What Constitutes a Trade Secret?

Unlike patents and trademarks, trade secrets are protected without any procedural formalities associated with the benefits of registration with a government agency. The benefit to this is that a trade secret can be protected for an unlimited period of time and requires no public disclosure. The downside is that defining and protecting a trade secret can be trickier.

There are different definitions of what constitutes a “trade secret.” California law has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act…

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Cancelling or Dissolving Your Business Entity

Parties often wait until a dispute arises to exercise or learn about their rights.  However, it is often more prudent to know and exercise rights before a dispute arises.  The main shareholder or partnership rights include limited “economic” rights, voting rights, inspection rights, the right to bring a derivative action, and, in certain circumstances, the right to start the dissolution process.

Business entities can dissolve or cancel their businesses at almost any time. In particular, California…

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California Shareholder Rights

“Economic” Shareholder Rights

Shareholders invest in corporations primarily for economic gain or profit.  The two main ways shareholders can profit from a corporation are by receiving distributions of the company’s profits and by selling all or part of their interest in the corporation. These correspond with the two main “economic” shareholder rights: the right to receive dividends and the right to sell shares. Notably, shareholders only have the right to receive dividends as they are declared…

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Ridesharing Hit with More Business Lawsuits

California prohibits unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices, as well as unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising. Recently, the district attorney offices for Los Angeles and San Francisco claimed that Uber, one of the the most popular ridesharing companies, violated these California business laws in recently filed actions against the company.

Uber (recently valued at $41 Billion and has backers from Wall Street to Silicon Valley), is no stranger to lawsuits, which are coming from all…

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What is a Sole Proprietorship?

Establishing a sole proprietorship is the most common and basic way to start a new business.  In most cases, a sole proprietorship is established by an individual by simply starting a business.  At most a sole proprietorship will need a few simple filings to get going.

Sole Proprietorship

Only one owner is involved in a sole proprietorship. There is an exception for spouses, as California law allows a husband and wife venture to be classified as…

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What is an Adhesion Contract?

An adhesion contract is also referred to as a contract of adhesion or a standard form contract.  Often times this type of contractual agreement is drafted by one party, and usually looks like a template contract used in all agreements with that party. Adhesion contracts are commonly used for car purchases, cell phone and cable contracts, insurance matters, rental agreements, mortgages, and deeds.

In an adhesion contract, the drafting party is usually a business (typically…

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Title Insurance: Why It’s Important and Why You Need It

Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders from property loss or damage that could arise from defects in the title to the property, or damages due to liens and/or encumbrances.  Each title insurance policy is different, as each one will have different terms and conditions.

For most types of insurance (such as car or health insurance), the insured generally pays a monthly premium to protect against potential future events. With title insurance, the insured…

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Intellectual Property Basics for Businesses

Intellectual Property Basics

It is important to protect the intellectual property and proprietary aspects of any businesses’ goods and/or services.  There are a variety of different ways to go about protecting your intellectual property, and it is important to determine what method will accomplish your goals effectively. It is therefore important to develop an understanding of the different intellectual property protection options. Depending on your company’s needs, you may want to consider either a patent,…

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Understanding California’s Franchise Investment Law

If you are interested in buying or selling a franchise in California, it is important to be familiar with the applicable law before taking action.  California franchise law is largely governed by the state’s Franchise Investment Law, which was enacted in 1970.

One of the major requirements of California’s Franchise Investment Law is that franchisors must register with the California Department of Business Oversight before selling or offering for sale franchises in California. An “offer” or “offer to sell” includes…

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Mold Liability in Rental Properties

The discovery of mold on rental property usually means costly remediation and litigation between the tenant(s) and the landlord.  However, California is one of the few states that have taken steps toward establishing permissible mold standards.  California’s “Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001” authorizes the state’s Department of Health Care Services (“DHCS”) to set permissible levels of indoor mold exposure for sensitive populations, which include children and people with compromised immune systems.  The California law also allows the DHCS…

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