Monday, August 31, 2009

Invention Help to Patent an Idea

Do you have a great invention idea you know can make millions? Are you looking for invention help to get started?

In this article, you will learn the first step you must take to getting a patent on your idea or invention, directly from a U.S. Patent Attorney.

To get started with your patent or trademark, here is first step, "The Record of Invention," of the invention help you will need:

1. Record or Document Your Invention-
The US is a "first to invent" country verses a "first to file" country; therefore, you are advised to document your conception and reduction to practice. How does one do this? Here's a start:

•Document the conception of your invention and its reduction to practice (the knowledge of making) your invention- You can do this in a Composition book, or something you can't add pages to.

NOTE: The notebook you choose can't be a 3-ring or coil bound notebook. The most critical part of this process is to use a notebook that has continual paging, meaning the pages can't easily rip out.

•Answer who, what, when, where, why, and how questions of your discovery - Simply document all the pertinent details of your new masterpiece! Remember, the U.S. is a "first to invent" country which means the first person to document their invention is awarded the patent....not the first person to rush to the patent office.

Now it's time to get started with your patent. Be sure to complete this step thoroughly before you move on to step 2. Good luck!

Mat Grell, U.S. Patent Attorney:

Founder of The Inventor Start Kit, a simple step-by-step process that helps inventors protect their ideas and get them to the marketplace... to hopefully make millions!

Visit Mat's site:

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Patent Search - What is It? Why Do It?

What is it?

A patent search is a prudent and cost effective place to start by uncovering any issued patents or published patent applications related to your invention. Based on the patent search results, you can determine whether your invention is patentable and to what degree it is patentable.

Why perform one?

Once you begin your patent search, the first thing a Patent Office Examiner does when he/she receives your patent application is to perform a search of prior patents and patent applications related to your invention to determine if your invention is indeed new. Therefore, you are advised (not mandatory) to conduct a search of issued patents, published patent applications and other published or public information ("prior art") to evaluate whether any part of your invention or idea has been patented, published or disclosed previously.


• You can avoid the needless expense of lost time and money to prepare and file a patent application. If a patent search would have turned up prior art that might preclude your invention from being issued as a patent.

• Knowing the prior art related to your invention guides the patent applicant in drafting the patent application (background, figures, and description) necessary to properly disclose applicant's novel invention.

FACT: Currently, there are 7 million issued patents issued by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), which means that there are more patents in existence than actual products commercially available. If you do not see your invention for sale in a store, on the Internet, or in the public domain (public disclosure), that does not mean that someone has not pursued protection for the same or similar invention under a patent or disclosed the same invention in a published article. Your goal is to have a full understanding of the patents and patent applications filed prior to your invention, which may have a bearing on the scope of patent protection available for your invention.

Mat Grell, U.S. Patent Attorney - Founder of The Inventor Start Kit, a simple step-by-step process that helps inventors protect their ideas and get them to the marketplace... to hopefully make millions! Visit Mat's site:

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Real ID, Fake ID, Pass ID - What's Up in the Air With a National Identification Card

Opponents of the REAL ID Act of 2005 were given a bit of hope earlier this year when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that she wanted to repeal the Act, a law which has been perceived by many as the federal government's failed plan to impose a national identification card through state driver's licenses and identification cards. What has taken place since early February is a cosmetic makeover called "The PASS ID Act," an act that has revived the push for a national identification card.

As currently worded, the PASS ID Act (S. 1261) seeks to make many of the same ineffectual, dangerous changes the REAL ID Act attempted to impose. On its face, the PASS ID Act operates on the same flawed premise as the REAL ID Act - that requiring various "identity documents," and storing that information in government databases for later access, will magically make state drivers' licenses and identification cards more legitimate, which will in turn improve national security.

Proponents of the PASS ID Act seem to be ignoring the possible impotence of such an identification card scheme. Individuals motivated to obtain and/or utilize fake identification will instead use fake identity documents to procure "real" drivers' licenses or state identification cards. The PASS ID Act also creates new identity theft risks for every individual possessing a driver's license or state identification card in that the act calls for the scanning and storage of applicants' identity documents (birth certificates, visas, etc.) within government databases only accessible by "authorized individuals." A prime target for malicious identity thieves will be the sensitive personal identifiers of each and every individual possessing a driver's license or state identification card. Despite some changes to the proposed legislation, the PASS ID ACT is detrimental for privacy much the same as the REAL ID Act.

Health care reform is commanding tremendous attention on Capitol Hill at the moment, so the PASS ID Act remains stagnant. After the late summer recess pay attention, though, because proponents of the PASS ID Act will be back. Despite provisions that claim to allow states the freedom to issue non-federal identification cards, the PASS ID Act will require everyone boarding a plane or entering a federal building for "any official purpose" to show a federally recognized identification card. At the moment, the only "card" within this category is the state drivers' license or identification card.

William E. Lewis, Jr. is a credit repair expert and host of the Credit Restoration Consultants Hour on AM 1470 WWNN in south Florida. For more information on credit repair, please contact CRC at (954) 581-5050 or visit them online at

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The Rule of Two Strikes Again - Delex Validated?

In a largely unnoticed recent bid protest decision, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that the United States Coast Guard violated federal procurement law by issuing two modifications that exceeded the scope of the underlying Systems Engineering and Technical Services (SETS) II task order. In Global Computer Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, the court determined that the out-of-scope modifications were essentially unauthorized sole-source procurements that wrongfully extended the ordering period of the underlying Information Technology Omnibus Procurement (ITOP) II contract. The case provides an in-depth analysis (it is 154 pages long) of out-of-scope contracting in the context of contract modifications, which is recommended reading for those contract managers participating in large IDIQ programs.

What makes this decision especially noteworthy, however, is not necessarily the underlying ruling. Rather, buried deep in this extraordinarily long opinion, the court concluded that the Coast Guard violated FAR §19.502-2 (the "Rule of Two") and, in the process, seemingly adopted the reasoning set forth in GAO's controversial Delex Systems decision.

As part of its protest, Global Computer Enterprises, Inc. (GCE) alleged that the Coast Guard violated FAR §19.502-2 by failing to conduct a Rule of Two analysis before issuing the modifications to the SETS II task order. GCE argued that because the modifications were valued at well over the Rule of Two threshold of $100,000, they constituted acquisitions under the FAR and were thus subject to the requirement that the Coast Guard evaluate whether two small businesses could perform the work at fair market price before making an award to a business that is other than small. The court agreed with the protestor, stating that because the modifications exceeded the scope of the underlying task order, they were in fact separate acquisitions (apart from the contract itself) that triggered the Rule of Two. While not relying on it exclusively, the court made a point to cite and quote, at length, the GAO's decision in Delex Systems as support for its position. In Delex Systems, GAO rocked the federal contracting industry by declaring that the Rule of Two applies to task and delivery orders placed under multiple-award contracts. Hence, it would appear that the Court of Federal Claims agrees with GAO's controversial Delex Systems decision. (It should be noted that U.S. Court of Federal Claims decisions are not binding on other judges who sit on the court. Therefore, it would be entirely permissible for another judge to determine that Delex Systems is not valid.)

While it is probably premature to draw sweeping conclusions about the long-term importance of Delex Systems based on one U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision, it is nonetheless noteworthy that at least one judge from that court has recognized the GAO's decision and is willing to afford it precedential value. Centre Consulting will continue to monitor decisions at both the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and GAO for further indications as to the long-term influence of Delex Systems.
Brian Caney, Esq.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Emergency Room Waits and Malpractice Claims

Emergency Room Malpractice

In the event of serious injury or illness, individuals may not be able to treat or recover from the symptoms without immediate medical attention. While some illnesses or injuries can be treated with home remedies or may be looked after by medical professionals by appointment, some cases may require patients to visit an emergency room for immediate attention.

People who require immediate medical attention have a reasonable expectation of speed and attention when they visit an emergency room. At times, however, emergency rooms may be very busy and medical professionals on staff may face difficulties juggling cases and paying attention to each and every individual problem. In the end, it is up to the experienced medical staff to evaluate the seriousness of each case and address the most serious emergencies first.

If a person suffers injury (or further injury) due to carelessness or neglect on the part of emergency room medical staff, the patient or the family of the injured party may be able to pursue compensation for medical malpractice claims. If a patient suffers injury or dies as a result of careless actions on the part of nurses, doctors, or scheduling staff, a legal claim may be filed for compensation for pain, suffering, emotional trauma, medical bills, and other expenses.

Commonly reported emergency room injuries include:

* Patients who lose significant amounts of blood and suffer injury or death while waiting
* Loss of consciousness
* Increased damage during an allergic reaction
* Further damage in the case of bone breaks and fractures
* Damage caused by untreated fevers and illnesses
* Loss of life due to breathing complications and other lung and throat related issues

It is the responsibility of medical staff in emergency rooms to evaluate the cases that come through the door and make responsible decisions regarding the treatment of people in the waiting room. Ideally, each person who enters an emergency room will get immediate medical treatment regardless of the situation, but in the event of a crowded medical center, the persons at the highest risk should be seen immediately and should not be forced to wait.

If you have been injured due to careless or negligent actions by hospital medical staff or medical professionals, you may be eligible for compensation for your pain, suffering, loss of wages, and other expenses. If you would like to know more about medical malpractice claims and emergency room waits, visit the website of the Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams.
Joseph Devine

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What Are the Charges of Making a Medical Negligence Claim?

Frequently when someone is considering making a claim for medical negligence compensation their first concern relates to legal costs.

What Are The Legal Costs?

The costs of medical negligence claims are high compared to other types of legal claims. The reason for this relates to not only the solicitor's time involved in looking into the case, but also the fact that other medical experts will need to become involved in the case to assess whether you have a good claim for compensation.

Usually, a solicitor's costs only relate to their time. It is the additional expert's costs, along with the costs of obtaining copies of medical records can make claims for medical negligence more costly.

In addition, the evidence required to prove that a Doctor or Consultant has been negligent is substantial. It is harder to win a medical negligence claim than it is to win a claim for a car accident.

Why Is It Harder To Make A Successful Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?

The test for most compensation claims is that someone owes you a duty of care (for example, another car driver) but, that they breach this duty of care (for example, drove into the rear of your car) and that as a result of this negligence you suffered injury. In a car accident it is relatively easy to assess whether the other driver has been negligent.

However, with a medical negligence claim, you must prove that this duty existed and rather than the Doctor did not meet this duty, you must prove that the Doctor or Consultant had acted so badly that no other group of medical professionals would have carried out the same treatment or failed to carry out necessary treatment. It is an extremely complicated test which I will not go into detail in this article, but it means that there is a substantial burden on a medical negligence solicitor to approve that the medical professional in question has been negligent.

Medical Evidence.

Your solicitor will need a medical report providing an opinion on whether medical negligence has been committed. This report alone can cost upwards of 1,000 pounds. After this report, if the expert believes there is a claim, further evidence will have to be obtained by the solicitor. It is not uncommon for the costs in medical negligence claims to run into tens of thousands of pounds, so it is important to consider what your options are for funding a case.

Funding Options.

1. Legal Aid.

You can still obtain legal aid for medical negligence claims. It is not necessarily easy to achieve, but if you do obtain legal aid, the Legal Aid Board will fund your case although if you are successful, they will expect to recover any costs paid.

2. Conditional Fee Agreement.

You may find a solicitor that will be prepared to take on your claim on a 'no win, no fee' basis. This will allow you to pursue your claim without paying your legal costs. Some solicitors will even fund the expense of obtaining medical evidence for you. You must check how much your solicitor will pay for you and what you are expected to contribute.

3. Privately Pay.

If you cannot find a solicitor who will act on a 'no win, no fee' agreement you may have to fund your case privately, but as stated the bill could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Glynns are specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors and Personal Injury Solicitors offering free initial reviews of all claim inquiries and a variety of funding options.
Nick Jervis is a solicitor (non-practising) and a consultant to Glynns Solicitors.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Need to Settle an Estate That is in Probate?

As an executor or executrix you have been entrusted to carry out the wishes of the deceased. When there is a valid will, the legal process is commonly referred to as probate. Settling an estate can be a time consuming, emotional and a stressful job. To execute your job successfully it will be necessary to hire professionals. Those professionals can include a real estate appraiser/home appraiser, an accountant and an attorney.

When settling an estate that has residential or commercial property an appraisal will be needed. What is an appraisal? An appraisal is a logical thought process used to determine an opinion of value. There are three common approaches to determining value.

The Sales Approach - This is the most common approach and best indicator when appraising residential property. This approach uses recently sold sales, which are similar and comparable to the "subject". They will also be in close proximity to the subject. Subject - property that is being appraised.

The Cost Approach- This approach will determine the cost to replace the subject plus the land value.

The Income Approach - This approach is used for estimating what an investor would pay based on the income that is produced by the subject.

When settling an estate, the appraiser may use any or all of these approaches depending on the property that is being appraised. However, a retrospective appraisal report will be completed. A retrospective appraisal report will reflect the fair market value for the date of the death, which is the date of the estate.

State certified appraisers are governed by the ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which binds the appraiser with confidentiality and ensuring the fullest degree of discretion.

The attorneys, accountants and all other parties involved depend on a detailed appraisal report. The report that the appraiser produces, demonstrates to the authorities that the data used is well founded and substantiated. Hours of research go into an appraisal report when properly completed. Having a professional appraisal report gives the executor or executrix solid facts and figures for local, state and federal agencies for filling estates and wills.

National Appraisal Network Inc. is located in New Jersey and has over 20 years of experience. Their state certified real estate property appraisers specialize in Sussex County, Morris County, Warren County, Hunterdon County, Passaic County and Bergen County.

For further information please call (973) 209-7747 or visit

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The Importance of Writing a Will

Perhaps you've teasingly asked a parent, can I have that when you're dead? However, writing a will is no joking matter. Some estimates say that half of the American population have not written a will outlining what should happen to their possessions once they have passed away. Composing this testament can be beneficial on many levels, and this article will outline why writing a will is so important.

For the most part, anyone eighteen or older can write a legal will, sometimes without the help of an attorney, as long as two uninvolved witnesses can sign it. Of course, having a lawyer's help can aid you in making sure that everything will occur as per your wishes, and having authorized notaries sign your document can make it be taken more seriously in a court of law.

Usually, people who have lots of property or other assets tend to be more serious about composing a will. This is because a will functions to divide your assets after your death. With this last testament, you can show exactly who you want to get what, especially if you plan to give a nonfamily member a large part of your estate. However, a will can be important even for those who do not have much property, because it can make the dividing of the inheritance much more easy and organized after your death.

Parents with children that are minors should definitely take the time to create this legal document. In a will, the mother and father can designate a guardian for the kids if the parents happen to pass away unexpectedly. Also, a will can direct the finances for the children upon the early expiration of the mom and dad, which can help save money for them for college and other things specified by the parents.

Should you die without leaving a will, a probate court takes your estate under its wing. The court divides your property according to what it thinks is best. Let it be known that the court-appointed executor of your testament will be paid out of your estate, which means less inheritance for your family. When you have a will with an executor already appointment, you can avoid having to pay the court to figure out the division of your assets.

Some people choose to supplement their written will with a video will. Although most states do not allow a video will to stand alone, you should check with your state's laws regarding the creation of these types of legal documents. A video will can be helpful because the person can explain in their own words why they chose to give particular things to certain people. Additionally, participating in a video will can show relatives that you are in good mental health, which lessens the chance that your will may be challenged.

Writing a will or videotaping your requests can be difficult without the help of experienced legal counsel. To find an attorney who specializes in this type of law in your area, check out the Legal City Attorney Search Directory today at this website.
Joseph Devine

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Business Activity Statements

Business Activity Statements (BAS) are used by business's to report and pay a number of tax obligations, including GST, Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments, PAYG withholding and Fringe Benefits Tax. This is the ATO's way of combining a range of taxes into one statement to make it easier for you to collect and report information and monies that are due to the ATO, making sure that none are forgotten.

The ATO will generally issue your activity statement around 2 weeks before the end of your reporting period. It will need to be completed and lodged by the due date which is set by the ATO, and any amounts owing will also need to be paid. It is important to keep a copy of your activity statement and the records used in the preparation of it for five years in case the ATO have any enquiries or choose to carry out an audit on your business and its books.

You activity statement is personalised to your situation and if your business has previously lodged a Business Activity Statement subsequent statements will include any options that you have previously included. Generally it will show the items that you need to report against, which could include:
• Goods and Services Tax (GST)
• PAYG Instalments
• PAYG Withholding
• Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
• Luxury Car Tax (LCT), and
• Fuel tax credits.

There are a number of ways that you can lodge your BAS. It can be lodged online, through your accountant, via mail or over the phone. If your BAS is not lodged on time you may be subject to a failure to lodge penalty (FTL). If you are late in lodging your BAS, for every 28 day period (or part of) that you failed to lodge you can be charged $110; however, you can not incur charges that exceed $550. NB: the penalty is x2 if your business turns over more than $1 million but less than $20 million, and x5 if you turnover more than $20 million.

If the BAS you submit contains information that is not correct, the least you will be charged - in the case of a genuine mistake, is general interest on the underpaid tax or extra credit received. If however, the mistake was attributable to carelessness or purposefully ignoring the law, you will be charged a penalty based on a percentage of the shortfall amount in question - the exact percentage charged will be dependent on the reason for the incorrect amount.

Important Dates:
You can lodge your BAS either monthly, quarterly, or annually. The following is important dates you need to know in relation to the lodgement and payment of your BAS:

• Monthly: The 21st of every month for the period just gone.
• Quarterly: The 28th of the following months - October, February, April, and July. (In the case of a lodgement/payment being due on a weekend or public holiday, it is due by the next business day.)
• Annually: (pertaining to GST Return): Is sent out after the fourth quarter BAS, and needs to be lodged by either the 28 February, or before your yearly income tax return is due, whatever comes first.

The usual outcome of a BAS being processed is either a refund (from the ATO), or you will owe them money (in relation to your tax collections). When it comes to your refund, sometimes the ATO will keep some or all of it. Their basis for this can include:

• You have a previous outstanding tax debt owing to the ATO,
• Information provided in your BAS needs clarifying,
• You failed to nominate a bank for the payment to go to, or the information you gave the ATO regarding that account was incorrect,
• You forgot to lodge one of your BAS, etc.

In order to avoid late or incorrect lodgment and to ensure that you are getting the maximum tax that is legally due to you it is recommended that you have an accountant or tax agent prepare and submit your Business Activity Statements. This also gives you more time to worry about the day-to-day running and growth of your business.

Should you have any queries, require assistance with your Business Activity Statement or would like more information please contact The Quinn Group on 1300 QUINNS or click here to submit an online enquiry.

The Quinn Group is an integrated, accounting, legal, and financial planning practice offering expert advice to help you achieve your business and personal goals. With more than 15 years' professional experience, we are committed to building long-lasting relationships with our clients by providing superior service in a timely and cost-effective manner. For more free advice please visit Corporate Lawyers.

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Who Qualifies For Compensation Under the Jones Act?

Jones Act is a US maritime law that has been designed to make sure that all employees and members of the crew of any water vessel are protected against serious injuries due to negligence of the employer. Individuals who work aboard a ship or any type of water vessel is exposed to higher risk of personal injury or even death, particularly if the employer does not provide the right equipment or safety measures to ensure the well being and protection of everyone onboard the ship. This federal maritime law makes sure that everyone who works on a sea vessel, from the captain to the crewman, will have comprehensive coverage if he is injured or has died due to employer's negligence.

So who are qualified to get compensation under this maritime law? The Jones Act does not discriminate. You should know that you will have protection even if you work as a wiper, deckhand, cook, fish processor, housekeeper, engineer, mate, janitors, receptionists or anyone who works in any part of the ship. You are also protected by the law if you work aboard barges, tug boats, commercial fishing vessels, tour boats, tankers, tour ships, cruise ships. Not only crewmen working aboard ships and boats navigating the sea are protected by this law as even those who work in water vessels that travel in lakes, rivers, bays and other bodies of water also get coverage.

Occupational and vocational retraining, past and future medical costs, past and future lost wages, past and future suffering and pain (including psychological suffering) are some of the damages that are covered by the Jones Act. It is worth noting that there are many instances when a person's ability to work is hindered by serious illnesses or injuries. If this is the case, seafarers or mariners are entitled to damages for lost of employment or earning capacity if the serious injury incurred by the employee is proven to be due to the negligence of the employer.

Under the Jones Act, the employer of any person working aboard the vessel must ensure that the working condition in the ship is safe and is not exposing any member of the crew to injury. This means that the employer has to take precautionary measures, provide proper safety gears and equipment to prevent accidents and injuries. It is also worth noting that mariners are also protected by the law when they are injured due to negligence in the part of their fellow crew members.

Visit or call SMSH at 1-800-282-2122 for additional information about the Jones Act and Maritime Law.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Protecting and Maximizing the Value of Intellectual Property in Business

A company is only as valuable as its most valuable assets and these days a significant percentage of a company's inherent value is derived from its intellectual property ("IP").

The steps taken by a company to identify, maintain, and secure its IP will have a major impact on its overall operation, including its ability to attract investors, enter into certain business relationships and transactions, and ultimately command what it deems to be a fair valuation upon a merger or sale of the business.

While it's no surprise that many large companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Intel, and Apple frequently deal with IP matters as part of their every day business, the truth is that EVERY business regardless of its size, industry, revenue, and lifecycle stage, is likely creating IP and/or dealing with issues related to IP on a regular basis - whether they realize it or not.

It is therefore of critical importance for companies to be aware of IP issues and create cohesive strategies that will proactively ensure that their IP will at all times be properly protected and maximized in terms of its value in the marketplace.

The first step toward creating strategies addressing IP is to identify which types of IP are regularly being created within a given company.

As a starting point toward doing so, here are the four general categories of IP:

1. patents - which protect certain types of inventions and processes (e.g., devices, manufacturing/business processes, etc.);

2. trademarks/service marks - which protect certain designations identifying a source of goods or services in the marketplace (e.g., business/product names, logos, slogans, packaging, etc.);

3. copyrights - which protect the expressive elements of certain types of works (e.g., written materials, images, designs, audiovisual works, etc.); and

4. trade secrets - which protect proprietary information, processes, formulas and systems deemed to provide advantage to a business and treated as strictly confidential (e.g., receipts, business strategies and plans, etc.).

The above categories of IP translate to everyday business in a multitude of ways including without limitation:
a) reports, designs, market research, and other deliverables prepared for clients;
b) the name of a company and its products/services, marketing collateral, logos, the website and domain name attached to a business; and
c) the internal research and development fueling the creation of a company's products, services, and business strategies - just to name a few examples.

With the above in mind, when identifying a company's IP consider all facets of the business, including without limitation, the products and services being offered (including their individual components), the internal initiatives undertaken within a company and the resulting deliverables being created, and the external marketing and outreach efforts being utilized by the company.

Once all sources of a company's IP have been identified, processes should be put in place that enable the company to easily keep track of all such IP being created, including, all IP currently existing (i.e., a company's "IP portfolio"), updates and modifications to specific IP within the portfolio, and new creations going forward which will become part of the company's IP portfolio.

Please see part 2 of my article on protecting and maximizing the value of IP in business

I welcome your feedback on this article.


Joshua J. Spiegel is an attorney with over 13 years of experience and a co-founder of the law firm Horzepa, Spiegel & Associates, PC with offices located in New York City and Houston, Texas. Joshua serves as counsel to a diverse corporate and private clientele on matters related to general corporate, commercial business, employment, and intellectual property. Joshua has extensive experience in the areas of business entity formation and governance, shareholder rights, employment matters, protecting and licensing intellectual property, business development, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance.

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Improve Your Chances of Obtaining a Patent by Demonstrating the "Wow Factor" in Your Application

A strong majority of people seeking patent protection to protect their products or technology leave the details the drafting process to their patent attorneys. That is, given the specialized (and, frankly, arcane) nature of the patenting process, even highly accomplished business professionals believe that a patent specialist (i.e., attorney or agent) is better equipped to understand how to best describe their invention to the US Patent Office ("USPTO"). This can be an ineffective way to handle the front end of the patenting process because it can result in the process being more contentious. Such contentiousness can result in narrower claims than desired and can make the patent take longer to issue and make the process considerably more expensive.

In determining whether a client's invention meets the legal requirements for patentability, a patent specialist thinks about how to legally distinguish the invention from those that have come before. Specifically, the patent specialist must demonstrate to the USPTO-as represented In the person of a patent examiner-how the invention is new and not obvious in view of what others have done previously. The patent specialist must also determine how to describe the invention in a way that satisfies the precise technical and legal requirements. While working in this "legal silo," a patent specialist quite possibly does not have any knowledge about the commercial benefits the invention provides because the client's business team typically is not involved in the patent drafting process. This means that when drafting the application, the patent attorney presents the invention in relation to the "check boxes" that the invention must satisfy in order to meet the legal requirements of patentability.

Moreover, even if such business information is available to the patent specialist, they rarely possess specific expertise in marketing or business. Without such training, a client cannot reasonably expect their patent specialist to present the invention in a way that effectively convinces the patent examiner that the invention "the best thing since sliced bread." Most patent attorneys thus will wholly ignore what I call the "Wow Factor" associated with an invention.

This "Wow Factor" sounds quite a bit like marketing, doesn't it? Exactly! And, given the fact that business professionals best understand the benefits their products and technology provide over others that have come before, a critical factor in a successful patenting effort is to not only demonstrate to the patent examiner that the claimed invention is legally patentable, but also that the invention is SUBJECTIVELY deserving of a US patent. It is this subjective aspect that is best handled by those who understand the benefits that a product or technology brings to the relevant consumer-that is, the marketing team charged with building a business case for the product or technology associated with the invention. While often absent from the patent drafting process, I believe that this marketing story serves as a critical factor any successful patenting process.

I will note that many patent specialists have disputed my contention that a significant aspect of a successful patenting process should involve developing a marketing story. These discussions typically center on the contention that "if an invention is patentable, the patent examiner is legally obligated to allow the patent application." This is no doubt true, but often an invention that is legally patentable enters into a contentious examination process when the examiner develops a point of view (albeit one that is legally wrong). When this happens, the examiner will often "dig in her heels" and refuse to allow the patent application based upon her misperception of the legal merits of the invention. Such a contentious examination process will, at a minimum, add considerable cost and time to the patent application process, but is also likely to result in undesirable amendments that will result in the final patent being insufficient to protect the commercial product or technology from competition.

In drafting a patent application covering a client's invention, many patent specialists fail to recognize that there is a person on the receiving end of each patent application. This person-the patent examiner-spends her day reviewing patent applications in a fairly narrow technological area. Moreover, the patent examiner labors under a quota system that requires her to complete her examination of each application in a fairly short period of time. One can picture this examiner working on, say, light bulb patent applications. Each patent applicant (and his attorney) likely believes that his invention is unique and a "game changer." However, for the patent examiner who spends her work time examining light bulb inventions day after day, each application likely seems like a slight variation (if that) on what she has seen over and over again.

One can therefore picture the patent examiner effectively yawning at most patent applications that come across her desk. Add to this the short time the examiner has to gauge whether the invention meets the requirements for patentability and it should be clear why many worthy patent applications are subjected to contentious and expensive patenting process prior to issuance.

Further to these issues that are personal to the patent examiner's job, on a broader scale, one must also remember that the patent examiner's decision is imbibed with public policy considerations. That is, if the patent examiner allows a patent to issue covering the claimed invention, no one else will be able to legally do what the patent covers. The issued patent will thus effectively restrict the public's freedom of action in the area of the issued patent. To justify this, a patent application should demonstrate to the patent examiner why the public should be prevented from doing what it would otherwise legally be able to do-to practice the product or technology covered by the patent claims.

By remembering during the patent drafting process that there is a person who stands between the patent application and an issued patent much cost, time and effort can be eliminated from the patenting process. Put simply, in addition to presenting a legal basis of why an invention is patentable, a patent application should also present a MARKETING STORY the invention to the patent examiner. The key is to include in the patent application a "hook" or "theme" that is directed to building a story for the patent examiner why the invention is not only legally sufficient for patenting but also that the invention bears a business reason for existing. A critical part of this effort centers on demonstrating to the patent examiner why the invention merits allowance, especially given the fact that the patent will prevent others from freely acting. To do this, a patent search should be conducted and analyzed, as the patent literature will likely serve as the primary source of rejections posed by the patent examiner.

To build this strong marketing story, the patent specialist should collaborate with one or more persons on the business team responsible for building a business case for the product or technology underlying the invention set forth in the patent application. This will allow the patent specialist to craft the underlying patentability story-or "Wow Factor"-that can result in the patent examiner picking up the application and thinking "this is not the same old light bulb invention that I see day after day." While the patent examiner will likely not allow the patent application on a first review, I contend that the subsequent examination process can be rendered less contentious by developing a marketing story to support the patentability story.

It should be noted that many patent specialists will not be amenable to this strategy because it is a deviation from the traditional methods of patent drafting. Specifically, many patent specialists have been trained to discuss only the invention in the application and to ignore the prior art unless it is brought up by the examiner. This strategy was certainly a viable one before the explosion of patent filings in the last 10 or so years, but now there is so much prior art available in most technology areas that a patent applicant must realize that the prior art cannot and should not be ignored. I believe that by facing the prior art head on and preparing a patentability strategy and a marketing strategy the patenting process will likely be less contentious.

Lastly, some patent specialists might look at my recommendations as a reason to rail against the USPTO and patent examiners. While there are many problems that need to be fixed, the truth is the system is what it is today. One can wish for legal purity in the patent system, or one can be pragmatic about what it takes to successfully obtain a patent under the conditions existing today where the patent has suitably broad claims to protect the underlying product or technology from competitive knock-offs, where this patent was obtained at an acceptable cost in a reasonable time frame. At the end of the day, most clients would prefer the latter.

"IP doesn't matter unless it makes your business money." Jackie Hutter is Principal of The Hutter Group (, a leading provider of strategic IP ("Intellectual Property") business counseling to organizations and entrepreneurs that wish create and maximize asset value by capitalizing on the power of IP in today's market. Jackie has also founded Patent MatchMaker ( to assist companies and entrepreneurs to identify opportunities to sell their patents. She has over 15 years experience counseling innovation-driven companies, universities and business development and investment professionals in maximizing their firm intellectual asset value. In 2009, Jackie was named one of the world's leading IP Strategists by IAM Magazine. Jackie was named a SuperLawyer(R) in Intellectual Property in Georgia in 2004, and she has been a frequent speaker on IP issues to her fellow lawyers. Jackie was formerly Senior Patent Counsel at a Georgia-Pacific LLC, where she had sole responsible for Dixie(R) patent matters and, later, the company's Chemicals business. Prior to joining Georgia-Pacific, Jackie was a shareholder at the prestigious IP firm of Needle & Rosenberg, PC (now Ballard & Spahr), where she represented multi-national companies, universities and innovators in protecting their IP to create maximum asset value. Jackie has also been a patent and IP litigator, which gives her a unique perspective in how to maximize firm IP value by avoiding litigation. Prior to attending law school on a full academic scholarship and where she graduated with honors, Jackie obtained her M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and she spent several years as practicing chemist at Helene Curtis (now Unilever). She is a named inventor on one U.S. patent. Jackie lives in Decatur, Georgia, in a groovy mid-Century modern house with her husband, 2 daughters and several pets.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Consider a Regional Center in the Pacific Northwest When Applying For an Investor Visa

If you want to enter the United States and start your own business, you can do so using the eb5 visa, also known as the investor visa. You might know the details about the program, but often the most difficult part is deciding where to go. If you want to live along the coast, enjoy myriad business opportunities, and get excited about rain, Washington could be the place to go for your investor visa.

American Life Inc. has partnered with the Gateway Freedom Fund to create a regional center. It was founded in 1996, at which time it was approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, or USCIS. Its projects are located just south of Seattle, and they mostly focus on buying, restoring, and then managing both older industrial buildings and newer properties.

Because this area has an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average, it is designated as a regional center, which means you can invest $500,000 instead of $1 million. If this doesn't interest you, perhaps the projects themselves will. With this particular center, you will use your investment to buy partnership interest in the project, which will be managed by American Life, Inc. They, in turn, will create at least ten jobs for U.S. citizens, which is one of the major requirements for the investor visa.

Though the eb5 visa is typically open to those from every country, this particular regional center works most often with immigration consultants from certain countries. They include Canada, Japan, India, Korea, Germany, and England. If you are from one of these countries, there is a consultant near you who can offer more information about steps to take. If you do not hail from any of these countries, you can still contact the company for more information, as no one that meets the requirements is left out.

The main goals of this regional center include finding promising properties, renovating them, and either selling them or renting them out later. The decision rests on what will be most profitable for the investor, and most beneficial to the community. If area growth is important to you, Washington is known for its newer economy that is still developing. Fast growing industries here include technology, agriculture, and international trade, among others. The Washington area is known for its plentiful natural resources, and common jobs and activities include fishing, mining, and culling lumber. The presence of film studios, national retail headquarters, and several colleges in the Pacific Northwest combine with the myriad natural resources to make this an area that is full of potential.

If you are having a hard time deciding which area to settle down in, consider Washington. This regional center is known for working at the lowest operating costs possible so that you will have the best chance of turning a profit, and its many immigration consultants can help you start the process. You might even choose to make this your home rather than just your place of business, but you'll never know unless you check it out through the investor visa.

For more information on the EB5 visa visit website for information on obtaining an EB-5 visa.

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Top 5 Things to Do Before Obtaining an Eb5 Visa

If you have an interest in the eb5 visa as a way to get to the United States, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare. Fortunately, you can do most with little help from others. Considering that the eb5 visa program will likely allow you to get to this country within a year, the preparations are minuscule compared to what you will receive.

1. Get in contact with an experienced immigration attorney. He or she should be able to provide a free consultation in which you will be given advice about whether your business plan is sound enough to use. Many Regional Centers require a fee to apply, aside from obtaining $500,000 to $1 million. It would be a shame to get this money and not have a business plan that's up to par, so speaking with an immigration attorney is a helpful first step.

2. Refine your business plan. Even if the immigration attorney you meet with deems your plan appropriate, he or she will likely point out some room for improvement. Most people don't get it right on the first try, especially if this is your first ever business plan. Making sure it is as close to perfect as possible is important before attending the official meeting that will determine if you are approved for the eb5 program. A great business plan can go a long way.

3. Consider where you want to set up your business. If you have $1 million to invest and a unique business plan that can work anywhere, you can pick from any area in the country to set up your business. However, if you plan to invest only $500,000, you will need to choose a Regional Center. You can find at least one in nearly all fifty states, and the even better news is that you do not always have to live near your business when you use a Regional Center. In fact, you can live across the country from it if you choose not to participate in the everyday operations.

4. Make sure you can get the funds. While the eb5 visa does not require that you earn the money, you must show that you obtained it legally. It can be a gift, a loan, or your life savings, but you need to be able to prove that it is legally yours.

5. Select a lawyer and start the process. You might choose to go to a few free consultations first, but you should choose an immigration attorney to help you get started once your business plan looks professional. You might even decide to pay a retainer fee each month to constantly have their advice on hand.

Your selected lawyer will tell you what the next steps are. Getting started is often the most difficult part of the process. Following these preliminary steps can help you at least get started.

For more information on the EB5 visa visit website for information on obtaining an EB-5 visa.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Real Face of an Identity Thief on the Internet

Identity thieves will never come before you, but you can find them wearing attractive masks. If you apply a bit of caution, you will be able to see the danger ahead.

During your normal routine, you will come in contact with many people. Some of them will be your real acquaintances but some will be trying for an opportunity to extract information from you. Let us see who they are and how they catch you.

1. Pretending as your lover - Some of them will be lurking on the social networking sites. They will pose themselves properly to catch their prey. They will show you a very attractive profile and a good looking photo. You may be surprised to receive some gifts from such unknown friend. These gifts might be sent using a stolen credit card! Once such relationship is established, they will request you for help. Sometimes they will ask money for paying medical expenses; sometimes for paying some business debt. They can also offer you a share in their business in return. There is no such business and all these moves end up in paying huge money to these thieves.

Another danger in this relationship is taking out some strategic information from you, like name of your pet or name of your parents which may be used to answer the security question to get access to your e-mail account. Once the email is accessed, everything including your credit cards and your bank accounts are at the big risk.

While somebody is showing interest in you, it is up to you to decide whether to go forward or not. If you decide to go for it, never disclose any clues about you in your conversation. Most of such relationships end only in frustration.

2. Posing as your friend - Some thieves will be searching around the sights like MySpace or Facebook and they will contact you are claiming as your old classmates. Many people will accept them as friends without much thought. Then they will have friendly conversations with you in which they will try to take out personal information from you. Before you understand what's happening, they will have enough information to reset the password for accessing your e-mail address.

Never become online friends with people to whom you don't remember as your friends in the past. You can declined politely their proposal and terminate the relationship.

3. Posing as your banker - Some of them may send you fake e-mails which will be in the name of your bank asking for verification of your details. You may think that the e-mails are from your bank because the ID they will be use for this purpose will be deceptive. The email may claim that there is something wrong with your account and you have to login to your account and re-enter your information. They may provide you an instant link to click in order to re-enter your information easily. Instead of verifying your details, the link will take out all the information from you, which will be used to empty your bank account.

Remember, your bank will never send you e-mails for the verifying the details.

4. Posing as your potential business partners - This is another trap set by identity thieves. You will receive an e-mail which will boast the sender with a brilliant business idea, but he is in need of capital. He may propose doing business jointly. Remember, such e-mail will be sent with the generic title of Dear Sir / Madam. So they don't know even your name! Generally the sender will tell you that he is from some country abroad and is looking for help from someone in the United States. Many people delete these e-mails without even reading the contents but is significant amount of people fall in this trap.

It is obvious that without knowing anything about such person, you can't even think of a business relationship.

You have to be watchful to avoid these online fraudsters. A small mistake on your part may prove very costly in your life.

You get restless and annoyed when you suspect that someone has accessed and misused your details. The financial pain which comes thereafter is unbearable. There are many identity thieves operating all over. You can find many of them on the Internet. How to avoid their trap? Chintamani Abhyankar provides a word of caution.

Chintamani Abhyankar, is an expert in the field of finance and taxation for last 25 years. He has written many books explaining inside secrets of the magic world of finance. His famous eBook Stop donating your money to IRS which is now running in its second edition, provides intricate knowledge and tips on personal finance.

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Your Footprints on the Internet Will Take the Identity Thieves to Your Bank Account!

Most of us will leave some footprints while surfing on the net. And with the powerful search engines like Google, it's easy for identity thieves to find them out. With the help of such footprints, they can reach to your finances easily and will leave you with zero bank balance in no time.

When you submit your resume on-line, enter details about you on social networking sites or put your information on a blog, you leave many trails behind. Internet thieves will be looking out for such details and with such clues they will attack your finances.

Here are some of the unimaginable methods used by these thieves.

1. If someone enters your name and name of your employer on Google, the search engine may show your resume or a blog in which personal information on you can be found. So information like name of your pet, your date of birth or the names of your payments may be available there. This information may prove vital clues to reset the password of your e-mail address!

Try searching your details on the net to find out the results. You may delete unnecessary information on some of the websites.

2. Use your personal e-mail address for all your personal work. You may be running a business for which you may be holding a separate business email ID. Do not use this ID in log-in detail for your bank. Knowing your e-mail address means getting half of the log-in information! A brilliant guess may penetrate your password.

3. Avoid entering personal information on the resumes which you submit on-line. Your residential address and your home phone number may be a necessity while applying for a job but they will provide important clues to identity thieves when you submit an on-line resume. On the basis of these two details, a thief can contact the post office to change your mailing address to some other location.

When you submit your resume on-line, you have to give only limited information. You should write a note that personal information will be available on request.

4. When you use your first and a last name in a profile on a blog, it will do more harm than good. When someone is searching your first and last name, search engines may show this blog!

5. Do not answer on-line security questions giving your answers, which are legitimate. Many sites where a password is required, will ask a security question. If you forget the password any time, you will be asked the security question so that you can access your account. If someone knows answer to such security question, he can easily access your account.

You may not be able to clean all the traces on the Internet but you can take some precautions to protect your identity at the same time. There are agencies providing security against on-line ID theft. They will keep a watch on the Internet to find out whether your personal details like your social security number or your credit card details are fraudulently used anywhere. The charge you some fee but it's always advisable to take such protection.

You get restless and annoyed when you suspect that someone has accessed and misused your details. The financial pain which comes thereafter is unbearable. There are many identity thieves operating all over. You can find many of them on the Internet. How to avoid their trap? Chintamani Abhyankar provides a word of caution.

Chintamani Abhyankar, is an expert in the field of finance and taxation for last 25 years. He has written many books explaining inside secrets of the magic world of finance. His famous eBook Stop donating your money to IRS which is now running in its second edition, provides intricate knowledge and tips on personal finance.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pension Plan Regulations Under ERISA

In 1974, the federal government established the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to protect employees' rights in their pension plans. Although that act has been slightly amended in the last 35 years, the basic requirements of ERISA remain intact. Among those, employers are required to disclose employee's pension plan financial information, provide access to their funds, and clearly state remedial procedures for federal courts.

Pension Plan Structures

In most cases, they are structured in the following way. An employee contributes a fraction of his or her income into a plan. The employer then matches part or all of the contribution. Under most rules, the employee may remove his or her fraction of the contribution at any time, as guaranteed by the vested rights clause under ERISA.

However, the employee may not remove the employer's contribution whenever he or she wants. Instead, the employer typically picks one of two options for when a worker may remove the employer's fraction of the contribution:

One, the employee may remove part or all of the employer's contribution after five year of non-consecutive employment.

Two, the employee may remove 20% of the contribution in the third year of employment, 40% in the fourth year of employment, 60% in the fifth year of employment, 80% in the sixth year in the fifth year of employment, and 100% in the seventh year of employment.

While these two structures are the most common, other structures do exist and understanding your structure is important for employees who wish to recover the full amount.

If you want to learn more information about your pension plan, contact the Houston employment lawyers of the Ross Law Group.

Contact Us
Problems with pension plan rights are often complicated, and not knowing your rights might cost you a portion of what you deserve. If you or any one you know is having pension plan problems, contact the Houston labor attorneys of the Ross Law Group for more information.

Joseph Devine

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Creating a Supervisors' Handbook - If Not Now When?

The most current economic downturn in the economy is certainly teaching companies' one thing; times are a changing. Experts predict, even when the economy returns back to brisk growth, things will never be the same again in American workplaces throughout the country. Companies will deal with a more sophisticated workforce; smarter, sharper, and more deliberate. Even small missteps by supervisors today, can cause enormous pain from a legal prospective.

95% Say No

I have asked a simple question (of companies large and small) all across America for the past thirteen years. Do you have a supervisors' handbook? Ninety-five per cent of respondents answer no. This is mind boggling, especially considering the fact that the bulk of employment complaints and lawsuit are filed against supervisors. It is the job of the human resources department to see that supervisors are trained on the company's policies. A vital part of that training should be to hand your supervisors a copy of your company's definitive policies.

Why Not Supervisors

Top human resources departments have (wisely) crafted a handbook for employees which clearly explicates where the company stands on today's hotly contested employment law issues. This is an investment (when done correctly) yields positive dividends for many years to come. Now, if this is true, why haven't your company crafted a handbook for supervisors. As a supervisor I'd like to know where the company stands on employment laws apropos to today's fast-paced work environment. Don't leave me in the dark on fraternization, discrimination, spoliation, investigations, terminations, interviewing, locker and desk searches, listening in on employee phone conversations, following doctors' notes, obligating the company by making promises to employees that (were not officially approved) and therefore cannot be honored. And a plethora of other actions I might run afoul of while carrying out my duties as a supervisor of the company.

They Don't Know

A supervisors' handbook goes a long way in helping leaders understand those important company's policies, and gives them a tangible document they can study intently. Now is the best time to create your supervisors handbook, long before a charge is made against your supervisor. Failing to get clarity on these and other employment laws, both on the federal and local levels, put supervisors at high risk for legal action against them.

Understand The Urgency Of Now

Puzzling on many fronts is the fact that companies are willing to spend millions of dollars (on the back side) to defend against a lawsuit, but balk at spending a paltry few thousand dollars (on the front side) for preventative training measures. After thirteen years of travel, I still don't get it. There is a real urgency out there for a supervisors' manual; time is of the essence. Act now to craft a handbook for your supervisors.


There is a real urgency out there for a specific handbook for your supervisors. Even small missteps can cause enormous pain for your company, from a legal prospective. Now is the best time to create your supervisors handbook, long before a charge is made. If you don't clarify important employment laws, most supervisors won't know or will find out until when it's far too late. Act now to give them something to hold and study.

© 2009 Cubie Davis King. All Right Reserved Internationally.

Dr. Cubie Davis King, PhD. is an adjunct professor at National University San Diego, CA in the School of Business, where he teaches Training and Development. His latest work is the Supervisor Core Training System 1.0 (SCTS 1.0). To get more information on this highly effective and engaging training system go directly to his website at website

Dr. King is a Performance Technologist with a Ph.D in Training & Performance Improvement. His resume includes 9 years military service, and 12 years executive positions with Xerox & CitiGroup. For the past 13 years he has consulted with hundreds of companies on employment laws, and trained thousands of HR professionals in Live Seminars throughout the country. Dr. King has won top performance awards at every level of his storied career and is passionate about improving the performance of employees and business owners. Dr. King takes complicated yet sobering employment laws and makes them palatable and entertaining for everyone on your staff to understand.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caring For Aging Parents

Millions of Americans are now caring for their parents as we live longer with advances in modern medicine. When doing so, a new trend is emerging in the area of elder law planning, the "sister" of estate planning. Aging parents and their children alike recognize that helping the senior generation is being increasingly more difficult from a financial perspective in these tough economic times. As a result, some Americans are now entering into legal agreements, sometimes referred to as "caregiver agreements", in order to compensate children who are providing care giving services.

In preparing these types of agreements, families should consider the following:

• What types of services are being performed? Clearly defining the duties and responsibilities of the caregiver in the beginning will benefit everyone in the long-run. This will also help legitimize the agreement if a parent needs government benefits in the future.

• What compensation will be paid? Whatever the services being performed, the compensation should be reasonable. This is especially true if parents have more than one child, but only one child is providing care giving. Do not forget, this is a job so being paid may be appropriate in certain instances.

• Have you engaged everyone in the family in this process? After a parent is gone, if one child receives a larger benefit than another, there will likely be family friction. This usually results from a lack of communication. If everyone understands that one child is performing some work for a parent, the funds received should not be viewed as an inheritance, but rather as compensation for services rendered.

As a final note, service agreements do not need to be in writing to be enforceable in the State of Florida. However, to avoid family conflict and confusion, spending the time and energy to memorialize the agreement in a clearly written legal document is certainly worthwhile.

Joshua T. Keleske, P.A. proudly serves families in the Tampa Bay area with their estate planning, estate and trust administration, and business planning needs. If you have questions regarding how we can be of assistance to you and your family, please contact us at anytime at 813-254-0044. We are happy to answer your questions and arrange for an appointment to speak with you.

Please also visit to learn more about Joshua T. Keleske, P.A.

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Making Your Final Decision on a Nursing Home

You have had all your questions answered. You think you have found the right nursing home. What do you need to do next?

The first step is to not rush into any decision (and do not allow others to rush you either). Take your time. This is not an easy decision and is not one that should be made lightly.

Do you really need a nursing home? Can you stay in your own home with help from someone on an occasional basis?

Would I be better served to go to an assisted living facility? (An assisted living facility is a place where four or more adults live together. This is in a non-medical facility but provides you with 24 hour supervision if needed.)

After reviewing all your options, you have decided on a nursing home. Okay, now only sign the documents after you have read them thoroughly. If you do not understand any part of these documents, ask questions (and/or review them with your lawyer). Do not allow yourself to be pressured into signing anything. Time will only make a right decision even better. Haste makes a bad decision even worse.

Realize that once you move into the nursing home that you still have rights.

Your rights include:

* A right to complain about any issue (event, procedure, or condition) to the State Division of Nursing Home Monitoring.
* The right to care that is not based on color, race, religion, or source of payment.
* A right to confidentiality of your medical records.
* A right to receive a copy of your medical records (these may cost a "reasonable" fee).
* A right to privacy and respect
* A right to refuse treatment (medical or otherwise).
* A right to receive unopened mail on the same day that it is received
* A right to examine your bill
* A right to know who is caring for you
* A right to be involved in your own care.
* A right to reasonable visiting hours.
* A right to appropriate and adequate pain control/management.
* In the event that my condition should become terminal - I can receive visits from my family 24 hours a day.

Okay, you have made your decision and moved in. Great. You know your rights. Super.

Now realize that you can change your mind. At one time moving to a nursing home meant a life sentence. No more. You can change your mind.

You can move back to your home. If you feel that is what you want - discuss it with your family, friends, and health care providers. Listen to them. You may not have considered all of your options. Staying where you are may be a good decision. Think before you move.

Home may be the right place, but is it the right time to be home? Would waiting till your ability to walk improves (after your hip replacement surgery) change the situation? Would waiting for the snow and ice to melt help?

Make no decision in haste. Good decisions only become better with time.

Thank you for reading my article.

Can you please help me? I have written over 50 articles for various online publications. Can you help me make money with this talent?

I have a website:, or you can email me:

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Law Firm Wins the Right Verdict in Online Marketing

The Web Success Team has just launched Krupnick and Chapman Law, a direct response website with an fresh new approach to the legal profession. The firm specializes exclusively in personal injury accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles and pedestrians. One of the principles, Neil Krupnick, told us his needs were three-fold:

1. Create an informative website that captured the essence of their practice and
2. Market it online to prospective new clients looking for a personal injury attorney or firm to represent their interests
3. Build his business online.

A Unique Branding Approach

First we wanted to move away from the starched intimidating look of the legal profession and selected colors, graphics and direct response copywriting that people could relate to and easily understand. Then we developed the content that addressed their concerns and answered many of their questions. We wanted the site to be informative and helpful, making people feel comfortable in reviewing the content in plain English, not a lot of legal jargon. We also positioned the firm as approachable and offering a no risk guarantee of "No Recovery, No Fee," along with a free consultation. We even created a page in Spanish and a contact name so they could fee comfortable discussing in their case in their native language. The website is also a helpful resource center for those wanting to know their rights in recovery and what to do in case of a personal injury accident.

Prospecting New Law Clients on the Internet

For marketing purposes, keywords were carefully selected and integrated into the website content. Then the website was fully optimized with this keyword rich copy for the search engines to spider and rank. Next phase two of the Solopreneur package was implemented: the off-page marketing of the website. Our marketing objectives were to gain maximum exposure throughout the Internet, target potential customers and drive them to their site. The continuing online marketing efforts are focused on local search, blogging, article marketing and social media network marketing. By spreading the client's name and website link throughout the Internet through the Web Success Team's proven online marketing efforts, the client will come up in Google and Yahoo local searches for personal injury attorneys in their geographic areas. We are confident that once we drive traffic to the website, the site will then strike the right balance for the visitor of finding experienced yet compassionate professionals looking after their best interests. By being helpful and not intimidating, and offering the clients cost free way know their rights, the prospective client will respond by contacting the firm for a complimentary consultation.

SPECIAL: Solopreneur Package - Jump Start Your Business

The Web Success Team specializes in building and marketing direct response websites that take full advantage of the latest developments on the Internet. We are offering a promotional package that will help your business become an effective marketing hub and give you significant exposure to your target customers. The Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more.

Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email To your web success!

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7 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Against an eBay Thief and Other eBay Schemes

1. Be aware of eBay "phishers". They will send you emails hoping that you will take the bait. They are looking for type of personal or credit card information that they can use for their own personal use. The more spam emails they send, the better their chances are of getting what they want. It's a numbers game.

They will pose as eBay members and send you an email asking you to respond. Other times they will pose as eBay itself, and will want you to click on a link to a "fake" eBay site to update your account information. Don't do it! If you are not sure if it's a real message, then go to your browser and type the website address in manually. Some emails will even threaten to leave negative feedback or report you to eBay. And we all know how sellers want to avoid negative feedback at almost all costs.

2. Be cautious of emails from other eBay members. Do not reply directly to any links. If the email is from an actual member, it will appear as an inquiry in your eBay account.

3. Be aware of "fake" auctions. An eBay thief will steal other people's eBay passwords by "phishing" by using email and fake websites. Oftentimes, they will sell fake high priced items or modify the listings of the original seller.

4. Watch out for emotional/sympathy auctions. These actions will try to play into your emotions or make you feel a little guilty. One example would be, " Please help, I lost my job, I am recently divorced, my house got foreclosed on and you can help me by buying this special product or service." Also, be on the look out for charities that you've never heard of.

5. Be on the lookout for the 3 monkeys auction. You are aware of hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. In these auctions, the item is unknown, there is a collection of unknown items, or there is a surprise box. The seller cannot hear, see, or speak of what the items hold.

6. If you are a seller on eBay, set up automated searches for the top online auctions. They will automatically notify you when the keyword of your product is contained in a newly posted auction. For example, if you sell e-books on "How to write articles" then that will show up. If you find that your work has been stolen, then contact the seller and ask them to take the auction of the site. After a few hours, if nothing is done then contact the site itself. More than likely, they will get their account suspended. eBay has a "Vero" program that allows you to fax a form in to get an auction taken down.

7. Listen to your customers. Sometimes your customers will let you know if they see your product being offered by someone else. Constantly check on thieves who've stolen from you before.

Before you go anywhere now visit for tips on identity theft. Click here to find out more hot tips.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Importance of Witnesses in a Driving While Impaired Case

There are many different elements to a driving while impaired case that are important. One that is often overlooked to the detriment of the defendant is the use of witnesses.

Most states now have two types of drunk driving cases. One is statutory impaired driving when tests of the defendant reveal a blood alcohol level equal to or over .08. If you blow below .08, however, you can still be charged with a second offense known as a DWI or driving while impaired. This second charge arises when the arresting officer believes that you are too impaired to operate a vehicle notwithstanding your blood alcohol level.

Driving while impaired is a charge based on a subjective analysis by the police officer. He or she must take in your actions during the field sobriety tests and throughout the period of the arrest. The fact the officer might think you are impaired while you do not agree is commonplace in these situations. In court, this translates into a case where the jury or judge must figure out who they believe is more persuasive.

This should make you uncomfortable as a defendant. It leaves the outcome of your case to the ability of a person to testify. Since it is probably your first time in court, you are going to be nervous. That means you are less likely than the arresting officer to be a convincing witness. This is why finding witnesses to testify at the trial can make all the difference.

Witnesses are incredibly important when it comes to propping up a case. Witnesses can fill gaps in the testimony of both the officer and defendant. Witnesses can also independently lay out a timeline of the evening and your actions during it. Most importantly, a witness has no obvious bias whereas a jury knows the officer wants a conviction to verify his arrest and the defendant obviously wants the opposite. This makes witness testimony very valuable.

If you are charged with a DWI, don't just mope. Let your legal team know everything you can remember about who was at the arrest and who might have been watching. It could be the difference between winning the case and going to jail.

Thomas Ajava writes for - find a DUI lawyer in Lee County to represent you against aggressive prosecutors.

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Speed Control Vital in Preventing Car Accidents

Anybody who drives a car would say that driving gives them a wonderful feeling, a different kind of freedom while on the road. This great feeling can be experienced when one is driving on a wide highway with only a few or no other vehicles in sight. What happens next is that the driver gets tempted to speed up some more.

Some drivers are just not contented by driving on a regular speed. This is true for people who are even in their normal physical condition and for those under the influence of alcohol who are already less capable of making the right decisions while driving. To them, speeding up is more satisfying as they get to their destination faster without understanding the consequences. Drivers caught over-speeding need to pay fines and driving too fast can lead to accidents.

Those who drive sometimes they forget the dangers that over-speeding can bring to them, their vehicles as well as to other people and properties. When a car moves very fast and then the next situation requires a sudden change of pace, it can be hard to control the vehicle. And this is what often leads to crashes.

Over-speeding has long been among the top causes of car accidents in many countries around the globe. It has also caused some of the most severe car collisions that lead to serious physical injuries and even deaths of drivers or their passengers. Fatal injuries that result from high speed crashes involve the brain, spinal cord, back, neck and extremities. According to the Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (PEDSAFE), speeding makes up more than 30 percent of fatal vehicle crashes each year.

Statistics on car accidents in the United States show that the common places where collisions occur are the highways and freeways. Car mishaps that take place on these sites are normally caused by speeding vehicles. Other than crashes, rollovers can also result from fast driving. This can happen when a vehicle turns turtle or turns on its side after a collision or a sudden turn.

Drivers need to be aware of the speed limits on the areas where they're traveling. In the U.S., speed limits differ from one state to another. Generally, the federal government has imposed a maximum speed limit of 55 mph on freeways. However, the limit is higher on rural interstate highways at 65 mph in about 40 states. In speed zone areas, vehicles are required to strictly follow the 30-35 mph limit. In California, a Basic Speed Law is in place which means that drivers should be cautious of the weather, traffic and road conditions in determining their speed.

Should you get involved in any road mishap that resulted in physical injuries or vehicle damage, consult your car accident attorneys immediately. Lawyers who specialize in car accidents are more skilled in analyzing your situation and deciding on the right legal steps to take to pursue your case. If you still don't have a legal counsel, make sure to search for the car accident attorneys who have established a good reputation through the years of their service.

For information on car accident attorneys, visit Gallagher Law Firm, Louisiana lawyers and attorneys who specialize in personal injury, car and truck accidents, divorce, maritime law and more.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Have You Been Arrested and Charged With a DUI?

Have you been arrested and charged with a DUI? No doubt you have a lot of questions. The PA DUI arrest process is certainly overwhelming. You have little chance to make sense of what's happening to you, much less ask questions.

During the PA DUI arrest process, it may feel like you have little recourse - like the arrest is a cut-and-dried procedure. The police officer is not your advocate in this process, and certainly isn't likely to reassure you to any degree. You have a lot of questions and you have lots of options. When you discuss your case with an attorney at DUI law offices in Erie, you'll find that the picture doesn't have to be as bleak as you first thought.

First, you will have a suspension of your driving privileges. The amount of time for the suspension will vary depending on your level of blood-alcohol or whether this is your first offense or not. In some cases, you attorney can argue that you receive a PA occupational limited license, which allows you to continue your driving privileges to and from work.

Your attorney can also advise you on the possibility of alcohol treatment counseling, reducing the fines or possible jail time. The attorney in the DUI law offices in Erie will evaluate your case. He or she will carefully examine the PA DUI arrest process to see if there was a valid reason for the initial traffic stop and examine whether the arrest procedures were accurately followed.

The attorney will also examine all the evidence gathered at the time of the arrest and evaluate whether the testing procedures were done correctly, that the equipment was functioning properly, and that the results were accurate. All of this information will weigh heavily in the ability to argue your case against the prosecution.

Even if the arrest holds up under scrutiny, there's a real possibility that the attorney from the DUI law offices in Erie will manage to minimize the charges against you. One of the benefits of arguing your cases is that the attorney may be able to ensure that you receive a PA occupational limited license. This can be a significant factor for your case. Can you manage to get to your job if you don't have a car? The PA occupational limited license will allow you to continue your employment, without the hassle of finding some other transportation to work.

After successfully defending yourself against DUI charges, you'll be able to get your life back on track and put this instance behind you.

Grant C. Travis is a member of the Erie County and PA Bar Associations. Attorney Travis is admitted to practice in all Pennsylvania Courts and the U.S District Court, western District of Pennsylvania. He is an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney who has defended 1,000's of PA DUI Cases. The DUI Defense Group has offices in Erie, Edinboro and Warren, PA and focus on DUI defense in Erie County.

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Costs of DWI - Both Obvious and Subtle

A conviction for DWI can change your life forever. In addition to the obvious costs of taking a quick guilty plea there are several other less obvious effects of being convicted of DWI.

1) The fine ... obviously enough. Fines for a first DWI commonly range in the area of $1000.

2) Court costs. Defendants that take guilty pleas pay hundreds of dollars in court costs.

3) Probation fees. For every month you are on probation you will have to pay the probation office additional fees.

4) Department of Public Safety surcharges. A first time DWI offender will have to pay at least $1000 a year for three years to get their license back. Repeat offenders or particularly bad cases have to pay even more... up to $2000 a year.

5) Classes. There are classes that people convicted of DWI must take. They must be paid for as well.

6) Alcohol evaluation. The state will evaluate you to determine if you are an alcoholic. You will pay for this as well.

7) The "Victim Impact Panel". DWI offenders sometimes must watch a tape about the effects of DWI on victims. Sometimes they are told the effects in person by the victims. This costs more money.

8) Ignition Interlock. A conviction can result in the installation of a device that you have to blow into to start your car. In addition to being somewhat embarrassing it is also very expensive. Judges can always order it installed and it is sometimes mandatory.

9) Insurance premiums. A conviction for DWI will raise your insurance premiums dramatically.

10) A criminal record. You will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. Murderers, Rapists and Robbers can receive "Deferred Adjudication" which can keep their crimes off of their records. Deferred Adjudication is not available for DWI. A conviction will stay on a person's record until they die.

Stephen Foster is a former Webb and Bexar county prosecutor. He has prosecuted and defended thousands of cases. He has appeared on various news programs across Texas and well as been featured as a legal expert on the San Antonio television program Great Day SA.

Stephen Foster
Attorney at Law

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Tips on How to Choose a Good Business Lawyer

Finding the right attorney for your business can be a daunting task. Whether you are new to the marketplace and are in need of a lawyer for your new business or you are in the market for a new business lawyer, the issues remain the same. You need an attorney with the right experience and who is attentive to your business needs.

Ultimately, you should ask yourself, "Do I trust this person with my business?"

To help you answer this question, below are a few issues and questions you should address in evaluating whether or not a prospective business lawyer is right for your business:

Check out the lawyer's background:

* It should go without saying, but you need to check with the local bar association to determine if the attorney is currently licensed to practice law and whether he or she has had any major disciplinary actions.
* Don't be afraid to ask for referrals.
* Find out what is their area of practice.
* You need an attorney who spends most of of his/her time practicing business and commercial law.
* When dealing with the health and future prosperity of your business, you want a specialist who can quickly diagnose and efficiently find the solution.
* Ask how much of their practice is devoted to business and commercial law.
* What areas of business law do they specialize in? In what (and how many) other areas do they practice? - are these areas complementary to your business needs?

Assess their experience and knowledge:

* Make sure your attorney has the right experience and knowledge of your industry.
* You need a lawyer who has significant experience with companies like yours so you do not have to pay for the attorney's learning curve in getting up to speed on the legal issues affecting your industry.
* On the other hand, you should want an attorney who is willing to invest the time to understand your legal issues and the challenges facing your business, rather than provide a cookie-cutter solution.

Don't forget relationship count:

* While most of your communication with your lawyer may occur on the phone, through email and mail, a face-to-face meeting is still crucial in an attorney-client relationship.
* You need to meet your prospective attorney in person. You can learn many things from a face-to-face meeting that do not communicate well over the phone or email.
* Be wary of any lawyer who is unwilling to meet you in person or insists on a "retainer" before your initial meeting and/or any discussion about your business, your particular issues and the scope of their engagement.

Personality can play a key role in how effective a lawyer will be for your business.

* You need to be comfortable with your legal counselor.
* Would he/she mesh with your executives, managers and your team (i.e., your accountant, financial advisers and other advisers)?
* Is he/she the right fit for the job?
* Do you want a team player? Or do you need an independent person to review your business and keep your managers and employees in check?
* Are they aggressive and outspoken? Or they merely combative?
* Do you want a risk taker? Or do you want someone who is conservative and takes the safe and secure route?

To further help you in your search, below is a list of some of the key characteristics of a good business lawyer (in no particular order of importance or relevance):

* An Advocate for your Business: An attorney needs to be supportive and not just sympathetic to your cause. You do not want a "yes" man. A good attorney is supposed to tell you where you may be wrong. Can the attorney be straight-forward with you?
* Good Business Judgment: Are you comfortable with their business judgment? Do they seem to exercise reasonable and sound business judgment? Or are they too theoretical, impractical and/or out-of touch with your business reality well-thought ideas and reasons.
* Readily Available: Do they have adequate time to take on your matters. Make sure to get a commitment from the attorney.
* A Great Communicator- No "Legalese" please: Your attorney must be able to explain to you even the most complex issues into terms you understand. Your attorney is supposed to find solutions for you, not mystify you.
* Foresight & Proactive: Does the attorney think of ways to help you and your business? Do they seem to understand the problems you are likely to have? Do they have a plan to avoid likely problems?
* Exudes Professionalism: Are they organized and handle themselves with professionalism? Are they respectful of your time - were they on time?
* Have Resources - Will Travel: Does he/she have the resources and connections you may need to support your business? Do he/she know the players in your industry? Do he/she have contacts within your industry? Does he/she have contacts with your customers or prospects? Ask about their affiliations with accountants, financial advisers, bankers, and other professionals. Can you leverage their resources, connections and referrals?

Finding the right attorney for your business does not have to be overwhelming. With a bit of preparation, you should be able to find a lawyer with the right experience and who is attentive to your business needs.

At Griffith & Jacobson, LLC, our business lawyers can help your business maximize its profitability by finding effective, afforable solutions for all your legal needs. For a free, initial consultation with one of our business lawyers, go to or call us at (312)-236-8110.

For more information on Griffith & Jacobson, LLC, visit our website at

Follow our business attorneys on Twitter at BizLawyers for issues, information and resources that impact businesses and business owners.

Griffith & Jacobson, LLC - Chicago's Business Lawyers.

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