned $50,000 a year.* Small investment needed. Seize the chance! ________________ * W…

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention Minnesota to disclose how many individuals who have come to that service for help have made money on the invention after contracting for the service. This number is usually quite small, such as 1 out of 500 or 1,000 people. If the service refuses to provide you…

Patent Protection – Not a Guarentee and Time Required

Patent Protection – Not a Guarentee and Time Required

A Patent Is Not A Guarantee That The Patented Invention Does Not Infringe Other Patents The issues of patentability and infringement are entirely separate. A patent granted by the U.S. Patent Office confers upon the owner the exclusive right to exclude others from “making, using, and selling” the patented invention. The issuance of the patent…

Patent Protection – Enforcement Of Patent Rights

Patent Protection – Enforcement Of Patent Rights

Enforcement Of Patent Rights A patent entitles the patent owner to prevent others from making, using or selling the patented invention within the United States for the term of the patent. While others may make the patented invention outside of the United States, they are not permitted to sell or use the patented invention within…

Opportunity For Prospective Franchisees to Review The Franchise Agreement

Opportunity For Prospective Franchisees to Review The Franchise Agreement

Opportunity For Prospective Franchisees to Review The Franchise Agreement Except in limited circumstances, the amended Franchise Rule eliminates the original Rule’s requirement that prospective franchisees always have at least five business days in which to review the completed franchise agreement. Under the amended Rule, it is only if the franchisor has unilaterally and materially altered…

Cost to Obtain Patent Protections

Cost to Obtain Patent Protections

Cost To Obtain Patent Protection The expenses associated with obtaining patent protection fall into two general categories: patent attorney fees and government fees, both of which are discussed below. Patent Attorney Fees Patent attorney fees include the cost of (i) drafting the patent application, (ii) completing the necessary formal documents, and (iii) drafting responses to…

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Experimental Use and Patent Pending

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Experimental Use and Patent Pending

Experimental Use A patent will be denied if an invention was in public use or on sale more than one year prior to the date of application. However, there is an exception to this rule known as “experimental use.” The “experimental use” exception permits some public use of the product by an inventor in order…

Scams Targeting Attorneys

Scams Targeting Attorneys

I have heard from a number of attorneys that scam artists are targeting lawyers claiming to need legal help. I have decided to posts these email messages here in case other attorneys receive them and wonder whether they are legitimate. There may be similar scams preying on other professions and businesses. How Does the Scam…

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – One Year Grace Period and Confidentiality

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – One Year Grace Period and Confidentiality

One Year Grace Period An inventor has a grace period of one year (in the United States) in which to file a patent application. During that one year period, an inventor may place his or her invention in public use or on sale without losing his or her right to apply for U.S. patent protection….

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors

Patent Protection Practical Considerations – Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors

Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors An “interference” is a proceeding instituted in the Patent and Trademark Office when two or more inventors are claiming the same patentable invention. An interference may be declared between two or more pending applications, or between one or more pending applications and one or more unexpired patents. In…

Disclosure Documents – When Must They Be Furnished?

Disclosure Documents – When Must They Be Furnished?

At What Point in The Sales Process Must a Franchisor Furnish The Disclosure Document? The amended Rule provides that franchisors must furnish prospective franchisees with a disclosure document at least 14 calendar days before the prospective franchisee signs a binding agreement with, or makes any payment to, the franchisor or an affiliate in connection with…

Patent Protection – Options Available After Receiving A Final Rejection

Patent Protection – Options Available After Receiving A Final Rejection

Options Available After Receiving A Final Rejection Continuing Application A continuing application is basically an original patent application that is refiled. The second application is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the first application, and must be filed as a separate application before termination of proceedings on the prior application. Thus, after…

Patent Protection – Examiner's Incentives and Experties

Patent Protection – Examiner's Incentives and Experties

The Examiner’s Incentives The Patent Office evaluates its patent Examiners primarily according to the number of applications they process. Examiners, therefore, have no incentive to spend very much time on any one application, as it is to their benefit to process applications as quickly as possible. The Examiner typically does not take the time to…